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Treaties & Other International Agreements: Government Documents Information



Getting Started

Two key types of international agreements are:

  • Treaties:The Executive branch negotiates formal treaties. A two thirds vote of the Senate is required for ratification.
  • Executive agreements: Executive agreements do not require Senate approval. Most international relationships the US enters into today are executive agreements, not treaties.

Unlike other nations, treaties and executive agreements in the US are national federal law.

Other types of documents include:

  • Agreements: Agreements address specific and temporary topics based upon an exchange of notes or letters. (e.g., promise to provide foreign aid) Ratification is not usually required.
  • Communiqués: Communiqués are statements by 2 governments on a subject. They have limited, if any, legal force.
  • Conventions: Conventions generally emphasize a specific subject or set of rules. (e.g., Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners of war.) Conventions requires ratification.
  • Declaration: Declarations are government statements that do not require ratification.
  • Proclamation: Proclamations are statements issued by the President that have the force of law.
  • Unperfected treaties: Treaties signed by the U.S., but never went into force.

Good starting points are:

Treaties and Other International Agreements: The Role of the United States Senate: A Study / Prepared for the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate (Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service, 2001).
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-106SPRT66922/html/CPRT-106SPRT66922.htm (text version)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CPRT-106SPRT66922/pdf/CPRT-106SPRT66922.pdf (PDF version)
Lockwood Documents US Y 4.F 76/ 2 106th: S.PRT.106-71

See also guides prepared by UB Law librarians at http://lawlib.buffalo.libguides.com/content.php?pid=129561&sid=1333368.  Topics cover U.S. treaties, non-U.S. treaties, and treaty sources by subjects.


Comprehensive Source

Avalon Project (Yale University Law Library)
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm
Reproduces documents dated from pre-18th Century through the present.

Hein Online (William Hein)
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/heinonline.html
Select Treaties and Agreements Library along the left column. Coverage includes all current and expired U.S. treaties, plus those not yet published. Five sections cover:

  • Official Treaty Publications
  • Unofficial Treaty Publications
  • Treaty Guides and Indexes
  • Treaties, Books and Texts
  • Important Treaties and Agreements Links.

Multilaterals Project (Tufts University. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy)
http://fletcher.archive.tusm-oit.org/multilaterals/
Reproduces multilateral conventions and other documents. The collection includes treaties relating to the atmosphere and space; biodiversity; culture; diplomacy; environment; human rights; commerce and trade; and war and arms control. Although the vast majority of texts date from the second half of this century, the collection also includes historical ones from the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia to the Covenant of the League of Nations.

Treaties through 1945

Texts through 1945

Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949, by Charles Bevans (Washington, D.C.: Dept. of State, 1968-1976. 13 vols.)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) KZ 236 1968
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) INT 62.98 U727 (cumulative index)
Reprints copies of treaties and executive agreements. Volume 13 is an index organized by subjects and countries. Hein Online includes this source.

United States Statutes at Large. Washington, DC: US GPO, annual.
Lockwood Documents US AE 2.111 (1984- )
Lockwood Documents US GS 4.111 (1937-1983)
Law Federal Core Collection US 002 A2 (1937- )
An official source for US treaties and agreements from 1776-1950. Vol. 8 contains all treaties from 1776-1845. Subsequent annual volumes published through 1950 also include treaties. Volumes 47-64 (1931-1950) include Executive Agreements as well. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST) is the official source for US treaties and agreements since 1950.

Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America 1776-1976 (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1976-1994. 9 vols.)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) JX236 1776 .U56 1976
A collection of treaties signed by the U.S. which never went into force.


Indexes through 1945

Statutes at Large, Volume 64, part 3. Washington, DC: US GPO, 1952.
Lockwood Documents US AE 2.111:
Law Federal Core Collection US 002 A2
The chart on pages B1107-B1182 is a "List of Treaties and Other International Agreements contained in the United States Statutes at Large ." Organization is by countries. Data include treaty and agreement numbers; subjects; dates; and Statutes at Large volume and page numbers.

United States Treaty Index: 1776- (Buffalo: William Hein, 1991) (Updated with annual supplements)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) JX 231 U58 1991
Separate sections list and index treaties by numbers, dates, countries and subjects. The Current Treaty Index updates this series.

 


Treaties, 1946-Present

Texts 1946-present

International Legal Materials (Washington, DC: American Society of International Law, 1962-bimonthly)
Law Reference (Non-Circulating) JX I5 (1962-present)
Reprints full text of treaties, international agreements, and other international documents in a timely fashion. Hein Online includes this source.

Internet Law Library: Treaties and International Law
Provides full texts of dozens of treaties and related documents. The House of Representatives originated this project, but afterwards decided it could no longer maintain it. The following two groups are among the selected private commercial entities that still provide access to the collection:

Consider four factors when using the Internet Law Library:

  • The Web administrators do not explain the criteria for selection.
  • The data do not indicate nations that participate in the agreements.
  • It cannot be determined how many of these treaties affect American activities.
  • It cannot be determined how many of these treaties are still in force.

Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) (U.S. Department of State)
Lockwood Documents US S 9.10:
Law General Collection INT 62.98 U75
Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) are a series of pamphlets or "slip" treaties published since 1946 that reproduce the texts of treaties and executive agreements. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST) are bound copies of the same. Arrangement of both series is numerical by TIAS numbers. Hein Online includes this source.

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons [NPT] (Federation of American Scientists)
http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/
Discusses the provisions and status the NPT Treaty, and links to related texts, documents, and news. The NPT is a multilateral treaty whose goal is to disarm nuclear nations and promote peaceful use of nuclear energy. It is the most widely accepted arms control agreement; only Israel, India, and Pakistan have never been signatories of the Treaty, and North Korea withdrew from the Treaty in 2003.

United Nations Treaty Collection (United Nations)
http://library.buffalo.edu/e-resources/untreaty.html
The Charter of the United Nations states that "Every treaty and every international agreement entered into by any Member of the United Nations after the present Charter comes into force shall as soon as possible be registered with the Secretariat and published by it". (Article 102) The database covers:

  • Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General.
  • The United Nations Treaty Series.
  • Texts of Recently Deposited Multilateral Treaties.
  • Photographs of Treaty Signature Ceremonies.
  • Titles of the Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General in the UN official languages.
  • Procedures of the Secretary-general as the Depositary of Multilateral Treaties.

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST) (Washington, DC: US Dept. of State, 1950+)
Lockwood Documents US S 9.12: (1950-1984)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) INT 62.98 U75 (1950-1984)
Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) are a series of pamphlets or "slip" treaties published since 1946 that reproduce the texts of treaties and executive agreements. United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST) are bound copies of the same. Arrangement of both series is numerical by TIAS numbers. Lockwood Library maintains the "slip" treaties until the bound volumes become available. Note, treaties negotiated by Washington are often not published in a timely manner. Consult United States Treaties and Other International Agreements -- Current Service for access to recent agreements. Hein Online includes this source.

United States Treaties and Other International Agreements -- Current Service. (microfiche) (Buffalo, NY: William Hein, 1990+)
Law Koren MicFiche INT 62.98 U756
Reproduces and indexes recent treaties and agreements not yet published by Washington. Since these documents do not have TIAS numbers, Hein organizes them by KAV numbers--named after the editor, Igor Kavass. The State Department began an accession numbering system for these treaties in 1990. (90-1, 90-2,...) An index converts these accession numbers to KAV numbers. Hein Online includes this source.

Indexes 1946-present

Current Treaty Index (Buffalo: William Hein, 1982-semi annual)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) JX 231 U5812
Updates the United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990 Consolidation. The index includes items not yet published in official UST and TIAS. Hein Online includes this source.


Status of Current Treaties

Treaties in Force (U.S. Department of State).
http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/treaties/2007/index.htm
Lockwood Documents US S 9.14:
Law Reference JX236.5 .T74 (current year)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) JX236.5 .T74 (previous years)
A directory to current US bilateral and multilateral treaties and other international agreements. The Guide to United States Treaties in Force presents comparable information in a more comprehensive manner.

Guide to United States Treaties in Force, (William Hein, annual)
Law Reference JX236.5 .T745 (current volumes)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) JX236.5 .T745 (previous volumes)
Provides information comparable to that in Treaties in Force , plus additional features. These include lists of treaties and agreements organized numerically and chronologically; pending treaties; non-binding international agreements; and unrecorded international agreements. Hein Online includes this source.


Senate Treaty Documents (Executive Documents) and Senate Executive Reports

Treaty documents

Presidential statements to Senate committees charged with approving new treaties. The documents reproduce the texts of the treaties. Senate executive documents had comparable information prior to 1981.

  • 1817-1969

    Senate Executive Documents and Reports (Capen Multimedia Center MicFiche J 35 U54 1987). Indexed in the CIS Index to US Senate Executive Documents & Reports (Lockwood Reference J 35 U54 1987 Index or Law Reference Desk KF40 .C553 1987)

  • 1970-2006

    CIS Microfiche Library (Law Koren MicFiche KF49 .C623). Indexed in ProQuest Congressional.

  • 1981+

    Capen Multimedia Center US MicFiche Y1.1/4:.

  • 1985+

    FDsys

Senate Executive Reports

Statements issued by Senate committees advising the Senate about ratification of proposed treaties.

  • 1817-1969

    Senate Executive Documents and Reports (Capen Multimedia Center MicFiche J 35 U54 1987). Indexed in the CIS Index to US Senate Executive Documents & Reports (Lockwood Reference J 35 U54 1987 Index or Law Reference Desk KF40 .C553 1987)

  • 1970-2006

    CIS Microfiche Library (Law Koren MicFiche KF49 .C623). Indexed in ProQuest Congressional.

  • 1981+

    Capen Multimedia Center US MicFiche Y1.1/6:.

  • 1995+

    FDsys


Tax Treaties

Tax Treaties (CCH: Commerce Clearing House)
Law Loose-Leaf Room INT 62.98 U72
Covers treaties that deal with income and estate taxes between the US and other governments. Data include texts of the treaties; decisions of courts; revenue rulings; official explanations; CCH explanations; and annotations.

US Tax Treaties (Internal Revenue Service Publication 901)
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf
Lockwood Documents US T 22.44 / 2: 901.
Summarizes provisions of US tax treaties and cites TIAS and/or CB volume and page numbers where the texts of the treaties appear. CB volume number refers to the Internal Revenue Service Cumulative Bulletin (Lockwood Documents US T22.25: and Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) KF6282.A2 I495).


Native American Treaties

Indian Affairs: Laws And Treaties. Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler ( New York: AMS Press, 1971. 7 vols.)
http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler (created by Oklahoma State University Library)
Law General Collection (Non-Circulating) KF8203 1971.
The standard reference volume on the subject.

See also Kappler Revisited: An Index and Bibliographic Guide to American Indian Treaties by Charles D. Bernholz (Kenmore, NY: Epoch Books, 2003). (Lockwood Reference/Lockwood Book Collection/Law Reference KF 8203 2003) Bernholz integrates data offered by Kappler with more current reference sources, and offers expanded indexing by tribal names.

List of Treaties and Other Documents in the Whipple Report (New York State. Assembly)
Lockwood Book Collection E78.N7 N772
Law Reference E78 N7 N77 1977
The NY State Assembly published in 1889 its Report of Special Committee to Investigate the Indian Problem of the State of New York (Document no. 51) () This "Whipple" Report reproduces numerous treaties that affect New York State tribes. Many of the tribes are in Western New York.  View theWhipple Report at http://128.121.13.244/awweb/main.jsp?flag=collection&smd=1&cl=library1_lib&field3=4709377&tm=1386899715219&itype=advs&menu=on.

Treaties Between the United States and Native Americans (Yale University Law School. Avalon Project)
http://elsinore.cis.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/ntreaty/ntreaty.htm
Reproduces full texts of 30 treaties between the US government and Native American tribes covering 1778-1868.


Abbreviations Associated With Treaties

  • EAS - Executive Agreement Series
  • ILM - International Legal Materials
  • KAV - Hein's United States Treaties and Other International Agreements Current Service
  • LNTS - League of Nations Treaty Series
  • STAT - U.S. Statutes at Large
  • T. DOC - Treaty documents
  • TD - Senate Treaty Documents
  • TIAS - Treaties and Other International Acts Series
  • TS - Treaty Series
  • UST - U.S. Treaties and Other International Agreements