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Memorandum Of Understanding: A Detailed Overview


Task: Provide a brief note on the Memorandum of understanding.


Definition of Memorandum of Understanding
It is the bilateral or multilateral accord between different parties that is recorded in the document of Memorandum of Understanding. The uniform and common status of action are determined in between the multiple parties engaged in accordance via Memorandum of Understanding. In the instance of the Memorandum of Understanding, the engaged parties are not levied with legal restrictions, and hence the document could not be challenged before a court any judiciary authority. In other terms, the Memorandum of understanding could be specified as the agreement between gentlemen.

Memorandum of Understanding

A clear platform of appreciation is decided on how the intended activity or relation would be carried out between the parties is mentioned within the Memorandum of Understanding (Currier et al., 2016). The specific role and the compensation from withdrawing it are specifically within the document.

The below-mentioned parameters should be ensured within the Memorandum of Understanding.

  • Clearly recognizing the engaged parties.
  • The major objective of the agreement and implied intention throughout the period.
  • A small brief description of the details of the agreement
  • The presentation should be signed by all the engaged parties.

The scope of the Memorandum of understanding is very high in the international public platform. You could observe the frequent occurrence of it in the international political scenario. When entering into the international treaties, the implication of a memorandum of understanding would award the parties with practical advantages (Murthy, 1990). The parameter of confidentiality should be preserved when the targeted issues are of a sensitive nature. However, the parameter of confidentiality could not be ensured in the case of a political treaty.

The factors that make a Memorandum of Understanding different from an Agreement
The parameters of legal liabilities are endowed in the issues mentioned under a Memorandum of Understanding. It is the same factor that primarily discerns a contract from that of an MOU. Since the content of the Memorandum of Understanding is not legally implacable, the language in it could be observed as a little convoluted and misleading. A memorandum of understanding could not be stated as a legal contract before the jury (Badawy, 2010). Though the engaged parties could ask for the retrieval or compensation from the activities under MOU, it could not be enforced. The parties engaged in the Memorandum of Understanding could not take an adverse stance against each other for the breach of contract.

Memorandum of Understanding

The MOU document could act as a substitute for the legal document in some instances. Though the provisions mentioned under the MOU are not legally binding, they are more rigid and effective in the practical existence of gentleman's agreement. In the instance of private law, the content described under the Memorandum of Understanding could be held similar and analogous to the letter of intent. It is the intention to display the interest regarding the parties to take part in a particular activity that is expressed within the document of the letter of intent. It is also not legally binding under the provisions of law.

The terms mentioned under an agreement are fairly different, and the binding agreement and acceptance of it should be clearly mentioned for its validity. If any of the engaged parties committed a breach of agreement or violation of terms, they would be trialled before the court.

The scope of Memorandum of understanding in an international context.
If observed the international contracts, the occurrence of the Memorandum of Understanding could be frequently observed. Many practical benefits could be attained from the Memorandum of Understanding when compared to the treaties. The treaties between the parties could not be held confidential while the Memorandum of Understanding could be easily held as the secret to save the exclusivity over the sensitive information (Mirza et al., 2016). The non-compliance to the convoluted international laws are other perks of the MoU since there would not be a third party exercising the authority over it. The approval of the legislature is not required for many countries to enter into an MoU.

The advancements could be done in a much timely and punctual manner by the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding rather than in the case of official treaties. There are no lengthy negotiations specified within the MoU, and hence the conventions within it are far flexible to be changed as per the requirement. The particular facility would turn out to be very useful rather than a multilateral situation arises. It is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding that most of the international aviation agreements are signed.


  • The MoU in-between Cuba and the USA regarding Hijacking of Aircraft, Vessels, and other related vessels. This particular document had criminalized the act of hijacking in the judiciary limit of both countries.
  • The existence of free trade agreements in between the countries of New Zealand, The People’s Republic of China, Singapore by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Cooperation in 2008 (Ossom, 2016).
  • The Memorandum of agreement between the countries of GAM and Indonesia as a part of the Aceh peace process on 15th August 2005.
  • The Oil for Food program was put forward by the United Nations in 1995. It was made effective by signing the international Memorandum of understanding that consequentially allowed Iraq to supply crude help for the humanitarian assistance provided by them (Genachowski, 2010).

Way to write a Memorandum of Understanding
There is no particular format to write an appropriate memorandum of understanding since each one of them deals with different and unique issues. The Memorandum of understanding could be written in the plain format as is done in the case of a simple email. The same content would get a bit complex if it is a joint venture, and multiple parties are engaged within it. In such cases, it should be drafted by providing each precise detail regarding the contract or agreement.

Currier, B. D., Mirza, R., & Williamson, P. O. (2016). Memorandum of Understanding Workshop: Creating a Process for Successful Digital Collaboration.

Murthy, K. R. S. (1990). MOU: More Memorandum than understanding. Economic and Political Weekly, M59-M66.

Badawy, T. (2010). The Memorandum of Understanding between Egypt and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: problems and recommendations.

Mirza, R., Currier, B., & Ossom Williamson, P. (2016). Memorandum of Understanding Workbook, Version 1.0.

Genachowski, J. (2010). 445 12th Street, SW Washington, DC 20554 RE: MB Docket 10-56 Dear Chairman Genachowski: We write to bring to your attention the recent Memorandum of Understanding.

Ossom Williamson, P. (2016). Memorandum of Understanding for Systematic Reviews.


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