Re: [LEAPSECS] Equitable estoppel

From: Poul-Henning Kamp <>
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 18:48:16 +0000

>If we regard UTC as
>a contract between the precision timing community and - well -
>everybody else, [...]

Regarding an intenational treaty as a contract is not only pointless,
it is downright silly.

International law is decided by governments, on the rather general
assumption that people have the governments they deserve.

Contracts on the other hand are bilateral agreements between
consensual partners of any kind, with the provisio that both
parties must sign of their own free will.

Should you doubt this point, let me remind you that the US Congress
had no ability to negotiate the contents in for instance the Geneva
or Warszawa conventions once they were agreed to internationally,
at that stage it is a take it or leave it thing.

More to the point, none of the persons to which these two treaties
directly applied had any say in their construction, but through
their governments representative at the respective drafting sessions.

But you could conceiveably argue the point, that ITU-R only controls
time, as far as it pertains to telecommunication and radio transmission
of time signals, and that each country is free to use another
timescale for civilian time.

Unfortunately, the Metre-Convention and the Longitude Conference
has nailed your left and right feet to the floor [1], so in practice
ITU-R gets to decide all time.


[1] Thus making the Warszawa Convention at lot less applicable.

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
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Received on Sun Dec 17 2006 - 10:58:55 PST

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