Ratify the VCLTIO Now!

by Duncan Hollis

There’s lots of serious international and national security talk to be had today following yesterday’s NDU address by President Obama.  But, as part of my continuing quest to track international law in popular culture, I offer readers a bit of Friday afternoon levity:

9 Photos of Jennifer Lawrence that will make you Reassess the Scope of the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations.

No, I did not make up that title.  The Onion did via an author(s) who clearly knows far too much about the law of treaties.  After all, a neophyte might poke fun at the paradox of Article 6’s assertion of general treaty-making authority for IO’s in a treaty.  But not the Onion.  They tackle larger issues such as was “the ILC’s decision to model the VCLTIO provisions as closely as possible on the structure and terminology of its mother treaty really wise, considering the vastly different characteristics of international organizations?”

Truly inspired.  And although one could take offense at the juxtaposition of photographs of a famous female actress with descriptions of international law, I’d think the Onion could have posted 9 photographs of anything from naval vessels to Frank Lloyd Wright homes and captions like this one would still be funny:

Hold on just a sec here. She’s beautiful, witty, down-to-earth, AND she reminds you that the Conference was unable to resolve the question of the rights and/or obligations that might arise for states’ members of an international organization from a treaty to which that organization is a party? Is this girl actually real?

In any case, I’m now drafting a petition to the White House urging President Obama to support quick Senate action on the VCLTIO, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll take a look at the little treaty that preceded it — the 1969 VCLT.

P.S.  I really hope whoever authored this got high marks on their international law exam — or at least now appreciates how such knowledge can come in handy in the unlikeliest of scenarios.


One Response

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