The Duck of Minerva

Worst. Treaty. Name. Ever.

20 May 2010

I’m trying to finish up a paper on the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). But that of course it not the treaty’s full name. No – instead it is:

The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects

Has there ever been a treaty with a worse or more awkward name? Apparently there was some issue as to the name during negotiations on weapons in the 1970s. A Canadian Delegate, William J. Fenwick, suggested an alternate name/acronym: “Causes Unnecessary Suffering [or] Has Indiscriminate Effects” or CUSHIE. Another (American) delegate to the CCW talks notes that “His somewhat facetious recommendation did not meet with success.”

The ICTR Statute has probably one of the longest names I’ve ever seen:

Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States, between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994

Long – but it doesn’t seem to quite get to the opacity of the full CCW name. If nothing else, the ICTR name is pretty specific.

Can readers suggest a treaty with a worse name? I’m not sure I can give prizes – but I’ll give you glory… via Twitter…. Amongst my 28 followers…