General Treaty Series
National Treaty Series
International Agreements Database
Searchable collection of the full-text agreements between the United States Department of Energy and foreign governments.
online source: US Dept. of Energy
Australian Treaties Library (1901- )
United Kingdom (online)
Canado-American Treaties (1793-1997)
online source: University of Montreal Canado-American Treaties Collection
In addition to the above-mentioned series the Law Library possesses a number of other general, national and subject-based treaty series (e.g. air law, space law, law of the sea, transport, humanitarian law, private international law etc.). Use the keyword search on Novanet to find a treaty series that covers the topic or region you wish to study.
Ratifications, reservations, declarations
Where to find an overview of ratifications, reservations and declarations of a multilateral treaty depends on which country or international organization is the depositary. The depositary is indicated in the final provisions of each treaty.
For multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General of the UN, the information can be found at the United Nations Treaty Collection website. A number of other international organisations, treaty secretariats and national ministries of foreign affairs also present information on their websites.
For information about ratifications of human rights treaties see the RATIF database of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights Documentation Site.
What are travaux preparatoire and how can I find them?
Travaux préparatoires are the documentary evidence of the negotiation, discussions, and drafting of a final treaty text. Travaux préparatoires may sometimes also be referred to as:
According to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, these documents can be used to supplement the interpretation of a treaty when the meaning is ambiguous or obscure when reading the treaty alone.
See "What are Travaux...", and "Ask Dag - Questions related to Travaux Preparatoire" Dag Hammerskold Library, Online:ask.un.org .
Preparatory documents exist for every treaty; however, these documents are published for only a limited number of treaties. The Law Library possesses several of these publications (e.g. UN Charter, Refugee Convention, European Convention on Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Law of Treaties, ICCPR, Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, Unidroit conventions).
In addition, some treaty secretariats publish preparatory and implementation documents on their Internet site. When a treaty has been concluded within the framework of an international organization, you should also check the website of that organization.
When the International Law Commission has been involved in drafting a convention, you can find reports on the preparatory work in the Yearbook of the International Law Commission (JX 1261 U58) and on its website. Another helpful guide is the 3-volume publication The International Law Commission, 1949-1998, by Arthur Watts (JX 1261 U58 I61)
Finally, it is important to do background reading in secondary sources (monographs, journal articles, case law). These could contain references to a treaty's travaux préparatoires.
This database collection includes a searchable collection of treaties and statuses of treaties in the collection. It is updated in real-time.
The Dag Hammarskjold Library provides a collection of guides and research tools to help navigate the UN documentation system and the resources available through the UN.
Dag Hammarskjold Library - UN Resources and Documents