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States the law relating to treaties from an international aspect and in the light of international sources, while at the same time preserving the point of view of the average common lawyer.
Lord McNair was strongly of the opinion that the common law of the British Commonwealth and the United States can and must in the future make greater contributions both to the content and to the practical application of international law.
This classic work, first published in 1961 and now available again (1986), retains its usefulness for practising international lawyers and academics concerned with all aspects of the making, application, enforcement, breach, or alteration of treaties.
From the preface:
In 1938, in co-operation with Columbia University, the Clarendon Press published my book entitled The Law of Treaties: British Practice and Opinions which was intended by the late Professor Charles Cheney Hyde and his colleagues to be one of a group of three books stating the law and practice of Treaties as understood in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany respectively.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the French and German books did not materialize. The book of 1938 contained almost exclusively British material, including treaties to which Great Britain was a party, dispatches sent to foreign governments, and arguments submitted by counsel for Great Britain to interntional tribunals.
The present work has been written from a more international point of view. While eliminating some of the purely British material, I have enlarged the book and introduced much material from international sources.
In Appendix A I have reprinted three of my articles without attempting to bring them up to date. Some of my readers may find Appendix B, 'Some Words and Phrases occurring in, or in connexion with, Treaties' useful. I am indebted to the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office for permission to print certain extracts from Crown copyright material.
The Clarendon Press advises me that this should be regarded as a new book. Accordingly, I have referred to the earlier book as Law of Treaties, 1938 and anyone who wishes to cite this book might find it convenient to call it Law of Treaties, 1961.
I have again benefited greatly from the vigilant co-operation of the staff of the Clarendon Press at all levels. Their constant care and helpful suggestions have lightened the burden of authorship, and for this I am grateful.
Lord McNair, Cambridge, June 1961.