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The UN
But before again we dive into the main topic, let us first increase a little bit our understanding
about the United Nation. Dean discuss the 2 important organs of the UN
Composed of all the member-states. The GA may discuss any question or matter within the
scope of the Charter or relating to the powers and functions of any other organ.
Composition: 15 members:
a) 5 Permanent Members (China, France, UK, US, Russia)
b) 10 non-permanent: elected for 2 year terms by the General Assembly.
Function: the maintenance of international peace and security.
4. ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL - organ charged with promoting social progress and better
standards of life in larger freedom
5. TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL - organ charged with administration of Int'l Trusteeship System.
for the supervision of Trust Territories placed under it by individual agreements with the States
administering them.
the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Palau), administered by the United States - after it chose
self-government in a 1993 plebiscite. Palau became independent in 1994, joining the United
Nations as its 185th Member State.
With no Territories left in its agenda, the Trusteeship System had completed its historic task.
6. INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE - judicial organ of the UN.
The jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) deals with contentious proceedings
between States. On the other hand, the jurisdiction of the ICJ covers legal disputes which the
States refer to it. This includes disputes concerning:
(a) the interpretation of a treaty;
(b) any question of international law;
(c) the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international
obligation; and
(d) the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international
obligation. (Article 36, ICJ Statute)
International Criminal Court
Note that there is another court independent of the UN. This was created by a Treaty called the
Rome Statute the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has the
power to try and punish the most serious violations of human rights in cases when international
justice systems fail.
As to subject matter jurisdiction (ratione materiae), the jurisdiction of the ICC is
limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a
whole, particularly: (a) the Crime of Genocide; (b) Crimes against Humanity; (c) War
crimes; and (d) the Crime of Aggression.
As a court of last resort, it does not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national
judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine. The ICC differs from the UN

International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has no jurisdiction over individuals accused of war
crimes or crimes against humanity

A 'treaty' is:
(1) an international agreement
(2) concluded between States [China National Machinery & Equipment Corp. (Group) v. Sta.
Maria, et al. (2012)
First, the Supreme Court said that CNMEG, the Chinese contractor, is neither a government nor a
agency, noting that Contract Agreement was not concluded between the Philippines and China,
but between Northrail and CNMEG. Indeed, By the terms of the Contract Agreement, Northrail is
a government-owned or -controlled corporation, while CNMEG is a corporation duly organized
and created under the laws of the Peoples Republic of China. Thus, both Northrail and CNMEG
entered into the Contract Agreement as entities with personalities distinct and separate from the
Philippine and Chinese governments, respectively.
(3) in written form and
3. Q: If not in writing, is it still considered a treaty?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes. Oral agreements between States are recognized as treaties under
customary international law (but are extremely rare nowadays).
The verbal agreement by telephone is binding between the parties on the basis of customary
international law. (In 1992 the dispute between Denmark and Finland about the construction of a
bridge was settled by a telephone conversation between the Danish and Finnish Prime Ministers.
In return for payment by Denmark, Finland agreed to discontinue the case filed. (Aust, Modern
Treaty Law and Practice, p.7.))
B: Assuming the answer to (a.) is in affirmative, does that agreement constitute a Treaty under
the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties? (2%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER The verbal agreement does not constitute a treaty under the
Vienna Convention on the Law of treaties. Article 3 requires that for an international
agreement to be a treaty, it must be in written form.
(4) governed by international law,
(5) whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments
(6) whatever its particular designation
[Art.2(1), Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties or VCLOT]
Does it have to be named Treaty?
Under the VCLOT, the term treaty includes all agreements between states, regardless of how
they are called. Thus, for purposes of international law, treaties, executive agreements,
exchanges of notes, etc. are all treaties.


Note, however, that Philippine law makes a distinction between treaties and executive
agreements. Both are equally binding, but only treaties require the concurrence of the Senate to
be effective.
What makes it different?
Requires ratification by the 2/3 of the
Senate to be valid and effective (Art. VII,
Sec. 21)

Executive Agreements
Does not require concurrence by
Senate to be binding

How can we determine that it should be deemed treaty or Executive

Subject Matter
(2) Adjusts details to carry out wellestablished national policies and
(2) Political Issues Changes in national
traditions. Implements treaties,
statutes, policies
(3) Involves international agreements of a
permanent character
(3) Temporary
Who determines whether

an international agreement be considered a Treaty or Executive

Pimentel v. Executive Secretary Digest

G.R. No. 158088 July 6, 2005
Petitioners filed a petition for mandamus to compel the Office of the Executive Secretary and the
Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed copy of the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court to the Senate of the Philippinesfor its concurrence pursuant to Sec.
21, Art VII of the 1987 Constitution.
The Rome Statute established the Int'l Criminal Court which will have jurisdiction over the most
serious crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression as
defined by the Statute.
Petitioners contend that ratification of a treaty, under both domestic and international law, is a
function of the Senate, hence it is the duty of the Executive Department to transmit the signed
copy to the senate to allow it to exercise its discretion.

The President as the head of state is the sole organ and authorized in the external relations and
he is also the country's sole representative with foreign nations, He is the mouthpiece with
respect to the country's foreign affairs.
It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in
the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate,
however, is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the
ratification.20 Hence, it is within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the
Senate or, having secured its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. 21 Although the refusal
of a state to ratify a treaty which has been signed in its behalf is a serious step that should not
be taken lightly,22 such decision is within the competence of the President alone, which cannot be
encroached by this Court via a writ of mandamus. This Court has no jurisdiction over actions
seeking to enjoin the President in the performance of his official duties. 23 The Court, therefore,
cannot issue the writ of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to
compel the executive branch of the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to
the Senate.

What if we have an international agreement wherein the Philippines adopts it as a treaty but the
other contracting state only considers it as an executive agreement?
Petitioners argued, inter alia, that the VFA violates 25, Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution,
which provides that foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the
Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . . and recognized as a treaty
by the other contracting State.
This Court is of the firm view that the phrase "recognized as a treaty" means that the other
contracting party accepts or acknowledges the agreement as a treaty.32 To require the other
contracting state, the United States of America in this case, to submit the VFA to the United
States Senate for concurrence pursuant to its Constitution, 33 is to accord strict meaning to the
1) DOCTINE OF INCORPORATION - rules of international law form part of the law of the land
and no further legislative action is needed to make such rules applicable in the domestic
a) Such is recognized in art. 2, sec. 2, as the Philippines "adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land."
b) Rules of international law are given equal standing with, but are not superior to,
national legislative enactments. Thus, the Constitution, as the highest law of the
land, may invalidate a treaty in conflict with it.
[Secretary of Justice v. Hon. Lantion and Mark Jimenez, Jan. 18, 2000]
2) DOCTRINE OF TRANSFORMATION - the generally accepted rules of int'l law are not per se
binding upon the State but must first be embodied in legislation enacted by the lawmaking body
and so transformed into municipal law. Only when so transformed will they become binding upon
the State as part of its municipal law.

ONE VERY important treaty is VCLOT

The definition in the Vienna Convention between States in 1980 delimited treaties as
between states.
However, states may also enter into treaties with international organizations. The latter class of
agreements are governed by another set of rules, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations. 1986


1. Negotiation, Art 7
2. Adoption, Art 9
3. Authentication, Art 10
4. Expression of Consent
a. Signature, Art 12
b. Exchange of instruments, Art 13.
c. Ratification, Acceptance Approval, Art 14
d. Accession, Art 15


*Pacta Sunt Servanda, Art 26
*No invoking of internal law, Art 46
*Application to entire territory, Art 29


1. Objective
2. Teleological
3. Subjective
*Supplementary Means, Art 32 and Art 33


1. Error, Art 48
2. Fraud, Art 49
3. Corruption of Representatives of State, Art 50
4. Coercion of Representatives of State, Art 51
5. Coercion of Representatives of State by Threat or Use of Force, Art 52
6. Jus Cogens Violation, Art 55
*Loss of Right to assert to invalidate, Art 45
1. Express Agreement
2. Conduct showing acquiescence


1. Expiration
2. Achievement of Purpose
3. Material Breach, Art 60
4. Supervening Impossibility of Performance, Art 61
5. Rebus Sic Stantibus, Art 62

SUCCESSION Clean Slate Rule