self-executing treaty

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A treaty that is intended to bind states internally, as opposed to one that is intended to bind them externally. The vast majority of treaties are non-self-executing: that is, following their signature (and later ratification) the signing state is bound viz-a-viz other signatory states but, until it transforms the terms of the treaty into municipal law, it does not bind its own subjects (The Parlement Belge (1879) 4 PD 129). Self-executing treaties, on the other hand, require no such transformation by statute. In English law this rare type of treaty would include those that cede territory.

Subjects: International Law.

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