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International agreements in writing between two or more states or international organizations, also known as conventions, pacts and protocols (Oxford Dictionary of Law, 2009).


  1. General treaty sources
  2. Specific areas
  3. Treaty interpretation

Where no link is given to the resource named, it can be found on the Squire legal databases page.

General treaty sources

United Nations Treaty Collection

  1. United Nations Treaty Series. The treaties are published by year of registration, which is often later than the dates on which they were signed or came into force.
  2. Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General. This gives the current status (signatures, ratifications, reservations etc.) of over 500 treaties, as well as the citation to the current printed version.

European and Council of Europe Treaty Series - known as European Treaty Series until 2003 and as Council of Europe Treaty Series from 2004 onwards.

See the research guide from the Institute of Advanced Studies library.

European Union treaties - from Eur-Lex

National treaty collections

  • United Kingdom treaties
    Unfortunately there is no comprehensive online source for United Kingdom treaties, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website provides PDFs of (a) treaty command papers published since 1997 and (b) older treaties on specific subjects - investment promotion, bilateral enforcement of judgments and prisoner exchange.
  • United States treaties
    • United States treaties and international agreements - From the State Department website
    • Lexis - contains full text US treaties from 1776, including treaties no longer in force. Click on Sources, then on Browse Sources, then filter by country to United States. Click on Treaties & International Agreements in the list that appears and then choose from a number of databases. Historical treaties from 1776 are found in the database named "U.S. Treaties on LEXIS".
    • Westlaw - in the Services menu, choose Westlaw International. Then in the "Search these databases" box, enter "USTREATIES" and click Go.
  • Australian Treaties Library from Austlii
  • List of online national treaty collections from Harvard Law School Library
  • HeinOnline - click on "Treaties & Agreements Library", which contains, inter alia, Treaties in Force, International Legal Materials (ILM) and the British Yearbook of International Law (BYIL).

The Consolidated Treaty Series - the text of treaties concluded between 1648 and 1919 can be found (some only in the vernacular) in this series, which comprises 231 volumes. Currently this resource is not online but it can be found in the Squire at the classmark F.c.28.H.16.

Major treaty portals and sources

  • EISIL (Electronic Information System for International Law) - "an open database of authenticated primary and other materials across the breadth of international law".
  • Minnesota Human Rights Library - "more than sixty thousand core human rights documents, including several hundred human rights treaties and other primary international human rights instruments."
  • The Avalon Project from Yale University's Lillian Goldman Law Library - "digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government".
  • International Legal Materials (ILM) - Published by the American Society of International Law since 1962. It contains current international and United States documentation on international law, including treaties, cases of international interest and other documents of current relevance. Often the first general publication of instruments is through ILM. It serves as a quick guide to new primary material. Contents pages of recent issues are on the ASIL website. The full text is available via HeinOnline from 1962 (however, this will not include the most recent issues) and Westlaw (from 1980 - click on "Westlaw International" and then enter "ILM" in the "Search for a database" box).

Treaty Indexes

  • Flare index to treaties
  • Print indexes:
    • Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status
    • . Compiled by M. Bowman & D. Harris. London: Butterworths, 1984. Excellent paper index, but only updated to 1995. Squire classmark: F.c.27.H.15.
    • Multilateral Treaty Calendar 1648 – 1995 by Christian L. Wiktor. Boston: M. Nijhoff Publishers, 1998. Useful paper index for locating text of multilateral treaties. Also includes information on amendments, modifications and terminations. Squire classmark: F.r.24.1.

See also UN Treaty Series as well as the Council of Europe Treaty Series (links above under General Treaty Sources).

Specific areas

UN Intergovernmental Organizations

Other Intergovernmental Organizations

Treaty Interpretation

A la Recherche des Travaux Préparatoires - a research guide on Travaux Préparatoires at GlobaLex.

International Law Commission - various research aids are provided, including an Analytical Guide to the Work of the International Law Commission.

Official Document System of the United Nations

Records of other international organizations, e.g. ILO Official Reports

Library catalogues - for example, click here to search for "travaux préparatoires" in the Squire catalogue.