Treaties and Agreements

What are Treaties and International Agreements?

U.S. Treaties and Agreements - The Process

Researching U.S. Treaties and Agreements

Locating the Text of the Treaty or Agreement

Status and Ratification Information

Background Information

Researching Multilateral Treaties

Treaty Collections for Other Countries

Review Questions

Background Information

The researcher may need to find information related to the negotiation history and treaty interpretation. Negotiation histories are generally not available for bilateral U.S. treaties and agreements because the documents are never released to the public. A la Recherche des Travaux Préparatoires: An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreement is a very useful guide to finding the negotiating histories ( “travaux préparatoires”) of multilateral treaties.

Research Tip
When looking for status and ratification information for multilateral treaties where the U.S. is a party, consult the sources in the Multilateral Treaties section of this tutorial.

Major Websites

Generally speaking, the U.S. does not provide comprehensive access to large collections of treaties on the web. Here are a few notable websites.