|n.||1.||A usage, among diplomats, of rotation in precedence among representatives of equal rank, sometimes determined by lot and at other times in regular order. The practice obtains in the signing of treaties and conventions between nations.|
ALTERNAT. The name of a usage among diplomatists by which the rank and places of different powers, who have the same rights and pretensions to precedence, are changed from time to time, either in a certain regular order, or one determined by lot. In drawing up treaties and conventions, for example, it is the usage of certain powers to alternate, both in the preamble and the signatures, so that each power occupies, in the copy intended to be delivered to it, the first place. Wheat. Intern. Law, pt. 2, c. 3, Sec. 4..