The phenomenon affects all types of treaty, not just boundary treaties: for 
instance, a former colleague once published a study of the effects of 
unratified codification conventions. There is no single reason for 
non-ratification beyond the fact that new people become involved with the 
constitutional processes of ratification. Negotiators try to anticipate 
their likely reactions, but are not always successful. In the case of 
multilateral conventions, inertia can be a factor. Reverting to maritime 
boundaries, the great majority of the boundary agreements collected in 
International Maritime Boundaries are in force, just a few (notably 
Russia/US in the Bering Sea) are being applied provisionally by agreement 
pending the completion of the ratification processes, and the rest await 
ratification. However, the numbers in this last category are not high and 
the legal situation is provided for in the Vienna Convention on the Law of 
Treaties of 1969, especially article 18.
David Anderson
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Prows" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: [INT-BOUNDARIES] Introduction and inquiry about spanish borders


One oft-stated reason for this phenomenon is that foreign ministries
and heads of state, which negotiate and sign treaties, may have
different incentives and constituencies than legislatures, which
ratify them.  A President or Prime Minister will meet and have to work
with other heads of state in their international relations.  They will
often have incentives to cooperate with each other and treaties and
other international agreements may then follow.  Legislatures, on the
other hand, generally do not engage in international relations and may
be more sensitive to domestic political considerations.  Thus, signing
a boundary treaty might be a prerequisite for heads of state to be
able to engage in more regular international trade and relations, but
it also might be domestically unpopular for a legislator to be seen by
his or her constituents to be acceding to an agreement which might
"give away" territory to a neighbor.  A signed but unratified treaty
will be the result.

Regards (and happy New Year) to all~
Peter Prows

Begin forwarded message:

> From: [log in to unmask]
> Date: 19 January 2009 8:32:42 AM PST
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Introduction and inquiry about spanish borders
> Reply-To: [log in to unmask]
> This seems to be a fairly common occurrence.  Can someone explain  why 
> states negotiate agreements and then do not ratify them?  Change  of 
> government?  But if the problem is policy why do the new  governments not 
> repudiate the agreements rather than just leave them  to languish?  It is 
> not uncommon to hear of treaties just sitting  there, unratified, for 
> decades -- in fact there is a whole  jurispreudence about this situation. 
> Is there some reason or  purpose to this?
> David Phillips
> San Francisco
> From: International boundaries discussion list on behalf of DAVID 
> Sent: Mon 1/19/2009 2:00 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Introduction and inquiry about spanish borders
> Welcome to the list! If the scope of your enquiry extends to maritime
> boundaries, information about the Franco-Spanish agreement  delimiting the
> Bay of Biscay can be found  in Report No 9-2 in Charney and  Alexander 
> (eds),
> International Maritime Boundaries, volume II (Nijhoff,1993), pp 1719  ff.
> Spain's two agreements with Portugal about maritime boundaries were 
> signed
> subject to ratification as long ago as 1976. However, so far as I am 
> aware,
> they have not been ratified and thus have not entered into force.
> Information about the unratified agreements can be found in Report  No 9-7 
> in
> the same volume at pp 1791 ff.
> Best wishes,
> David Anderson
> ---- Original Message -----
> From: "Karolina Glab" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 12:32 PM
> Subject: [INT-BOUNDARIES] Introduction and inquiry about spanish  borders
> Welcome to all the memebers of INT-BOUNDRIES forum,
> My name is Karolina Glab and I`m a student of University of Wrocław, 
> Poland
> at Department of Geography. I`m in course of writing the thesis about
> Political Geography of Spain since 1975. My work includes the  chapter 
> about
> the spanish borderlines. And here I`m facing the problem, as so far I
> haven`t found official data bases about all the international  agreements
> between Spain and its neighbouring countries mentioning point by  point 
> the
> borderlines demarcation I need.
> Is anybody who could help me to show where to look for those  historic law
> documents or who know a person I cold talk to about it? I can speak 
> Polish,
> English and Spanish.
> Best regards,
> Karolina Glab
> [log in to unmask]
> University of Wrocław,Poland