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By John F. Murphy

The U.S. has usually proclaimed its help for the rule of thumb of legislations in overseas affairs, yet has discovered it more and more tough to stick to it in perform. John Murphy demonstrates the wide-ranging problems obstructing U.S. adherence to the guideline of legislation. He additionally examines the explanations for the declining U.S. help for the overseas associations it used to be instrumental in growing, in addition to U.S. unwillingness to aid new well known projects in overseas legislation.

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Turning first to the interpretation of international law, we should note that our primary focus will be on issues surrounding the interpretation of treaties. For participants in the international legal process, issues of interpreting customary norms or general principles tend to conflate with issues of whether such norms or general principles exist. How to interpret treaties, however, has been and remains a topic of considerable discussion and debate. 128 This lack of a dissenting vote, however, masked the divergence of views that arose at the conference concerning the proper approach to the interpretation of treaties.

Specifically, the results of multilateral treaty making have often been unacceptable to the United States – either to the executive branch (the statute for a permanent international criminal court; the Landmines Treaty; initially the Law of the Sea Convention) or to the Senate (the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; the Law of the Sea Convention; the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty) or to both. Moreover, the recent failure of the negotiations under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to conclude a multilateral agreement on investment – an initiative strongly supported by the United States – came about largely because of strong opposition from various nongovernmental organizations and disagreements between the United States and other developed countries.

It is “new” in two senses. 56 The United States has recently expressed its strong opposition to this approach. In 1994, the Human Rights Committee established to receive reports from states parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on the steps they have taken to carry out their obligations under the Covenant issued its General Comment No. 57 According to the Committee, states parties to the Covenant may not make reservations to provisions therein that represent customary international law.

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