The validity of treaties

Treaties are binding. A state that signs a treaty is obliged to comply with it. It can have several different names, but whether it’s called an agreement, an accord, a convention or a protocol, it’s still a treaty.

Amending national legislation to comply with treaties

Treaties are a source of international law and national legislation must not be inconsistent with them. In the event of inconsistencies, treaty provisions often take precedence. This means that states sometimes have to amend national legislation after signing a treaty. For instance, the Netherlands introduced the Aviation Act to comply with its treaty obligations. As a member of the European Union, the Netherlands is also obliged to amend its laws in line with EU legislation.

The legal validity of treaties in Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten

Treaties are signed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is comprised of four parts: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten. After a treaty is signed, the individual parts of the Kingdom decide whether they want to be bound by it.

Information on treaties

Information on treaties can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Treaty Database.