Why are international treaties and agreements so long (as in the length of the document itself)?



What makes these so lengthy? One example is [Maastricht Treaty](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maastricht_Treaty) (signed in 1992 that forms the basis of today’s European union) which is hundreds, if not thousands of pages long.

In: Other

Because everyone involved has lots and lots of “yeah, but *what if…*”s that need to be specifically addressed. Otherwise a situation could come up in the future that’s unclear, and that could become messy.

As the number of signatories grows, the number of “what if”s that need to be clarified grows, and the more specific they need to be.

Because humans are imperfect, and when they negotiate these things they’re trying to make them as clear as possible to avoid ambiguities and misunderstandings that can cause conflicts or loopholes that someone can exploit. And the best way to make them clear is to make them specific, and to make them specific you need to write out a lot of stuff.

Sort of like how early on in Russian history the law just said that “the first male in the ruler’s family becomes the heir to the crown”. Except they didn’t know if “first male” meant “son” or if it could apply to brothers or even uncles…. so it led to some power struggles when the ruler passed away. Writing out specific situations and ways to do things helps avoid crap like that.

It’s still inevitable because there are always still multiple ways to interpret things. But that’s usually why they have committees that are meant to resolve disagreements.

The Masstricht Treaty is very long because it is very complicated and contains hundreds and hundreds of little compromises and exceptions to rules.

Some treaties, like the [Japanese Instrument of Surrender](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Instrument_of_surrender_Japan2.jpg) that ended WW2 are *very* short.

Turns out when one party has all the leverage a document can be quit brief.

everyone will say shit like “legalese must be perfect”. But it is to hide corruption.

just like wars are so one group can profit (who do you think profit after the ” US” or “UK” secure oil somewhere? the tax payers?) Comercial treaties are the “soft” version of that.

In that sea of BS there is one tiny regulation that pretty much says “only bob’s business can profit for this multibillion port” but written to sound like a valid reason like “for something-certified corporations” , that usually are also named like so in another law for tax breaks for maximum efficiency.

I would imagine a lot of this as to do with the fact that in other legal jurisdictions you will have existing laws, precedent, codes and case law to which you can refer to, UCC in the US for example. This allows you to refer to this structure vs. spelling it out in the agreement itself.

When there isn’t prevailing law, you need to spell everything out.