The Role of Justice Perceptions in Treaty Interpretation Debates

In her dissertation project Aviv Melamud examines the discursive terrain of international treaty interpretation, with the aim of uncovering the role of justice perceptions on states’ interpretation of treaties. Treaty interpretation is inherently based on parties’ beliefs and understandings, and thus justice perceptions presumably underlie and shape how state parties to a treaty comprehend their legal commitments. This research project maps the discursive communities in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation regime, to examine the underlying role of justice perceptions on the parties’ understanding of their commitments within this regime, and how these thus influence their regime participation. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which distinguishes rights and obligations of different member categories, coupled with the omnipresence of “justice” in the discourse surrounding the treaty, as well as interpretation disagreements regarding the meaning of treaty clauses, makes for a prime location to explore the relationship between justice perceptions and treaty interpretation.

Project director:
  • Melamud, Aviv