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GW Law Library
Research Guides

Treaties and International Agreements

Guide to print and electronic resources for finding bilateral and multilateral treaties.

Key Search Terms

Useful Search Terms to be used when searching by keyword within library catalogs, databases, and Internet Search Engines for information related to treaties include:

  • Conventions
  • International Agreements
  • Protocols
  • Treaties

Bluebook Rules

Rule 21.4 and Table T4 (The Bluebook, 20th ed.)

Rules and tables necessary for citing bilateral and multilateral treaties. Which sources you cite to depend on whether the United States is a party to the treaty or not (See rule 21.4.5).

Reference Sources for Citing Treaties

Interpreting Citations

Bilateral Treaty to which the United States is a Party:

Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems, U.S.-U.S.S.R., May 26, 1972, 23 U.S.T. 3435.

  • Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems = Name of the agreement (Bluebook rule 21.4.1)
  • U.S.-U.S.S.R. = Parties to the agreement (Bilateral treaty only) (Bluebook rule 21.4.2 and table T10.3)
  • May 26, 1972 = Date of signing (Bluebook rule 21.4.4 and table T12)
  • 23. U.S.T. 3435 = Citation to United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (Official U.S. treaty source) (Bluebook rule 21.4.5(a)(i) and table T4.1)

Multilateral Treaty to which the United States is a Party:

North Atlantic Treaty, Apr. 4, 1949, 63 Stat. 2241, 34 U.N.T.S. 243.

  • North Atlantic Treaty = Name of the agreement (Bluebook rule 21.4.1)
  • Apr. 4, 1949 = Date of signing (Bluebook rule 21.4.4 and table T12)
  • 63 Stat. 2241 = Citation to Statutes at Large (Official U.S. treaty source) (Bluebook rule 21.4.5(a)(ii) and table T4.1)
  • 34 U.N.T.S. 243 = United Nations Treaty Series (Parallel citation may be added to source published by international organization) (Bluebook rule 21.4.5(a)(ii) and table T4.2)

Treaty to which the United States is Not a Party:

Treaty of Neutrality, Hung.-Turk., Jan. 5, 1929, 100 L.N.T.S. 137.

  • Treaty of Neutrality = Name of the agreement (Bluebook rule 21.4.1)
  • Hung.-Turk. = Parties to the agreement (Bilateral treaty only) (Bluebook rule 21.4.2 and table T10)
  • Jan. 5, 1929 = Date of signing (Bluebook rule 21.4.4 and table T12)
  • 100 L.N.T.S. 137 = Citation to League of Nations Treaty Series (Source published by international organization (Bluebook rule 21.4.5(b) and table T4.2)

Deciphering Acronyms and Abbreviations

Commonly Used:

Official Sources for Treaty Texts:

  • E.T.S. (European Treaty Series)
  • L.N.T.S. (League of Nations Treaty Series)
  • S. Exec. Doc. No. (Senate Executive Documents)
  • S. Treaty Doc. No. (Senate Treaty Documents)
  • Stat. (Statutes at Large)
  • T.I.A.S. (Treaties and Other International Acts Series)
  • U.N.T.S. (United Nations Treaty Series)
  • U.S.T. (United States Treaties and Other International Agreements)

Unofficial Sources for Treaty Texts:

  • Consol. T.S. (Parry's Consolidated Treaty Series)
  • I.L.M. (International Legal Materials)

Sources for Definitions of Terms Used in Treaty Law:

Glossary of Terms Relating to Treaty Actions.