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This essay, a contribution to an AJIL Unbound symposium on “Treaty Exit at the Interface of Domestic and International Law,” compares treaty exit in the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. After examining the longstanding practice of unilateral presidential withdrawals from treaties in the United States and the refusal to date of U.S. courts to review the constitutionality of that practice, the essay summarizes recent judicial decisions in the United Kingdom and South Africa holding that parliamentary approval was required before these nations could withdraw from treaties committing them, respectively, to the European Union and the International Criminal Court. We conclude that these decisions—while important and interesting in their own right—offer limited insights for debates in the United States over whether the President has unilateral treaty withdrawal authority and how such withdrawals might affect statutes implementing international agreements.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

International and municipal law, Treaties, Treaties--Termination