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International and Foreign Law

Secondary Sources

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law  (access restricted to Law affiliates)
The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law is an Oxford Public International Law publication. It has detailed descriptions of hundreds of public international law topics.

National Treaty Law and Practice (Duncan Hollis et al., 2005)
Each chapter in this online book provides an overview of a country’s treaty practice. Chapter 20 covers the United States.

The Oxford Guide to Treaties (Duncan Hollis ed., 2020)
This print collection details the procedures of negotiating, enacting, and enforcing or avoiding international treaty obligations. It introduces parties empowered to make treaties and the NGOs that can influence negotiations; discusses application of treaties, including the rules for handling conflicting treaty obligations; and it details rules of treaty interpretation.

Treaties and Other International Agreements: The Role of the United States Senate
This 448-page study was prepared for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2001.

U.S. Treaty Research: CALI
This CALI lesson provides an understanding of the language, mechanics, and process of conducting research of U.S. treaties: the major sources of treaty texts (both official and unofficial), major indexes and finding tools, resources for updating treaties, and a basic strategy for treaty research.


U.S. Treaties in Force
U.S. Treaties in Force is an annual State Department publication that lists international agreements that are currently in force in the United States as of January 1 of a given year. It is arranged into two sections, bilateral treaties and multilateral treaties. The bilateral section is arranged by country and within each country, broad subject headings. The multilateral section is arranged by subject. It is available on the State Department’s web siteHeinOnline (on campus or remote access with ASUIRTE) and Westlaw (Westlaw password required).

HeinOnline: U.S. Treaty Index (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
U.S. treaties are searchable by keyword, title, country name, and more. Searches may be limited to treaties currently in force.

HeinOnline: A Guide to the United States Treaties in Force (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
This annual publication provides additional access points for locating U.S. treaties. Treaties are indexed numerically, by country, by subject, and chronologically.

HeinOnline: Current Treaty Index (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
The Current Treaty Index indexes U.S. treaties that are currently in force and those that are not. Treaties are indexed numerically, geographically, by subject, by country, and chronologically

If you have a citation to a U.S. treaty, you can retrieve its full text using one of the following sources:

UST - United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.) 1950-1984 (HeinOnline - available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

TIAS - Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.), 1981-current (HeinOnline - available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

TIAS Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.), 1981-current from the State Department’s web site

KAV -  KAV Agreements (HeinOnline - available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

STAT. -  Statutes at Large (Stat.) until 1950 (HeinOnline available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)

UNTS United Nations Treaty Series from the United Nations Treaty Database

United Nations Treaty Database
The United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS) is a collection of treaties and international agreements that have been registered with the United Nations and published by the Secretariat since 1946. The series includes the texts of treaties in their authentic language(s), along with translations into English and French. This site also includes the Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General, which provides status information on more than 500 multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

HeinOnline: League of Nations Treaty Series (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
1920-1945 treaties deposited with the League of Nations.

HeinOnline: World Treaty Library (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
The HeinOnline World Treaty Library brings together over 160,000 treaty records from countries around the world. Coverage is 1648 to the present. Treaties can be searched by keyword, country, treaty number, treaty type, party, and subject.

ECOLEX provides access to environmental treaties, national legislation, and national and international judicial decisions. This site is operated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the UN Environment Programme.

Hague Conference of Private International Law
The Hague Conference of Private International Law is an inter-governmental organization with approximately 70 member states. One of its tasks is developing multilateral agreements dealing with private international law. The organizations website has the text of all Hague conventions.

(Humanitarian) Treaties and Customary Law
This site by the International Committee of the Red Cross has the text of international humanitarian law treaties, commentaries on the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, a list of signatories, and a national implementation database that has documents and commentary regarding the implementation of international humanitarian law at the national level.

United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
UNCITRAL assists in the development and harmonization of the law of international trade, which includes drafting international instruments dealing with commercial law.

Locating Background Information on U.S. Treaties

Treaties are often ambiguous and interpretations may differ. To help clarify what the intent is, researchers can do a “legislative history” of an “advice and consent” treaty (those international agreements requiring the advice and consent of the Senate). Below is a list of sources that can be consulted.

Senate Treaty Documents
Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of the proposed treaty, a statement from the President and Secretary of State, and other supporting documentation.
GovInfo (1995-present) (1995-present)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings
Hearings on a treaty will be held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
GovInfo (1995-present)

Senate Executive Reports
After the Foreign Relations Committee has studied and held hearings on a treaty, they issue a Senate Executive Report, which contains the Committee's analysis and recommendations for the proposed treaty. The document also contains the text of the treaty and any amendments or reservations that the committee has recommended.
GovInfo (1995-present)

Congressional Record
After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reports on the treaty, the treaty goes to the Senate for debate and an approval vote. The Congressional Record will contain the Senate proceedings of the debate and may contain the text of the proposed treaty. If an amendment or reservation is recommended during the debate, the text of the change is likely to appear.
HeinOnline 1789-present
GovInfo (1994–present)