Nature of International treaty
Nature of a treaty
"...treaty is a compact, an agreement or a contract-bilateral or multilateral - between sovereign states (two or more) whereby they establish or seek to establish a relationship between themselves governed by international law.
A treaty, therefore, in a broad sense, is similar to an agreement under the civil law.
The difference between an ordinary civil contract (or agreement) and a treaty is that while the former is an arrangement between individuals and derives its bindingness from municipal or domestic law of a state, a treaty on the other hand derives its binding force and effect from international law. See Article 2 of the Vienna Convention of May 23, 1969 which came into force on January 27, 1980.
Thus, ordinarily, a treaty binds only states parties to it just as a contract binds only individuals who are parties thereto. There is therefore no justification for over-simplification of a treaty in terms of a contract.
Under strict customary international law. individuals are not subjects of international law nor were municipal or domestic courts called upon to control or administer treaty obligations between sovereign states."
Per ACHIKE, J.S.C in Abacha v. Fawehinmi (2000) 6 NWLR (Pt.660) 228