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FalloutNuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture$
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Grégoire Mallard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226157894

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226157924.001.0001

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Opacity in Legal Interpretation

Opacity in Legal Interpretation

The Transatlantic Negotiations of the Euratom Treaty

(p.117) Five Opacity in Legal Interpretation

Grégoire Mallard

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 5 analyzes how opacity, which consists in interpreting differently the meaning of a treaty rule in public and in private, is produced, and how it works in treaty negotiations. It takes the negotiations of the Euratom Treaty and the U.S.-Euratom Treaty in the late 1950s as a case study. It shows how opacity postponed controversies (mostly in France and in the U.S.) until after the entry into force of the treaty. Indeed, publicly, Euratom was presented as a nonproliferation treaty: in the U.S., it was mostly seen as another instrument of Cold War politics, which ensured the U.S. dominance over nuclear affairs in Europe. But privately, Euratom Treaty negotiators interpreted key “nonproliferation” rules in a quite opposite way: in their interpretation, Euratom created the legal conditions for supranational nuclear proliferation from the U.S. to a united Europe. Opacity thus allowed the European diplomats gathered around Jean Monnet to postpone controversy over Euratom’s controversial rules of control until after the entry into force of this treaty instead of during the process of ratification.

Keywords:   opacity, public, private, Euratom, nuclear proliferation, Jean Monnet, Cold War

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