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Agreement ( English accord, treaty ) is in various areas of law a synonym for a contract mostly between states or other legal subjects .


The term is used primarily in international law , constitutional law and administrative law . In the 16th and 17th centuries it was used to describe agreements on repayments and reimbursements in the sense of "(get away) from a (financial) obligation / debt (get away)". The shift in meaning to today's content took place in the 18th century, since then the legal term has been used in the sense of “contract, agreement”.

Today the term is used instead of a convention or convention . An agreement is therefore an arrangement between two or more contracting parties . If only the basics are regulated and details remain open, one speaks of a framework agreement , analogous to the framework agreement . There are bilateral agreements between two countries (such as extradition agreements ) and multilateral agreements (“collective agreements ”) between three or more countries (such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services or the Multilateral Investment Agreement, which never came into force ).

international law

In terms of international law , “agreement” is often used imprecisely as a synonym for the term international treaty .

In a narrower sense, in contrast to the international treaty, international agreements are concluded between governments or government representatives ( administrative agreements ) and not ratified by parliaments . Examples of international agreements in this sense are the Munich Agreement , the Wanfried Agreement or the Barber-Lyashchenko Agreement . The Potsdam Agreement is also not classified as a treaty under international law.


Often, agreements are named after the place in which they were concluded, such as the Cotonou Agreement , the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Trademarks or the Warsaw Agreement on International Air Transport .

In German constitutional law, administrative agreements are an international treaty between states or other regional authorities and serve to regulate international administration, for example in the case of cultural agreements .

In Germany, the term was used in banking for agreements between credit institutions (or their banking associations ), in particular to regulate detailed questions in the processing of payment transactions ( e.g. direct debit agreements ).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Agreement  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerhard Köbler : Legal dictionary. For study and training. 17th edition, Verlag Franz Vahlen, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-8006-58817 , keyword agreement .
  2. Friedrich Kluge , Etymological Dictionary of the German Language , 24th edition 2002, Lemma Agreement , p. 7.
  3. Jost Delbrück / Rüdiger Wolfrum (eds.): The forms of action under international law. The content of the international community . Walter de Gruyter, 2013, ISBN 978-3-11-090696-7 , p. 541-542 .
  4. Carl Creifelds , Creifelds Legal Dictionary , 2000, p. 1481.
  5. Guenter Wierichs / Stefan Smets, Gabler Kompakt-Lexikon Bank und Börse , 2001, p. 1 f.