Bantekas, Ilias


The function of signing multilateral treaties has always been perceived as a sine qua non element of inter-state agreements. Its evolution has witnessed several useful variations, such as definitive signatures, the ‘all states formula’, as well as the enhanced role of treaty depositaries with respect to the effect of signatures. The article argues that despite signature requirements in all multilateral treaties there is a clear trend towards alternative forms of agreement, whether between states or between states and non-state actors. The rise in the power of non-state actors has given rise to simplified forms of agreement where formalities, including treaty-type signatures, have largely been eliminated. While it is not at all argued that the function of signatures to treaties is anachronistic and of no use, the convergence of several formalities associated with treaties may explain the push towards simplified agreements.



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