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Public International Law: When the U.S. is a Party

This guide highlights key resources for international law research.

Find the Citation - Indexes

Use an index to find a citation to a treaty and confirm quick facts regarding dates, signatories and status (ratification).

Treaties In Force - DOS publication for bilateral and multilateral treaties.  Lists signatories, entry into force dates and reservations.

A Guide to US Treaties in Force - This is an expanded version of the DOS Treaties in Force.  Includes brief annotations for treaties, parallel citations, country list of what countries the US has a current treaty.

Multilateral Treaties for which the United States is a Depositary - This DOS web site lists the 200+ multilateral treaties deposited with the US government.

United States Treaty Index – Covers all U.S. treaties (ratified or not) from 1776 to 1995. The first five volumes contain the "master guide," organized by treaty number.  Provides parallel citations, signature information, status.  Other indexes refer you back to the master guide.  See also Current Treaty Index.

Current Treaty Index -  Updated twice a year, serves as a good updating service for the USTI.

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (in microfiche at UH but also available on HeinOnline) - The KAV series is tied to other publications by the same author (Igor Kavass) including a Guide to US Treaties in Force and Current Treaty Index.

Subject index to the Executive Agreement Series (1930-1945).

Full Text

Official Sources (required for citation under BB R. 21) - Use these sources to search by topic or when you have a citation.  If you have a date range, pay attention to publication periods.  For convenience, check the sub-tab on citation for treaties.  Many of these resource can be found in the Hein Online Treaties and International Agreements Library.  You will benefit from watching their webinar on Treaty Research and their Treaty and International Agreements Library.

Unofficial sources 

  • International Legal Materials – Bi-monthly publication of the American Association of International Law. The November issue contains the annual index and will lead you to the treaties contained within ILM; however, a keyword search using the name of the treaty is also effective.  Highly selective.
  • Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United states of America, 1776-1949 – This set reproduces the treaties concluded prior to the publication of the UST (see above).  The General Index for this set is in the last volume, Volume 13.  Multilaterial treaties and agreements are arranged chronologically in the first four volumes (Vol. 1 - 1776 to 1917; Vol. 2 - 1918 to 1930; Vol. 3 - 1931 to 1945; Vol. 4 - 1946 to 1949). Volumes five through twelve organize the documents alphabetically by participating nations.
  • Treaties and other international acts of the United States of America, 1776-1863 (also available on HeinOnline)  -  Volume 1 contains finding aids and tables for the rest of the set, which is organized by document number and chronologically as follows: 1776 to 1818 (Vol. 2); 1819 to 1835 (Vol. 3); 1836 to 1846 (Vol. 4); 1846 to 1852 (Vol. 5); 1852 to 1855 (Vol. 6); 1855 to 1858 (Vol. 7); 1858 to 1863 (Vol. 8).
  • Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America, 1776-1976  - Collection of  international agreements concluded by the United States from 1776 to 1976, which failed to enter into force for the United States. The index for this set is in the last volume, volume 9.  The documents are organized chronologically as follows: 1776 to 1855 (Vol. 1); 1856 to 1882 (Vol. 2); 1883 to 1904 (Vol. 3); 1905 to 1918 (Vol. 4); 1919 (Vol. 5); 1919 to 1925 (Vol. 6); 1926 to 1945 (Vol. 7); 1946 to 1964 (Vol. 8); 1965 to 1976 (Vol. 9).