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International Law: Treaties

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FINDING AIDS FOR U.S. TREATIES

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 site, HeinOnline (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.

FULL-TEXT U.S. TREATY SOURCES

HeinOnline: United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.) 1950-1984 (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
United States Treaties and Other International Agreements is the official source for treaties ratified after 1949. Bound volumes contain the text of each treaty in all of the signatories' languages and list the important dates during the ratification process. It is available on HeinOnline.

HeinOnline: Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.), 1982-current (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
Prior to a treaty's appearance in U.S.T., they are issued as a slip treaty and receive a unique TIAS number. This is the first official publication of a treaty and is available on HeinOnline. 

HeinOnline: KAV Agreements (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
KAV numbers are a numbering system to assist in identifying agreements that have been entered into force but have not yet been published in U.S.T. or T.I.A.S. They are available on HeinOnline.

HeinOnline: Statutes at Large (Stat.) (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
Statutes at Large is the official source for U.S. treaties ratified prior to 1950. This HeinOnline page organizes treaties by country. Treaties are also available by Statutes at Large citation.

HeinOnline: Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776–1949 (Bevans) (available on campus and remotely with ASURITE)
More commonly referred to by its compiler's name, Bevans is an unofficial source for treaties ratified before 1950. It is available on HeinOnline.

OTHER FULL-TEXT SOURCES

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.

EISIL - Electronic Information System for International Law
EISIL, the Electronic Information System for International Law, is a site that organizes treaties by broad subject. The site is maintained by the American Society of International Law.

ECOLEX
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.

International Humanitarian Law Treaties
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.

Multilaterals Project
The Multilaterals Project, a project of The Fletcher School at Tufts University, makes the texts of international multilateral conventions and other instruments available online. The collection includes environmental agreements and treaties in the fields of human rights, commerce and trade, and laws of war and arms control, mostly dating 1945 to 2009.

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)
Congress.gov (1975-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)