Leon Trotsky and the Prohibition Against Secret Treaties

22 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2016

See all articles by John Bernard Quigley

John Bernard Quigley

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: February 11, 2016

Abstract

A key aspect of contemporary international treaty practice is a requirement that treaties be registered with the United Nations. All states that are UN members are required to register any treaty into which they enter. While the requirement may seem a minor matter of bureaucratic detail, its origins are connected with events that shattered the world order in the early years of the twentieth century. Woodrow Wilson included as the first of his famous "fourteen points" for a post-World War I disposition the precept that treaties should be "openly arrived at" and that secret diplomacy should be outlawed. Wilson's advocacy of this precept was prompted by the revelation by Leon Trotsky, as a commissar of the new Soviet government in Russia, of secret treaties concluded among the World War I allies for the disposition of various pieces of territory. this article analyzes the requirement of treaty registration in light of this history.

Keywords: treaties registration, United Nations, League of Nations

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Quigley, John Bernard, Leon Trotsky and the Prohibition Against Secret Treaties (February 11, 2016). Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 331, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2731281 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2731281

John Bernard Quigley (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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