Jump to content
  • entries
    57
  • comments
    926
  • views
    39,801

Useless Phraseology


Ashoka the Great

355 views

 Share

I've signed a lot of treaties in my time. And yes, I've written a few as well.

Lately, however, I've come to realize that nearly every treaty contains the same nonsense, namely:

The 'Sovereignty Clause'

Is this really necessary? Does a formal agreement between two or more alliances not carry within itself the implicit recognition of all signatories' sovereignty? If not, then what's the point of all those signatures at the bottom? Decoration? Is there some sort of problem with alliances announcing treaties with others without any kind of consultation or agreement beforehand?

Of course not. And yet, the Sovereignty Clause reigns supreme as the one thing found in damn-near every treaty ever produced.

The only situation I can imagine in which sovereignty might be forfeit would be the announcement of a treaty between two alliances that contained the signature(s) of only one. Were that to occur, however, the more astute among us would jump all over that omission rather quickly.

I have been just as guilty of this as everyone else who has ever written a treaty. I used the phrase because everyone else did and I assumed it actually meant something. But if you think about it for a moment, you'll see that it doesn't mean anything.

In the context of an agreement between alliances, the Sovereignty Clause is unnecessarily redundant.*

--------------------------------------------------------------

* - See what I did there?

 Share

16 Comments


Recommended Comments

I've written a number of treaties and have never used this article. In fact, aside from minor wording changes, a couple clauses here and there, and the difference between mutual and optional treaties, they've been mostly the same since I wrote the Invicta/IAA MDoAP.

What do I win?

Link to comment

I suspect it has an origin/rationale that is lost to history. Perhaps in the past their were monstrous, oppressive alliances that used FA as a weapon against underlings...

Or maybe the phrase was a precursor to the "oA" concept, and has simply been regurgitated mindlessly because it sounds cool, and because all treaties are 90% boilerplate anyway. I can only tell them apart by the "clever" name at the top and the signatures at the bottom. The middle is largely irrelevant.

Or it could be any number of other reasons, I suppose. But these things tend to get created for a reason, then echoed endlessly.

-Craig

Link to comment

I guess it's necessary to keep alliances from being a puppet to their allies. The signatures at the bottom could just be them signing away their sovereignty, like how a contract selling your soul would need your signature. It was probably some check to keep people from using an ODAP to control an alliance.

Link to comment

This probably falls under the guise of "The forms must be obeyed". Perhaps it lends legitimacy by leaning on history. Either way, I can't disagree with the stupidity of the continued inclusion.

Link to comment

It's a justification to cancel treaties, the breaching of the sovereignty clause. While it's implicit alliances are both sovereign, an interference from either on the other's sovereignty can be used as suitable excuse and labeled as treaty breaching.

Usual interferences on sovereignties mean either reparations or war.

Link to comment

It's a justification to cancel treaties, the breaching of the sovereignty clause. While it's implicit alliances are both sovereign, an interference from either on the other's sovereignty can be used as suitable excuse and labeled as treaty breaching.

Usual interferences on sovereignties mean either reparations or war.

Nobody would actually do that, because it's such a broad term to try to cancel on. What does it really mean? Asking for an ally's warchests? Asking for their help with a war? Asking them to not enter the war on the opposite side? Asking them not to sign treaties with certain people?

It's always been seen as a valid justification to cancel a treaty for those reasons.

Link to comment

It's a justification to cancel treaties, the breaching of the sovereignty clause. While it's implicit alliances are both sovereign, an interference from either on the other's sovereignty can be used as suitable excuse and labeled as treaty breaching.Usual interferences on sovereignties mean either reparations or war.

Nobody would actually do that, because it's such a broad term to try to cancel on. What does it really mean? Asking for an ally's warchests? Asking for their help with a war? Asking them to not enter the war on the opposite side? Asking them not to sign treaties with certain people?

It's always been seen as a valid justification to cancel a treaty for those reasons.

The reason treaties exist is to give form to common conventions. It is common convention that subordinating an ally by trying to force them into something they do not wish (without legal justification, anyways) is a reason to cancel, and it is for that reason it was put into treaties, just as all other terms of treaties are. The reason why it doesn't make sense to include is because this should be obvious with or without a treaty as merely the way all alliances operate, rather than simply between those who call each other allies.

Link to comment

It makes me cringe, too. I think it's just become so standard that to not include it might seem even more odd to some people.

I think the same thing about every other PIAT-type clause that shows up in an MDP. If your defense partner is not sharing crucial intel, not aiding when you need them to, or even (lol) attacking you, then just cancel the damn treaty.

Link to comment

To be honest, next treaty I write up, instead of a sovereignty clause I'll write a clause that is contained in on sentence: "If we don't like you anymore, the treaty is canceled." Pretty much sums up the point of a sovereignty clause that people cite for cancellation reasons anyways.

Link to comment

It makes perfect sense because irl there are concerns with sovereignty when a nation enters into a treaty. When CN started, many of those norms were carried over (to the extent that there were NAPs and ToAs, which have almost no applicability within the realm of a game, but make sense irl). As time has gone on, we've realised that treaties do not infringe on sovereignty but because we copy and paste old treaties the clauses stick.

Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...