Meaning Of Secret Agreement

There are strong reasons why secret contracts are rare today. The first and most fundamental is the rise of democratic states, with principles of public accountability and certain powers of legislative oversight. Secret contracts are difficult to reconcile with these democratic procedures. The second reason is that, since entering the First World War, the United States has rejected the principle of secret agreements and inscribed its position in the peace agreements of both world wars. The decline of centralized foreign policy institutions, which have worked closely with a handful of political leaders, severely limits the use of secret treaties. Foreign ministries no longer have the same powers to compel states to form alliances, postpone those alliances, share conquered territories, and hide such critical commitments from public opinion. Colin Warbrick writes that in Britain, “the prerogative to negotiate and conclude contracts puts the government in a powerful position. It does not need to seek a negotiating mandate from Parliament and can keep its positions confidential until the conclusion of the negotiations. [39] The traditional rule in favor of the secrecy of negotiations is strained with values of transparency: Anne Peters writes that “the growing importance of multilateral treaties as global. The instruments call for a readjustment of the relative weight given to the values of discretion and confidentiality of diplomatic negotiations. . .

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