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Intertemporal Linguistics in International Law

Beyond Contemporaneous and Evolutionary Treaty Interpretation

By: Julian Wyatt
Media of Intertemporal Linguistics in International Law
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Published: 12-12-2019
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 336
ISBN: 9781509929498
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £80.00
Online price : £72.00
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About Intertemporal Linguistics in International Law

Intertemporal Linguistics in International Law examines and offers an overdue solution to a specific problem central to the resolution of an ever increasing number of international legal disputes: how to interpret a treaty with terms that change in meaning over time.

A wide-ranging review of the relevant international case law and scholarship reveals that no rule, principle or authority of international law – including even the oft-cited evolutionary interpretation doctrine – provides international adjudicators with the firm and practical guidance on this specific question that contemporary international litigants demand.

Using an analytical approach inspired by the comparative method and drawing on specific concepts from external fields including private law, legal theory and, principally, modern-day linguistics, Intertemporal Linguistics in International Law restructures the most relevant international case law around a new conceptual framework that offers fresh insight into the process of treaty interpretation. It demonstrates that by distinguishing between resolving ambiguity and resolving vagueness, and by identifying the temporal sense-intention with which a treaty term is used, international adjudicators can avail themselves of a more predictable and appropriate method for solving this complex and practically important problem of international law.

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction
I. The Problem of Intertemporal Linguistics
II. Scope
III. Methodological Features
IV. Structure

PART I
THE PROBLEM – DETACHING IT FROM THE DOCTRINES
2. The Rise and Fall of the Principle of Contemporaneity
I. Surfacing and Consecration of the Static Approach as the Principle of Contemporaneity
II. The Decline and Fall of the Principle of Contemporaneity
III. Time to Detach the Principle of Contemporaneity from the Problem
3. The Emergence and Splitting of the Evolutionary Treaty Interpretation Doctrine
I. Emergence as an Amalgam of Interpretative and Progressive Approaches
II. Splitting of the Doctrine into Distinct Interpretative and Progressive Forms
III. Jettisoning a Doctrine No Longer Sufficiently Linked to the Problem
4. Refocusing on and Defining the Static and Dynamic Approaches to the Problem of Intertemporal Linguistics
I. The Need for Analytical Definitions of the Problem and the Approaches to it
II. Preliminary Refinements of the Nature of the Problem
III. Using Linguistics to Refi ne the Key Notion of 'Different Meanings'

PART II
THE MISCONCEPTIONS – CASTING ASIDE THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
5. The VCLT's Interpretative Rules do not Solve the Problem
I. The VCLT's Interpretative Provisions are Temporally Neutral
II. By Authorising Progressive Adjudication, the VCLT does not Endorse a Dynamic Approach to the Problem
III. Only ex ante Guidance Can Solve the Problem, Mere ex post Justification Cannot
IV. Conclusions
6. The Post-Namibia International Case Law does not Provide a General Solution to the Problem
I. The Conception is Based on the Wrong Set of International Cases
II. Seen in their Decisional Contexts, the Authorities for the View do not Adequately Support it
III. Conclusions

PART III
THE SOLUTION – INNOVATING INSIDE INTERNATIONAL LAW
7. The Problem of Intertemporal Linguistics as an Issue of Ambiguity, Not Vagueness
I. Interpretation Resolves Either Vagueness or Ambiguity
II. The Choice Between an Original and Later-emerging Meaning Calls for the Resolution of Ambiguity, Not Vagueness
III. The VCLT Rules are Focused on Resolving Vagueness, but Implicitly Recognise the Ambiguity/Vagueness Distinction
IV. Interpreters Disambiguate before they 'De-vaguefy'
8. Disambiguating Original and Later-emerging Senses Using a Temporal Sense-Intention
I. Disambiguation is Achieved Through Identifying the Sense-Intention
II. The Sense-Intention is Very Different to Other Interpretative Intentions
III. The Relevant Sense-Intention in the Intertemporal Linguistics Context is a 'Temporal Sense-Intention'
IV. Notions Akin to the Temporal Sense-Intention Emerging from Case Law and Scholarship Relating to the Problem
9. Features of Interpretative Situations that Might Imply a Temporal Sense-Intention
I. Sense-Intentions are Usually Inferred from Context
II. 'By Definition Evolutionary' and 'Generic' Terms as Indicia of a Mobile Sense-Intention
III. Terms that Constitute Legal Concepts as Indicia of a Mobile Sense-Intention
IV. Terms in Human Rights Treaties as Inherently Possessing a Mobile Sense-Intention
V. Terms in Territorial Treaties as Inherently Possessing a Fixed Sense-Intention
VI. Terms in Treaties of Fixed and Continuing Durations as Implying Fixed and Mobile Sense-Intentions Respectively
VII. Terms in Constitutive Instruments as Implying a Mobile Sense-Intention
VIII. Terms in Clauses Establishing a Situation and Laying Down a Rule Respectively
IX. Implications of a Temporal Sense-Intention Arising from the Number of Parties to a Treaty
X. Concluding Observations on the Interpretative Features Cited by the Case Law and Scholarship
10. Organising the Features into a Workable Method for Inferring the Temporal Sense-Intention and Solving the Problem
I. Context Including Definitions – The Best Evidence of Sense-Intention
II. Where Context Runs Out – Using Other Indicia and Presumptions for Inferring the Temporal Sense-Intention
III. Presumptions – Strong and Independent Indicators of a Particular Temporal Sense-Intention
IV. Mere Indicia – Indicators that Taken Together May Clearly Imply a Fixed or Mobile Sense-Intention
V. Twin Presumptions of Last Resort – Using the Number of Treaty Parties
VI. Practical Benefits of the Proposed Method for Solving the Problem
11. Conclusion
I. Summary
II. A Plea for a Less Flexible and More Legally Certain System of Treaty Interpretation

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