As all of you international law experts out there know far better than I do, Article 30(3) of the VCLT states:
3. When all the parties to the earlier treaty are parties also to the later treaty but the earlier treaty is not terminated or suspended in operation under article 59, the earlier treaty applies only to the extent that its provisions are compatible with those of the later treaty.
So this provision gives priority to a later treaty over an earlier treaty on the same subject.
I'm wondering, though, whether this approach really makes sense when thinking about treaties that operate through an organization that continues on over time. It may be that some treaties are just signed and applied (or not applied), with no administration or implementation. But others have a functioning governing structure, and regularly scheduled meetings, processes for decisions and amendments, modifications to rights and obligations, etc. They are not static. In the context of such treaties, can we really give them a date that is fixed in time? Or are they living organisms that are more accurately described as "current treaties"?
Any thoughts from readers?
And yes, I'm thinking here of the WTO being given a date of January 1, 1995, which seems strange to me given all that has happened at the WTO -- over a hundred Appellate Body reports! -- since then.