On August 7, during its ninety-seventh regular session, the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI) approved
Guidelines on Binding and Non-Binding Agreements, which it then submitted to the OAS General Assembly for consideration. The CJI recognizes that there are currently many types of non-traditional international agreements, including non-binding agreements between states, as well as binding and non-binding agreements concluded by government ministries and subnational territorial units. It considers, therefore, that the Guidelines on Binding and Non-Binding Agreements could help countries to have greater clarity about these various sorts of agreement. In that regard, the Guidelines offer a concrete and detailed set of definitions, points of understanding, and best practices that OAS member states might consider using in the negotiation, adoption, or implementation of different types of international agreements, as well as in their interaction with the various actors involved (States, government entities, and territorial units), which would provide greater knowledge in these areas and lower the risk of future difficulties with other states in the region and around the world.
The CJI also considered the fifth and final report on the subject “International Law and State Cyber Operations.” Emphasizing the need to provide OAS member states with clear parameters on the application of international law to cyberspace—and thus limit the risks of unintended escalation or conflict, based on the proposals contained in that report, the CJI recommended that the OAS General Assembly support the applicability of international law to state operations in cyberspace through a declaration included in the text of a
resolution adopted by the CJI. The topic will remain on the CJI agenda with a scope broader than international law issues relating to international peace and security, so that other international regimes can be included.
In both cases, the CJI requested the Department of International Law of the OAS Secretariat for Legal Affairs, in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the CJI, to promote and disseminate the Inter-American Juridical Committee’s Guidelines on Binding and Non-Binding Agreements as widely as possible and to undertake training activities on the application of international law to cyberspace.
The CJI serves as the advisory body of the OAS on juridical matters and is composed of eleven jurists, who are nationals of member states and elected for a term of four years.
Guidelines on Binding and Non-Binding Agreements
are contained in the document “Binding and
Non-Binding Agreements: Final Report,” which can
be accessed online at document
CJI/doc.614/20rev. 1 corr. 1.
“International Law and State Cyber Operations”
can be consulted at
CJI/RES. 260 (XCVII-O/20). The fifth report
is available online at
For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the OAS – Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Juridical Committee +1 202 370 0743.