As two different types of international agreements, executive agreements and formal treaties have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other. In this article, we will explore the differences between an executive agreement and a formal treaty, their purposes, and the legal implications that come with them.
An executive agreement is a contract between two nations that is not submitted to the U.S. Senate for approval. It is a more informal agreement that can be used to handle matters that are not within the domain of a formal treaty. Executive agreements generally have a lower profile and are shorter in duration than formal treaties. They are often created to handle issues that do not require the same level of legal or political scrutiny as a formal treaty.
The use of executive agreements has increased over time, as they allow the U.S. government to expedite the negotiation process. Typically, executive agreements are used for issues such as trade, technical cooperation, and defense. The president has the power to enter into executive agreements without the approval of Congress.
A formal treaty is an international agreement between two or more countries that is ratified by the U.S. Senate. Formal treaties are more significant than executive agreements because they are legally binding and carry more weight. Formal treaties are created to address broader issues that are of greater importance and require a higher level of international cooperation.
The process of creating a formal treaty is more complex than an executive agreement. A formal treaty must be negotiated, drafted, and approved by both countries’ legal systems, including the U.S. Senate. Only once it has been ratified by the Senate does a formal treaty become legally binding.
The difference between the legal implications of executive agreements and formal treaties lies in the level of authority they hold. Formal treaties are considered the supreme law of the land, meaning that they take precedence over state and federal law. This means that if there is a conflict between a formal treaty and a law, the treaty will take priority.
In contrast, executive agreements do not have the same level of legal authority and can be subject to challenge in the courts. While they are not considered the supreme law of the land, they do have the force of law. However, if a court deems an executive agreement to be in contradiction to U.S. law or the Constitution, it may be declared invalid.
In conclusion, executive agreements and formal treaties have distinct differences that set them apart from each other. While executive agreements are more informal and do not require Senate approval, formal treaties are legally binding and carry more weight. Understanding the differences between these two types of agreements is critical when it comes to the legal implications that they carry.