GUIDE TO UNITED STATES TREATIES & INTERNATIONAL ACCORDS IN PRINT

Francisco A. Avalos
Foreign and International Law Librarian

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.   Introduction

II.  List of Abbreviations Commonly Used in Treaty Research

III. Indexes to Treaties and Other International Accords

IV.  Sources for the Text of United States Treaties and Other International Accords

V.   Sources for the Interpretation of United States Treaties and Other International Accords

VI. General Legal Research Tools


INTRODUCTION

One of the primary sources for international law are treaties. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969) states that a treaty is "an international agreement concluded between two or more states, in written form, and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation." Treaties can be bilateral treaties or multilateral treaties. A bilateral treaty is a treaty between two sovereign nations. A multilateral treaty is a treaty of three or more sovereign nations. Treaties are also known as conventions, agreements, accords and protocols. The names imply different forms of treaties, but for the purpose of research the name attached to the treaty makes no difference. Treaties, conventions, etc., will be researched in the same manner regardless of the name attached to the agreement.

Treaties can be viewed as irregular journals when it comes to treaty research. As with journals, to find a particular treaty, an index is required. There are several indexes that can be used for particular treaties. I list several of these indexes in the second part of this bibliography. These indexes tend to be organized by treaty name, treaty subject and treaty number. In part II of this bibliography, I give the particulars of each index. These indexes will lead to treaty collections where the text of the particular treaties appear.

Treaty indexes will lead to the seven following treaty collections where the text of treaties are located:  Treaties and Other International Acts (TIAS); United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST); United States Statutes At Large (STAT); Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America (Bevans); Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers (Malloy). These seven treaty collections supplement and complement each other. Therefore, all treaties to which the United States is a signatory should be found in one of these seven treaty collections. But, because the Department of State has a backlog of unpublished treaties, the more recent treaties will not be found in these seven basic treaty collections. The most recent treaties can be found in private treaty publications such as International Legal Materials and special subject journals.

There are also collections of treaties on certain areas of the law, such as the International Environmental Law:  Basic Instruments and References, edited by Edith Brown Weiss, Paul C. Szasz and Daniel B. Magraw. This work is a collection on environmental treaties and related materials. This serves as a one-stop source for most all environmental treaties. There are also treaty collections in the areas of taxation, judicial cooperation, labor, criminal law, adoptions and other specialized areas of the law. It is well worth checking for these treaty collections before starting to look elsewhere. The big advantage of these specialized treaty collections is that most all of the documents required can be found in one source.

Another method of finding treaties is by the use of an index to legal periodical literature. Insert the name of the treaty in the key word search. All journal articles dealing with the particular treaty will show up. Locate one of the articles and the first time the treaty is mentioned in the text of the article, there will be a footnote which will cite to a source for the particular treaty.

List of Abbreviations and Names Related to Treaty Research

TIAS Treatises and Other International Acts
UST United States Treaties and Other International Agreements.
Stat. United States Statutes at Large
Bevan Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America:  1776-1949
Malloy Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols, and Agreements Between the United States of America and Other Powers
Miller Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America
TS Treaty Series
EAS Executive Agreements Series
WIKTOR Unperfected Treaties of the United States

Indexes to United States Treaties and Other International Accords

  1. Treaties in Force: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, 1999-.
    This is an annual index of bilateral and multilateral treaties to which the United States Government is a party. The cites give short annotations and references to the full text of the accord. The index is arranged by country and subject. This index will provide the most up-to-date information on United States treaties. This index only indexes treaties to which the United States is a party.
    LOCATION:  Government Documents Section, S 9.14:999.
  2. Guide to the United States Treaties in Force. Compiled by Igor I. Kavass and Adolf Sprudz.
    This is an annual index to bilateral and multilateral treaties of the United States. Part I consists of a numerical list of treaties in the following treaty series:  Treaty Series, Executive Agreements Series, Treaties and Other International Acts Series. Part I also has a subject index which allows you to find treaties by topic. Part II is divided into three subsections:  Numerical guide, chronological index and country index. Only multilateral treaties are covered in Part II. The numerical guide indexes the three series mentioned above.
    LOCATION:  JX 231 A 345.
  3. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements; Cumulative Index 1776-1949. Compiled by Igor I. Kavass and Mark A. Michael.
    This four volume set indexes treaties and other international accords covering the years 1776-1949 and cites to the following treaty collections:  Statutes at Large, Malloy, Miller, Bevans, Redmond and Catalog of Treaties. Volume I is arranged by treaty number, volume II is arranged chronologically, volume III is arranged by country and volume IV is arranged by subject.
    LOCATION:  JX 236.5 K38 1975.
  4. United States Treaties Cumulative Index, 1950-1970. Cumulative index to United States Treaties and Other International Agreements 1950-1970. This index covers volumes 1-21 of UST and TIAS Numbers 2010-7034. This index was compiled by Igor I. Kavass and Adolf Sprudzs.
    This four volume set updates entry 3 (See Above Entry) of this bibliography. The arrangement is the same as entry 3. There is also a supplementary index that covers years 1971-1975. For treaties after 1975, there is a loose-leaf cumulative index.This loose-leaf is updated as new UST volumes are published.
    LOCATION:  JX 236.5 K381 1973.
  5. Current Treaty Index. Compiled by Igor I. Kavass and Adolf Sprudzs.
    This is an annual cumulative index to United States slip treaties and accords. The arrangement is by TIAS number, date, country and subject. Slip treaties are treaties that have been ratified but await incorporation into bound volumes.
    LOCATION:  JX 236.5 K39
  6. Congressional Index. Commerce Clearing House.
    Volume I of this loose-leaf service has a section entitled, "reorganization plan-treaties-nomination"  which gives status reports on treaties pending in the Senate or Senate Committees.  The subject and country indexes facilitates the use of this treaty index.
    LOCATION:  Reference Section K 49 C6.
  7. Tax Treaties. Commerce Clearing House.
    This three volume loose-leaf set covers income tax treaties and estate tax treaties that the U.S. has signed with other countries. Besides the text of the treaties, this service also provides "all regulations as they are issued, decisions of courts and rulings." The arrangement is alphabetical, country by country.
    LOCATION:  KF 6306 U55 1990.
  8. Congressional Information Service. CIS.
    This annual publication indexes treaties the President has sent to the Senate for ratification. Besides the text of the treaties and the President's support comments, the Senate Committee's recommendations are also included. A comprehensive index makes finding a given treaty a simple task. Treaties can be located by name, country and subject.
    LOCATION:  Microform Section; Fiche 01 # 8.
  9. Dispatch:  U.S. Department of State. Department of State.
    This monthly publication has a section entitled, "Treaty Action" which gives the most up-to-date information on new treaties and amendments to old treaties. This publication supplements Treaties in Force. The treaties are arranged by country and subject. A short synopsis of each treaty is provided.
    LOCATION:  Government Documents; S 1.3/5:10/8.
  10. Acts and Cases by Popular Name. Shepard's Mcgraw/Hill.
    This Shepard's service indexes treaties by popular name and cites to Statutes at Large and United States Treaties and Other International Agreements.
    LOCATION:  Legal Periodicals Index Table.
  11. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Legislative Calendar.
    This Committee Calendar will provide the latest status for treaties and amendments pending in the Congress. It is indexed in CIS.
    LOCATION:  Government Documents; Y 4.F 76/2:S, PRT.
  12. United States Legislation on Foreign Relations and International Commerce:  A chronological and subject index of public laws and joint resolutions of the Congress of the United States.
    This nine volume set is a cumulative index of the public laws and joint resolutions of the Congress dealing with international commercial relations. The work cites to Statutes at Large and United States Treaties and Other International Agreements. The years currently covered are 1789-1999. Some annotations are provided.
    LOCATION:  KF 1975 .A 375 U54.

Sources for the text of United States Treaties and Other International Accords

  1. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements.
    This is the official U.S. publication of treaties and international agreements. It started publication in 1950. The text of treaties appears in English as well as the language of the original agreement. The arrangement is numerical by TIAS number.
    LOCATION:  JX 236 1950 (volumes 1 to 34) and Government Documents; S9.12:35/ (volumes 35-).
  2. Statutes at Large.
    Treaties from 1789 to 1950 appear in Statutes at Large. Not all treaties ratified appear here, inclusion is selective. Treaty arrangement is by congressional session with a cumulative country index in volume 674, part 3, at B1107.
    LOCATION:  Federal Materials Section.
  3. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States 1776-1949.
    This 13 volume set is divided into 3 basic parts:  (1) Multilateral treaties and agreements which are arranged chronologically, (2) Bilateral treaties which are arranged alphabetically by country, (3) Conventions, postal agreements, commercial agreements which are indexed. Volume 13 (4) is a cumulative analytical country and subject index.
    LOCATION: JX 236 1949 U5.
  4. Treaties, Conventions, International Acts, Protocols and Agreements between the United States of America and Other Powers:  1776-1909.
    This set covers the years 1779-1937. It also provides parallel cites to the Treaty Series and Statutes at Large.
    LOCATION:  JX 236 1910.
  5. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.
    This 8 volume set is a compilation of treaties that are in force or were in force at some time. The period covered is 1776-1863. Proclamations of the U.S. government relating to international matters are also included. The arrangement is chronological by date of ratification.
    LOCATION:  JX 236 1931.
  6. Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America:  1776-1976.
    This 9 volume set collects treaties that have been signed by the United States but have not entered into force. The arrangement is chronological and there is also an index for further access.
    LOCATION:  JX 236 1776 U56.

Sources for the Interpretation of United States Treaties and Other International Accords

  1. Wharton's Digest of International Law. Three volumes, 1886.
    Wharton established the pattern for international law digests. The scope tends to be broad but selective. The Digest contains general principles of international law, rules recognized by the U.S., reports on U.S. policy stances, reports on treaty making and reports on specific treaties.
    LOCATION:  JX 237 .W5
  2. Moore's Digest of International Law. Eight volumes, 1906.
    This digest has an index volume divided into general index, list of cases and list of periodicals.
    LOCATION:  JX 237 M7.
  3. Hackworth's Digest of International Law. Eight volume set, 1940-1944.
    This digest has an index volume which includes a table of cases.
    LOCATION:  JX 237 H55.
  4. Whiteman's Digest of International Law. 15 volumes, 1963-1973.
    This digest succeeds Hackworth's Digest. It has an index volume divided into a general index, list of cases and a list of main entries.
  5. Digest of United States Practices in International Law. 1973.
    This is an annual publication with a general index and a list of cases. The latest annual published is 1979.
    LOCATION:  JX 21 D54.
  6. American Journal of International Law.
    This quarterly journal has a section entitled "Contemporary Practices of the United States Relating to International Law" which digests current U.S. practices. The coverage is selective.
    LOCATION:  Periodical Section.
  7. Restatements of the Law (Third):  Foreign Relations Law of the United States.
    This source will give you the "rules which we in the United States conceive to be established by international law" and treaties. A detailed table of contents and extensive index facilitate access to this source.
    LOCATION:  KF 395 A2 F6.
  8. International Legal Materials.
    Published by the American Society of International Law, this bi-monthly publications reprints current official documents (treaties) relating to international legal affairs.
    LOCATION:  JX 68 I564.
  9. Legal Resources Index.
    This index will lead to law review articles on specific treaties or treaties in general. One can look under the heading "treaties" and the subheadings "analysis," "cases" and "interpretation and construction." A search can also be done under the specific name of a treaty.
    LOCATION:  Periodicals Index Table.
  10. United States Code Service.
    The unnumbered volume of this series marked "uncodified, notes to uncodified laws and treaties" has a section on court interpretation of treaties. The arrangement is by country and then by chronological order.
    LOCATION:  Federal Code Section.
  11. Shepard's United States Citations:  Statutes Edition.
    Treaties are shepardized in the usual manner. Treaties before 1950 may be shepardized in the Statutes at Large and treaties after 1950 may be shepardized in the section for United States Treaties and Other International Agreements.
    LOCATION:  End of Federal Section.

General Legal Research Tools

The following have chapters or sections which deal with treaty research:

  1. Fundamentals of Legal Research. Myron Jacobstein and Roy Mersky.
    LOCATION:  Reserve KF 240 J32 1994.
  2. Effective Legal Research. Miles O. Price, Harry Bitner and Shirley Raissi Bysiewicz.
    LOCATION:  Reserve KF 240 P7 1979.
  3. How to Find the Law. Morris Cohen and Robert C. Berring.
    LOCATION:  Reserve KF 240 C5382.
  4. Legal Research Illustrated. Myron Jacobstein and Roy Mersky.
    LOCATION:  Reserve KF 240 J34A 1998.
  5. Legal Research in a Nutshell. Morris L. Cohen.
    LOCATION:  Reserve KF 240 C54 1996.

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