This article explains why rational states sometimes prefer to design their agreements so that they are less credible and therefore more easily violated. Unlike domestic law, where treaty violations are sanctioned by zero-sum payments from the party that break to the aggrieved party, penalties for violations of international agreements are not zero. To the extent that sanctions exist, they almost always represent a net loss to the parties. For example, a loss of reputation felt by the hurtful party brings little or no compensation to its opponent. States that enter into international agreements have several instruments to enhance the credibility of their commitments, including the ability to make the agreement a formal treaty and not a ”soft law”, to provide binding dispute resolution procedures and to put in place monitoring mechanisms. Each of these strategies – called design elements – increases the costs associated with breaching an agreement and thus the likelihood of compliance. However, even temporary familiarization with international agreements shows that states do not regularly incorporate these design elements into their agreements. Therefore, when entering into an agreement, the parties consider the possibility of an infringement and recognize that, if it takes place, the net loss will be greater for the parties if credibility-building measures are in place. In other words, the design elements offer an advantage in the form of greater compliance, but this increases the cost of a violation and the net cost to the parties.

In deciding what design elements to include, the parties must balance the benefits of increased compliance with the costs incurred in the event of an infringement. They can be connected simultaneously via one or all of the methods below. Access to the content of society newspapers varies according to titles. University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Public Law – Legal Theory Research Paper Series If you have access to a journal through a company or association affiliation, please consult your Company Journal, select an article to view it and follow the instructions in that field. Sign in here to access free tools such as favorites and notifications, or to access personal subscriptions. Contact us if you have trouble connecting. If you have access to the newspaper`s content through a university, library or employer, sign up here to subscribe to this free newspaper for more articles on the subject. 699 Exhibition BoulevardLos Angeles, CA 90089 USA . .

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