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Treaty Research

This guide describes resources and methods for locating and updating treaties of the United States and other countries.


Treaties can be referred to by a number of different names: international conventions, international agreements, covenants, final acts, charters, protocols, pacts, accords, and constitutions for international organizations. Usually these different names have no legal significance in international law. Treaties may be bilateral (two parties) or multilateral (between several parties) and a treaty is usually only binding on the parties to the agreement. An agreement "enters into force" when the terms for entry into force as specified in the agreement are met. Bilateral treaties usually enter into force when both parties agree to be bound as of a certain date.

For more information on treaties, see Public International Law in a Nutshell INTL KZ3110.B84 A3 2002 or Encyclopedia of Public International Law INTL REF KZ1160 .E53 1992, vol. 7 pps. 459-514.