Christian Tomuschat

Die Bedeutung der Zeit im Völkerrecht

Rubrik: Abhandlungen
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Jahrgang 60 () / Heft 1, S. 1-22 (22)
Publiziert 13.06.2022

28,60 € inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
Artikel PDF
DOI: 10.1628/avr-2022-0002
Time is a determinative factor in human existence, and law is also invariably shaped by the passage of time. International law of today has seen since 1945 a tremendous transformation through the Charter of the United Nations and the process of decolonization which it has promoted, leading to true normative equality of all States. Thus a system of legal rules has emerged in the formation of which all nations of this globe can participate and which, standing uncontested, is binding for all of them although compliance remains unsatisfactory. The international community has elevated treaties to the primary instrument for the regulation of the relationships among its members. Treaties, in particular multilateral treaties, are normally concluded as guidance that should remain in force beyond the day, but despite this aspiration for durability they cannot escape the impact of changing circumstances which the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties recognizes only reluctantly through the concept of clausula rebus sic stantibus but accepts more easily as development through interpretation. Customary law in particular is a product of time and history that has for many decades now been profoundly reviewed under the auspices of genuine equality. A major controversy remains as to the principle of persistent objection. The principle of self-determination does not permit retroactive challenge of territorial dispositions made by the colonial powers before it was acknowledged as a norm of jus cogens, even if those measures may have been stained by elements of arbitrariness. Justice à outrance is never required by international law. In the German-Polish relationship no questions deriving from the determination of the current Oder-Neisse boundary line remain open. Through the Warsaw Treaty of 1970, the Federal Republic of Germany had created, long before the conclusion of the boundary treaty of 1990, a capital of trust and confidence vis-à-vis Poland and its citizens which at that time already debarred any claim for restitution.

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