Clausula Rebus Sic Stantibus Law and Legal Definition

Clausula rebus sic stantibus is a Latin phrase which means “things thus standing.” It is a legal doctrine in public international law which allows treaties to become inapplicable because of a fundamental change of circumstances. This is an exception to the general rule of rule of pacta sunt servanda (promises must be kept).Although clausula rebus sic stantibus is a part of customary international law, it is also provided in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.

Clausula rebus sic stantibus does not apply if the parties to a treaty had contemplated for the occurrence of the changed circumstance. It only relates to the changed circumstances that were never contemplated by the parties.