The Yale Law Journal

VOLUME
116
2006-2007
NUMBER
4
January 2007
676-881
Note

Treaties as Contracts: Textualism, Contract Theory, and the Interpretation of Treaties

Curtis J. Mahoney
116 Yale L.J. 824 (2007)

With the nation's treaty obligations proliferating and foreign affairs cases taking up a growing share of the Supreme Court's docket, it is surprising how undertheorized the field of treaty interpretation remains. To fill this void, some have suggested that textualism, which has had a major impact on statutory interpretation over the past two decades, should be applied to treaty interpretation. This Note rebuts that notion and suggests instead that courts draw from modern contract theory in developing canons of treaty interpretation.