Filed Under: International Law

2 definitions found for this term.
Definitions are presented in the order source books were published (most recent first).

A state which has signed but not yet ratified a treaty. Signatories have an obligation not to defeat the object and purpose of a treaty until they make clear their intention not to become a party to it. Frequently used as synonymous with “party,” but this usage is misleading and should be avoided.


A state or other subject of international law that has expressed its agreement with the text of a treaty and a future intent to become bound by it; in contrast to a party to the treaty, a signatory is not presently bound to perform the treaty, although it is required to refrain from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty or its coming into force.

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