Treaties resources

Treaties resources in the United States

Multilaterals Project (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy)

Extensive Collection of Multilateral Treaties organized by Subject and Date of Signature. Covers Atmosphere and Space; Flora and Fauna-Biodiversity; Cultural Protection; Diplomatic Relations; General; Human Rights; Marine and Coastal; Other Environmental; Trade and Commercial Relations; War and Arms Control; Gulf Area Border. Also contains List of Treaty Secretariats with Known Internet Servers; Other International Law Collections; Miscellaneous Historical Documents. The text files are searchable.

Diplomatic and International Affairs Hypertext Information System (Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, Malta)

Extensive Collection of Political and Legal Documents on the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership Process and Mediterranean Affairs in general. Includes Treaties; U.N. Resolutions; I.C.J. and Other Decisions; Various Materials. Searchable by Topic, Name, Date and Other Parameters.

United Nations Treaty Collection

United Nations Treaty Series and Multilateral Treaties deposited with the Secretary-General. Includes Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General and Reservations. Free Access to this Important Resource until the Annual Subscription is fixed.

Treaties and International Agreements Materials

Official Sources of Treaties and Related Documents: United States a Party to the Treaty

  •  United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST): Official State Department publication of U.S. treaty texts, post-ratification, from 1950-date.
  • Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS): Official, serial publication of U.S. treaties, post-ratification, in slip form (consecutively numbered pamphlets). Slip treaties are discarded after bound UST volume becomes available.
  • Statutes at Large: Retrospective source of U.S. treaties, post-ratification. This was official U.S. source until 1950, when TIAS and UST systems were implemented. Volume 64, pt. 3, contains a list of all treaties appearing in Statutes at Large; Volume 7 contains a collection of Indian treaties from 1778-1842; volume 8 contains a compilation of U.S. Treaties
    covering 1778-1845; volume 18 contains a compilation of treaties in force as of 1873.
  • Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949: Compiled by Charles I. Bevans, contains the English text of all U.S. treaties and agreements published in Statutes at Large (which remains the authoritative source), covering 1776-1949. First four volumes contain multilaterals; next eight volumes contain
    bilaterals; volume 13 contains.
  • U. S. Department of State Dispatch: Contained newly ratified treaties, legislative history documents, and other secondary information. Published weekly, 1990-1999, it served to supplement Treaties in Force (see Treaty Indexes section below). Its “Current Treaty Actions” section is available on the Web from 1997-1999 at state.gov/www/publications/dispatch/index.html. Since all speeches, briefings, and
    testimony from State Department officials and the current U.S. treaty actions are now available on the web site at state.gov upon release, this publication ended with the December 1999 issue and Index.
  • Department of State Bulletin: Published monthly, 1939-1977, and weekly 1978-1989. Was precursor to and contains same information as U. S. Department of State Dispatch.
  • Treaty Documents: Slip documents containing text of treaties as transmitted to Senate for advice and consent, pre-ratification, together with related correspondence from the President and Secretary of State. Good source of legislative history. These documents were called Executive Documents prior to 1981. These documents were comprehensively
    reprinted in the CIS Microfiche Library (see section on unofficial treaty sources below). Selective reprints also appear in International Legal Materials, U.S. Department of State Dispatch, U.S. Department of State Bulletin, and United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) (see section on selective treaty reprints below).
  • Executive Documents: Precursor to and containing same information as Treaty Documents.
  • Executive Reports: Slip documents containing official recommendations of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; single most authoritative source for legislative history and text clarification (not to be confused with Executive Documents discussed above). After 1970, these documents were comprehensively reprinted in the CIS Microfiche Library (see section on unofficial sources below). Selective reprints also appear in International
    Legal Materials, U.S. Department of State Dispatch, U.S. Department of State Bulletin, and United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN).
  • Congressional Record: Source of legislative history (Senate floor debate), 1873-date; look under the subject heading “Treaties” in its Index. Was preceded by the Congressional Globe (1833-1873).
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents: Publishes treaty proclamations by the President, 1965-date (source of legislative history). Online through WSU licensed database, ProQuest, since 1992; also at GPO web site since 1993, at gpoaccess.gov/wcomp.

Official Sources of Treaties and Related Documents: United States Not Necessarily a Party to the Treaty

  • United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS): Contains both multilateral and bilateral treaties of members, including U.S., as well as some non-member nations from 1946-date. Problems include significant publication delays (more than ten years) following ratification. Indexed
    initially every 100 volumes, now indexed every 50 volumes, with additional indexing delay of up to five  years following publication. This is a continuation of League of Nations Treaty Series (LNTS).
  • League of Nations Treaty Series (LNTS)/Recueil des Traites: Contains treaties of members, including U.S. that were registered with the League of Nations or are between League members and non-members from 1920-1946. Nine volume, non-cumulative index.
  • United Nations Chronicle: Published by the U.N. Dept. of Public Information, its “Conventions and Agreements” section can be used to supplement Multilateral
    Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (see Section III. E. below). Published monthly, 1964-1986; published quarterly 1986-date. Print available for 1996-2002; online through WSU licensed database, ProQuest, since 1988; also online since 1997 at U.N. web site,
    http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle.

Unofficial Sources of Treaties and Related Documents

  • Hein’s United States Treaties and Other International Agreements – Current: Service  Microfiche collection intended to provide full text of current, still unreleased
    U.S. treaties and international agreements, post-ratification; 1990-date.
  • TIARA: U.S. Treaties Researcher: Web based database of full-text U.S. treaties 1783-date,
    plus Senate Treaty documents from 96-1 through the current Congress, and the U.S. Department of State documents from DOS 86-1 to the present. Accompanied by the TIARA U.S. treaties index.
  • WESTLAW (USTREATIES) covers U.S. treaties, post-ratification, from 1979-date; Senate treaty
    documents from the 103rd Congress, State Department documents from No. 90-1, and “Case-Zablocki Act” documents from 1990.
  • Consolidated Treaty Series: Includes treaties from 1648-1920 (before League of Nations Treaty Series began). Arranged chronologically; ten-volume index, which, unfortunately,
    includes no subject index.
  • CIS Senate Executive Documents and Reports: Includes documents and reports issued from 1817-1969, but not published in The United States Congressional Serial Set. Contains text of treaties as transmitted to Senate for advice and consent, preratification, together with related correspondence from the President and Secretary of State. Good source of legislative history.
  • CIS Microfiche Library: Includes all Congressional committee hearings, prints, House and Senate Reports, House and Senate Documents and U.S. treaty documents; 1970-date. Indexed by LexisNexis Congressional.

Indices of Treaties & Documents (with Current Status Information)

  • Treaties in Force: Official index of U.S. treaties published annually by U.S. Department of State. Lists treaties considered to be in force as of January 1st. Part I lists bilateral agreements under name of country and subdivided by subject; part II lists multilateral
    agreements by subject. Includes citations to Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949, Statutes at Large, League of Nations Treaty Series, TIAS, UST and United Nations Treaty Series. Supplement by consulting U. S. Department of State Dispatch. Recent issues available online at: state.gov/s/l/c8455.htm.
  • Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General: Annual United Nations publication that provides information on current status of treaties (to which the U.S. may
    or may not be a party) in respect of which the Secretary-General performs depositary functions. Provides references to the location of texts. Volumes are arranged by subject and entries include effective date, signatories, UNTS citation and any declarations or reservations from each signatory. Covers 1981-date.
  • Supplemented monthly by Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered or Filed and Recorded with the Secretariat. Can also be supplemented by United Nations Chronicle (see above).

Indices of Treaties & Documents (Without Current Status Information)

  • Current Treaty Index: A commercially published index of slip form U.S. treaties, post-ratification, that have a TIAS number but do not yet have a UST number.
  • United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990 Consolidation: A commercially published index of U.S. treaties, post-ratification. Supplement volumes bring up to date.
  • Related to Current Treaty Index, this title replaced UST Cumulative Indexing Service.
  • LexisNexis Congressional Database: Indexes U.S. treaty documents; 1970-date. Good for finding legislative history.
  • CIS Index to US Senate Executive Documents & Reports: Provides chronological bibliography of these legislative history materials from 1817 to 1969.
  • AccessUN: Web-based index to United Nations documents pertaining to and including bilateral and multilateral treaties printed in the United Nations Treaty Series (U.S. may or may not be a party). This is a good source of travaux preparatoires (see section on legislative history below). The treaty-related documents indexed by this database are also
    available in the Neef Law Library (see separate handout of the Neef U.N. Documents Collection).
  • World Treaty Index: Commercially published, five vol. index of treaties (to which the U.S. is not necessarily a party) from 1900-1980, including those contained in UNTS and LNTS as well as 22,000 others not contained in those series. A few supplements covering additional
    years are also available.

Selective Treaty Document Reprints, Treaty News & Analysis; Judicial Interpretation

    • International Legal Materials: Published bi-monthly by the American Society of International Law, reprints executive and legislative documents, judicial decisions and text of major U.S. treaties and other documents from 1962-date. Sometimes includes treaties pre-signing. The International Legal Materials Cumulative Index (August 1962-date) is available through WESTLAW (ASIL).
      Full-text coverage of the journal itself is available from 1962-date through HeinOnLine; from 1980-date through WESTLAW (ILM) and from 1975-date through LEXIS (INTLAW; ILM).
    • American Journal of International Law [Law Library Periodicals; Second Level]. A leading academic journal published by the American Society of International Law, its quarterly feature, “Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law,” supplements the State Department’s Digest of United States Practice in International Law. It is also a source of treaty interpretation and legislative history from 1907-date. Full-text coverage of the journal itself is available from 1907-date through HeinOnLine
      and JSTOR; from 1980-date through the LEXIS (INTLAW; AJIL), and from 1982-date through WESTLAW (AMJIL).
    • The International Lawyer: Another leading academic journal published by the ABA. Coverage of U.S. treaty news and analysis from 1966-date. Full-text coverage from 1981-date is available through the LEXIS (INTLAW; INTLAW) and WESTLAW (INTLLAW).
    • WESTLAW (ASIL) provides selected coverage of various American Society of International Law publications including International Legal Materials (1980-date), International Legal Materials Cumulative Index (August 1962-date), and American Journal of International Law (1982-date).
    • LEXIS (INTLAW; ASIL) provides selected coverage of various American Society of International Law publications including the International Legal Materials (1975-date), the American Journal of International Law (1980-date), and Basic Documents of International Economic Law (vols. 1 & 2).
    • United States Code Service (USCS): Selectively published, important U.S. treaties, post-ratification, may be found in the “International Agreements” volume of this set. Index
      in back of that volume.
    • United States Code, Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN): Selectively reprints U.S. treaty legislative history. Library has 1944-date.

Application of Treaties by Executive and Judiciary Branches

  • United States Code Annotated (USCA): Annotations of interpretive court decisions are included where treaties related directly to statutory provisions; located directly after
    the relevant statutory provision. Consult general index for subject matter.
  • United States Code Service (USCS): Set contains a separate volume, “Notes to Uncodified Law and Treaties,” that provides annotations of interpretive court decisions are included. Separate index in back of volume.
  • American International Law Cases: Reprints federal and state court decisions since 1783.
  • International Law Reports: Annual digest and report of public international law cases; reprints selected decisions 1919-date.
  • WESTLAW (FINT-CS) provides on-line access to relevant judicial decisions from 1789.

Sources of Treaty Travaux Preparatoires [Legislative History]

  • AccessUN: Indexes bilateral and multilateral treaties printed in the United Nations Treaty Series and articles appearing in U.N. periodicals. This is a good source of travaux preparatoires of treaties. The treaty-related documents indexed here are available in the Neef Law Library (see separate handout of the Neef U.N. Documents Collection).
  • LegalTrac: Web-based index to international journal articles; do a “Keyword” search for “travaux preparatoires.”

Other

    • Treaties (Saarbruecken): U.S. House of Representatives. Very Extensive List of Treaty Links
    • Treaties (Wiretap): The Avalon Project (Yale Law School).  Pre 18th. Century, 18th. Century, 19th. Century and 20th. Century Documents in Law, Economics, Politics and Government. Twentieth Century Documents include Balfour Declaration; Israel’s Declaration of Independence; European Parliament Tibet Resolution 1992; Hamas Covenant 1988; Kellogg-Briand Pact; League of Nations Covenant; NATO Treaty; Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941; Nuremberg War Crimes Trial; Palestinian National Charter 1968; Tonkin Gulf Incident 1964; U2 Incident; United Nations Charter; World War II Documents
    • Australian Treaty Series (DFAT/AustLII): Treaty List Index; Full Text Treaties (Searchable); Current Treaty Action; Senate Committee Report on Power to Make Treaties; Links.
    • South African Cyber Treaty Series (Pronto): Full Text of South African Treaties; Recent Treaty Activity; Parties.
    • KONTERM(Universiy of Vienna/Erich Schweighofer): Research Project for Analysis and Search for Selected Treaties and Documents. Includes Treaties; State Practice in Diplomatic Relations; State Practice re Treaties; Reservations to Human Rights Treaties

Treaties resources: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Treaties resources. This part provides references, in relation to Treaties resources, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Treaties resources by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Treaties resources and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Treaties resources or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Treaties resources and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Treaties resources. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Treaties resources should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Treaties resources when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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