Reciprocity Revisited

Andreas Paulus

in From Bilateralism to Community Interest

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588817
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725272 | DOI:
Reciprocity Revisited

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This chapter recalls both Bruno Simma's considerable contribution to our understanding of reciprocity in his early academic work — on Article 60 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, on reciprocity in customary law, and in treaties — as well as the later phase in his academic career when he did not abandon but considerably modified his position by looking to the formulation and protection of community interests in international law in his two grand lectures at the academies of The Hague and Florence. Here, the role of reciprocity changes from a prime mover of international law to that of a mere enforcement mechanism, from the master to the slave, so to speak. But Simma is and remains reluctant, even misgiving, about attempts to leave the enforcement of community interests to international organizations alone, as long as central institutions remain underdeveloped to implement them. Thus, in a decentralized system, decentralized means of enforcement continue to be necessary. In other words: reciprocity is transformed, but should not be abandoned altogether.

Keywords: Bruno Simma; reciprocity; Vienna Convention; customary law; international law

Chapter.  13035 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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