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Finding a Treaty Without a Citation

This is a guide to finding bilateral and multilateral agreements when you do not have a citation. It was created by Trinie Thai-Parker and is updated by Terri Saint-Amour.

Updating Treaties, Reservations and Parties

Once you've found your treaty or international agreement, you'll want to be sure to update it as well as the status of reservations made to it by parties and signatories. 

Many non-governmental organizations, as well as international organizations, and country websites provide online status updates to treaties, especially if they are responsible for admministering such treaties.  A few are provided below:

Updating Treaties, Reservations, and Parties
Print/Online Sources
Call Number
Available Online
Bowman and Harris, Multilateral Treaties Index and Current Status

Along with the annual supplement, gives current status, parties to a reaty, note as to reservations and denunciations.

Using the chronological table, OR subject or word index, locate the treaty number in the hardbound volume. The information given will be the status as of 1984.

Using the same treaty number, look up the treaty in the latest cumulative supplement, which is for 1996.

Law School Harvard Depository JX171 .B68x 1984


Multilaterial Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General

An annual publication of the UN. Provides current status of all multilateral treaties deposited there. Reference numbers obtained from the back of the volume correspond to chapters and their subdivisions. Included is information on parties, dates of signature, and ratification, as well as information on reservations and declarations.

Law School Ref Desk JX236.5 .M84 [Latest edition only.]

UN Treaty Collection

Treaties in Force

Lists all treaties in force to which the US is a party.  In addition, all other states which are parties are given.  

Treaties in Force can further be updated by the State Department Dispatch. Law School Ref Desk JX236.5 .T7 [Current edition only]. It can also be updated by reviewing the Treaty Actions (published online monthly) by the State Department.

The  Dispatch can be searched online on Lexis: INTLAW;DSTATE.  It can be found on the State Department's website as well as on Westlaw.


Note you may also find the Guide to Treaties in Force to be helpful in using this updating resource.  It is available electronically through Hein Online, in the Treaties and Agreements Library, under the category of Treaty Guides and Indexes.

Law School Ref Desk JX236.5 .T7 [Current edition only]

U.S. State Department

Hein Online Treaties and Agreements Library