Impartial, legally sound analysis of under which conditions state behaviour is lawful is vital for a sound understanding of international relations. Compliance questions have both transnational and national aspects.

On the international level, a compliance question involves asking whether an act by a government is compliant with its international undertakings in particular, or international law in general. On the national level, questions arise whether subjects are acting in compliance with both domestic and international rules and (if noncompliance is determined) whether states are accountable for their or their nationals' actions.

VERTIC is establishing a Compliance programme in 2016. It will undertake projects designed to assess the overall strength of compliance with international agreements. It will focus on agreements concerning: nuclear materials; biological weapons and materials; chemical weapons; conventional arms and cyber-weapons; and the environment.