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Treaties and International Agreements

Do you need to find the text of a current or past U.S. treaty or international agreement? Do you need to verify whether it is in force? This guide will help you find the text and verify whether or not it is currently in force.

Selected Recent Articles in UCONN Law Library

The following are a few of the recent articles you can find in journals in the UCONN Law Library on selected treaty topics:

Treaty-making power - United States

  • Hathaway, et al. The Treaty Power: Its History, Scope and Limits, 98(2) Cornell Law Review 239-326 (2013).

Commercial treaties - United States

  • Lederman, When Can U.S. Trade Agreements Be Availed of to Compensate for Income Tax Liabilities? 118(2) Journal of Taxation 69-74 (2013).

Treaties - interpretation & construction



Research Help

Be sure to consult the Research Guides at the Home tab and remember that if you need assistance in doing any research in the UCONN Law Library, the Reference Librarians are here to help.

Selcted Treatises & Recent Books in UCONN Law Library


  •  Electronic (Restatement, Second 1955-2016; Restatement, Third -1977-2016; Restatement, Fourth - 2013-2016 - American Law Institute Library on Hein - includes drafts)

Recent Books:

Treaties - interpretation and construction

Treaty-making power - United States

Treaties - Congresses


Interpretative Histories for Treaties & International Agreements

Treaties and international agreements are neogotiated with foreign states and so not all of the proceedings which ressult in a final text are public; in fact, not all final texts are made public as when they contain classified information.  It is possible in many cases, however, to find some legislative/negotiating/interpretative history. Below are some of the places to look. Consult the other Guides at the Home tab for more.


Treaties concluded under Article III of the U.S. Constitution are sent by the Executive to the Senate to be ratified, so those materials are part of the treaty documentation of the Senate. To find this documentation:

A multilateral treaty to which the U.S. is party might have its own published negotiating history (travaux preparatoires).

  • Search databases/catalogs for "travaux preparatoires" and words from title of the treaty

International Agreements

International Agreements are not ratified by the Senate, but if one requires a change be made in U.S. law in order to go into effect, there will be an implementation act passed by both the House and Senate and so there will be a legislative history as for any other Public Act.

  • Look for a compiled legislative history in online catalogs and databases, searching for words in name of treaty and "legislative history", or look at the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library on HeinOnline (NetID may be required).

International Agreements that do not require a change in U.S. law go into immediate effect in accordance with the provisions of the agreement. These are negotiated by Excutive Branch agencies and so what records there are are maintained by that agency and/or the Department of State.

See, for instance,


Treaties and International Agreements:

The Department of State has published from time to time digests of international law practice containing reprinted documents that can be very helpful researching the negotiating and subsequent interpretative history of a treaty or international agreement,  See:

  • Wharton,ed., A digest of the international law of the United States : taken from documents issued by presidents and secretaries of state, and from decisions of federal courts and opinions of attorneys-general (2nd ed., pub. 1887 - Call no. KZ237.7 .D538 1887 - Print   - Call no. KZ237.7 .W53 1887 Electronic PDF (Hein) Covers to 1887.
  • Moore, A digest of international law : as embodied in diplomatic discussions, treaties, and other international agreements, international awards, the decisions of municipal courts, and the writings of jurists : and especially in documents, published and unpublished, issued by presidents and secretaries of state of the United States, the opinions of the attorneys-general, and the decisions of courts, federal and state (pub. 1906 - Call no. KZ237.7 .M66 1906 -  Print  -  Electronic PDF (Hein)  Covers 887-1905.
  • Hackworth, Digest of International Law (pub 1940-1944 - Call no.KZ237.7 .H33 1940 -  Print  -  Call no.KZ237.7 .D542 1940 - Electronic PDF (Hein)  Covers 1906-1939
  • Whiteman, Digest of International Law (pub 1963-1973 - Call no. KZ237.7 .W49 1963 - Print - Electronic PDF (LLMC) Continues Hackworth - covers 1940-1972.
  • Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. State Dept., Digest of United States Practice in International Law (pub.1994-1990 - Call no.KZ237.7 .D56 - Print - Call no.KZ21 .R68 -  Electronic PDF (LLMC) Covers 1973-1980.
  • Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. State Dept.,Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law (pub 1993-1995- Call no. KZ2376.7 .D56 -  Print Electronic PDF (Hein)   Covers 1981-1988.
  • Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. State Dept., Digest of United States Practice in International Law  (pub 2001-   International Law Institute/Oxford U. Press  - Call no.KZ237.7 .D56 -  Print  - Electronic (official) - Electronic (Hein) - Covers 1989-current

How to Find More Articles

Use the Legal Periodical Indexes to find articles on particular subjects.  You can use the specific LC Subject Headings to find articles on particular topics such asTreaty-making power - United StatesTreaties - interpretation & construction;Commercial treaties - United States. If you are looking for articles on a particular treaty, you can use the title of the treaty as a Subject. You can also do key word searches such as Double taxation and treatiesFree trade and treatiesIf the index you use does not link you directly to the text of the article be sure to check the title of the journal (not the article) in the online catalog and the E-Journal Locator to make sure that we do not have it in print or in a database.

You can also do subject searches in various of the full-text journal research databases [NetID may be required} such as HeinOnline and JSTOR. And don't forget the journal and newspaper holdings on Lexis Advance & [get to from Research tab on Lexis Advance] and Westlaw.

Below is a small sampling of recent articles from various journals held by the UCONN Law Library using specified treaty-related LC Subject Headings in the catalog. To find more, you can use one of the periodical indexes to find articles on these or other topics. 

When you use one of the indexes, if you find an article that you would like to read but the full-text does not seem to be available, check the online catalog and the E-Journal Locator to see if you have access to the journal in print or in another database.

You also can search the research databases [NetID may be required] of full-text PDF journals such as HeinOnline Law Journal Library and JSTOR or any of other databases by topic. Don't forget the journal and newspaper libraries on Lexis AdvanceWestlaw and Bloomberg Law (subscription databases - Id requried for all)

Treaties - interpretation & construction

  • Qi, The Definition of Investment and its Development: for the Reference of the Future BIT between China and Canada, 45(3) Revue Juridique Themis 541-563 (2011)

Treaty-Making power


If you have any difficulty finding materials, please contact a Reference Librarian who will be happy to assist you.

How to Find More Books

Use UCONN Law Library's Online Catalog to find books held by the Library.  Use WorldCat to find books that the UCONN Law Library does not hold.

Using LC Subject Headings instead of keywords can assist you in finding the most relevant materials. For treaty research useful Subject Headings are: Treaties - interpretation & constructionTreaty-making power; and Treaties.  Use the title of a treaty as the subject for materials specific to that treaty. You can also do keyword searches such as Human Rights and treaties, Free Trade and treaties, Intellectual Property and treaties.

If you are having difficulty in finding materials, please consult a Reference Librarian. We are happy to assist you.

Subject Guide