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Treaty-making constitutes the very basis of the international legal order and influences international relations. It channels the expression by states of consent to be bound and defines the commitments they enter into. However, the national procedures by which states express their consent to be bound vary considerably, depending on constitutional, legal, and political conditions which reflect the history of each country.
This report, drawn up under the aegis of the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI) of the Council of Europe, encompasses the practice of 39 member states of this organization and a number of observer states. It provides comprehensive and up-to-date information about these states' means of expressing consent to be bound by a treaty. Furthermore, the analysis commissioned by the CAHDI from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law casts fresh light on this matter by inferring interesting considerations from the diversity of national procedures.
With this report, the Council of Europe wishes to pursue its practical contribution to the development of international law, facilitating the mutual understanding of its member States and, thus, helping to build a stable and peaceful international community.