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Public International Law: Treaties

This guide covers researching public international law, which governs relationships between national governments and between national governments and intergovernmental organizations.

Treaties Research Guide

Treaties Research Guide

The American Society of International Law's Electronic Research Guide provides research guidance on the difficulties of finding authentic, complete treaty series or even reliable texts of individual treaties. Various Web options are explored, from the UN Treaty Collection, to government sites (US and non-US), and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Non-governmental organizations, such as the Red Cross and university-based resources around the world, are identified and their scope described. Tips on how to find elements other than the text of the treaty, for example signature, ratification and reservations are provided, as well as various research tools including catalogs, indexes, search engines, and current awareness services. 

(Source: ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law)


Some important questions to ask before starting your research:

·         Is it a bilateral or multilateral treaty?

·         Who are the parties to the treaty?

·         Is the treaty in force?

·         Has the treaty been signed, ratified, repudiated, or modified?

·         Are there reservations to the treaty?

·         Is there an international organization that oversees or administers international law in the subject area of the treaty?


(Source: An Introduction to Public International Law Research By Vicenç Feliú July 2010 NYU Globalex)

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