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Pacta sunt servanda (Latin for "agreements must be kept"[1]), is a brocard, a basic principle of civil law and of international law.

In its most common sense, the principle refers to private contracts, stressing that contained clauses are law between the parties, and implies that nonfulfillment of respective obligations is a breach of the pact.

In civil law jurisdictions this principle is related to the general principle of correct behavior in commercial practice — including the assumption of good faith — is a requirement for the efficacy of the whole system, so the eventual disorder is sometimes punished by the law of some systems even without any direct penalty incurred by any of the parties. However, common law jurisdictions usually do not have the principle of good faith in commercial contracts, therefore it is inappropriate to state that pacta sunt servanda includes the principle of good faith.

With reference to international agreements, "every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith."[2] Pacta sunt servanda is related to good faith, while pacta sunt servanda does not equate with good faith. This entitles states to require that obligations be respected and to rely upon the obligations being respected. This good faith basis of treaties implies that a party to the treaty cannot invoke provisions of its municipal (domestic) law as justification for a failure to perform. However, with regards to the Vienna Convention and the UNIDROIT Principles it should be kept in mind that these are heavily influenced by civil law jurisdictions. To derive from these sources that pacta sunt servanda includes the principle of good faith is therefore incorrect.

The only limit to pacta sunt servanda are the peremptory norms of general international law, called jus cogens (compelling law). The legal principle clausula rebus sic stantibus, part of customary international law, also allows for treaty obligations to be unfulfilled due to a compelling change in circumstances.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed. 2004)
  2. ^ From the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, signed at Vienna on May 23, 1969, entered into force on January 27, 1980, art. 26, and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations, signed at Vienna on March 21, 1986, not yet entered into force, art. 26.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacta_sunt_servanda — Please support Wikipedia.
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Latin American Herald Tribune

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Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:52:30 -0700

LONDON -- The most casual followers of the Argentine debt saga will be familiar with the Latin term pari passu, or “equal footing” – or, in this case, equal payment to all holders of Argentine bonds, whether or not those holders took part in the ...
The Federalist
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 04:20:18 -0700

The most important rule of international law is “pacta sunt servanda”—agreements must be kept. When the United States, or any nation, becomes a party to a treaty, it promises to obey the provisions of the treaty as a legally binding commitment ...

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Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:21:37 -0700

Some of the wilder elements in the independence movement also believe that, completely overlooking international law where the rule is "Pacta sunt servanda" (treaties must be kept) and the accumulation of 40 years of international agreements which our ...

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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:03:45 -0700

As agências reguladoras estão sendo testadas, e não se cogita da disputa judicial, para além do regramento, bater-se por cláusulas e condições pactuadas, a famosa pacta sunt servanda, no entanto temos que ponderar algumas situações peculiares, cujas ...

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Mon, 30 Jun 2014 19:26:15 -0700

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Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:54:04 -0700

Just about the first thing any law student learns about contracts is the rule “Pacta sunt servanda,” which means, “Agreements must be kept.” The second thing they learn are all the exceptions to this rule, because the truth is that you can take a good ...
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:13:11 -0700

"It's the first time the EU issued such clear conditions [on sanctions], so, pacta sunt servanda - if even one of them is not met, there should be results". With Italy, an opponent of Russia sanctions, taking over the EU rotating presidency on Tuesday ...
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Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:36:47 -0700

Pacta sunt servanda is not only a legal principle. It is key ethical imperative as well!" it said. — Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News. We welcome healthy discussions and friendly debate! Please click Flag to alert us of a comment that may be abusive or ...

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