Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Treaty Research

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

Quick Treaty Finding Tools

Need to find a treaty fast? Here you will find links to some of the best online tools, as well as a few print resources, for locating treaties by state party, by regional sponsoring organization or by subject matter.

Many of these tools offer multiple searching and/or browsing options, as well as links to the full texts of treaties.  Some also provide information about the status of a treaty (date of entry into force, current list of state parties, etc.), and citations to official and unofficial treaty sources.
 

BY STATE PARTY

U.S. Is a State Party U.S. Treaties & Agreements Library (HeinOnline)
Search across multiple treaty indexes by keyword, by title, by subject, and by many other criteria for U.S. treaties and agreements currently in force, for those no longer in force, and for those that have not yet entered into force.   Most treaty records provide a direct link to the full text of the relevant treaty. 

Senate Treaty Documents (Congress.gov)
Congress.gov provides access to Senate Treaty Documents, which include the full texts of treaties submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, from the 90th Congress (1967-1968) onward.  (Senate Treaty Documents from earlier congresses are gradually being added.)  Search by Treaty Document number or browse by congressional term, treaty status or subject.  A good source for locating the texts of treaties that have not yet been ratified or entered into force.
U.S. Is or Is NOT a State Party World Treaty Library (HeinOnline)
Search across multiple treaty indexes by keyword, by title, by country, by subject, and by many other criteria for multilateral and bilateral treaties, both current and historical.  To limit your search to a particular index, highlight the name of the index in the list of available indexes below the search boxes.  For many treaty records, a link to the full text of the treaty is provided.  If the full text of a treaty is not available on HeinOnline, use the citation information in the record to help you locate the treaty in a full-text source.  

U.N. Treaty Series Online (U.N. Treaty Collection)
This series encompasses more than 100,000 multilateral and bilateral treaties registered or recorded with the U.N. since 1946, including many treaties to which the U.S. is a party.  Search filters include participant (country), title (in English or French), treaty type (multilateral or bilateral), registration number, and U.N.T.S. volume number, among many others.

BY REGION

The following regional inter-governmental organizations provide access to treaties concluded among countries within their respective geographic regions.

African Union African Union Treaties, Conventions, Protocols & Charters
Browse for multilateral treaties drafted under the auspices of the African Union and its predecessor, the Organization for African Unity, on a wide range of subjects, from human rights to trade and economic integration.
Council of Europe Council of Europe Treaties
Access more than 200 multilateral treaties concluded under the auspices of the 47-member Council of Europe on a wide variety of topics ranging from human rights to wildlife conservation.
European Union European Union Treaties (EUR-Lex)
Current and prior versions of the internal treaties that govern the EU, plus accession treaties for the member states that joined the EU after its founding, are available on EUR-Lex.  Visit the website of the EU Treaties Office for external treaties between the EU and non-member states and entities.
Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Treaties
Multilateral treaties concluded among countries in the Western Hemisphere on a wide range of topics from arbitration and dispute settlement to asylum and human rights, plus bilateral agreements between the OAS and individual states or entities.

BY SUBJECT

Many international and non-governmental organizations have assembled online collections of treaties that pertain to a particular subject or group of related subjects.  Links to some of the best of these subject-specific online treaty collections, as well as a few print sources, are provided below.

Multiple Subjects Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL) (American Society of International Law)
EISIL is a convenient gateway for accessing major multilateral treaties, whether or not the U.S. is a party.  Treaties are grouped by subject matter.  Begin by selecting a subject using the menu on the left.  Then select the desired sub-category within the broader subject.  Treaties will be listed under the heading "Primary Documents."  Click on "expand record" below the name of the treaty to view its date of signature, date of entry into force, authentic languages, and citation information.   Cautionary Note:   The EISIL database is currently unavailable while it is being updated and migrated to a new platform.
Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law Arms Control & Disarmament Treaties (EISIL)
Access point for treaties governing the use of conventional, biological, chemical, nuclear, and other types of weapons.

International Humanitarian Law Treaties (ICRC)
This user-friendly database, maintained by the International Committee for the Red Cross, includes the Geneva Conventions and dozens of other treaties that govern the conduct of armed conflict.  Search by keyword or browse by topic, country, and date.
Environmental Matters ECOLEX Treaties
Access more than 2,000 treaties on subjects ranging from air pollution to wildlife conservation.  Search by keyword and filter by subject, country, treaty type, status, and date.

Conservation in Sustainable Development INTL K3585.4 I58 1995
This loose leaf service publishes the full texts of environmental treaties and other legal instruments.  Updated regularly.
Human Rights U.N. Human Rights Treaty Bodies
This portal provides access to the documentation maintained by the administrative entities responsible for the U.N.'s core human rights treaties.  Content includes treaty texts and subsequent amendments, status updates, and country ratification information.
Intellectual Property WIPO Treaties (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Access 26 treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization governing the international recognition and protection of copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
International Investment (Foreign Direct Investment) International Investment Agreements Navigator (UNCTAD)
This database, maintained by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, includes more than 3,000 bilateral investment treaties and over 300 other treaties with investment protections.  Use the menu on the left to browse for investment treaties by country.

Investment Promotion and Protection Treaties INTL K1112.A49 I58
This loose leaf services reprints the full texts of bilateral investment treaties.  Updated regularly.
International Trade & Commerce UNCITRAL Texts
Access the full texts of treaties (conventions) related to international commerce drafted by the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), as well as current status information and drafting histories.

World Trade Organization Legal Texts and Pre-WTO Legal Texts (WTO)
The first collection includes the 1994 agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, subsequent multilateral trade agreements, and a glossary of trade-related terms.  The second collection covers the period from 1947-1993 and includes the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT).
Labor & Employment International Labor Standards Conventions (NORMLEX)
The International Labour Organization's NORMLEX database includes the full texts of treaties, status updates and ratification information by country.
Private International Law Conventions & Protocols (Hague Conference on Private International Law)
Treaties pertaining to civil procedure, commercial law, family law, and the recognition of foreign judgments drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

UNIDROIT Instruments
Treaties pertaining to international agency, franchising, leasing, sales, and the transport of goods drafted by the International Institute for the Unification of Private International Law (UNIDROIT).  Use the menu on the left to select "Instruments."  Then select the desired subject matter from the sub-menu.