Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.

Introduction to Treaty Research

 

This guide is designed to aid you in your treaty research when you lack a proper citation.  As no complete collection of treaties exists in print or online, you will have to conduct your research with a certain amount of creativity and perseverance. It is important to note, too, that treaties may be referred to by a variety of names (agreements, conventions, protocols, memorandums of understanding, exchanges of letters, et cetera).

In addition the sources listed in this guide, don’t neglect searching Hollis Classic directly for a particular treaty. It is useful to perform a title and/or keyword search as some treaties may be included as the appendix of a work, and are noted as such in the catalog.

*This guide was created by Trinie Thai-Parker and is maintained by Terri Saint-Amour.

Treaty Terminology

Useful Terminology Related to Treaties

 

Accession - formal adoption of the provisions of a treaty already agreed upon by other parties

Bilateral - a treaty between just two parties

Effective date - the date on which the provisions of the treaty take effect

Entry into force - the date on which the treaty formally becomes a legal obligation binding parties, usually a certain number of days after the last notification

Initialed - the stage when a treaty has been agreed by the negotiating representatives of all parties after which the treaty is submitted for approval at a political level

Multilateral - a treaty between more than two parties

Negotiation - this is the first step in the process of concluding a treaty and is usually carried out by representatives of the parties concerned

Parties - countries that have ratified a treaty and are bound by the terms of the treaty

Ratification - the completion of the formal process of approval of a treaty when one parties notifies the other parties of the ratification, after which that party is bound by the treaty

Reservation - a term or terms of a treaty objected to by a party

Signature - the stage at which a treaty has been approved by the government, making the government bound to uphold the treaty, although the treaty is not yet effective

Termination - the formal act of one or more parties to terminate the application of the treaty

Termination date - the date from which a treaty ceases to have effect