International law has 3 formal sources: treaties, international custom and general legal principles recognised by civilised nations. These sources constitute what the international law is. The procedure of the ICJ requires the court first to see if there is any treaty provision existing between the parties to a dispute – only if there is no treaty do they move down to custom.
Vienna Convention on the Law Of Treaties 1969 art 2(1)(a) Defines a treaty as “ an international agreement … in written form … whatever its particular designation.”
Treaty Event at the UN earlier this year- Portuguese Minister Signing – in fact this stage – though it sounds final- can often be just a preliminary in the process of ratification
Although my focus is on the texts, the best databases I will mention today will often answer at least some of these questions quickly and easily too!
Separate volumes of finding tools include Special Chronology Volumes index Colonial and Postal/Telegraph Treaties. They also provide useful supplementary notes on separate and secret articles and information on later amendment or modification. Party Index-Guides alphabetically group over 550 signatories under their modern geographic state names. Cross-references allow searches by historical, colonial, province names.
· A General Chronology · Special Chronologies of Colonial and Postal/Telegraph Treaties · An Index of Parties to Each Treaty General Chronology Volumes provide the following information for each entry: · The date and place the treaty was signed · The title of the treaty including the names of the parties · The volume and page number of each treaty · The source of each treaty
Most footnotes will give you citations looking like 12 LNTS 22 – which you can immediately put into a special finding aid in HeinOnline
If you do not have a citation, then The Search For a Treaty window offers a variety of search strategies. Remember, if you want an inter-war treaty to uncheck UNTS before submitting your search.
This site is free to all – no sign on required. However, to be sure of getting to the TEXT of a LNTs treaty you need to do the following steps.
2 Clicks while talking
I click while talking
Navigation options across the top – page by page and jump to
For details about parties, declarations, reservations of treaties made between the 2 World Wars then do these steps….
Cruel irony is that the 1918 peace treaty (Treaty of Versailles) was a major factor behind WW2 Cartoon done in 1920 – child crying with the “peace treaty” on the floor
I click while talking
Advanced Search Screen – first click – Change Search Object to Treaty Second click Select Attributes
Duty of transparency to its citizens or because appointed as an Official Depository
Not the easiest to find – I click About Us - Another click Our publications – down the left panel hint of usefulness!
Now you get obvious links to useful material
Just an example
If you are looking for Treaty texts on the world wide web, then I would recommend
Since September 2004 – still growing Home page – most obviously offers browsing through the 13 top categories – each already subdivided – in some cases the “basic sources” will take you to treaties. Find box – just a bit too basic Advanced Search is much less frustrating
Advanced Search Advanced search Advanced search Advanced search – various dropdowns Type allows only/don’t then any type / primary document / website or research resource Find in allows entry of citation
More info alternative titles – date in force – description – citation – related websites etc
See also other topical chapters for subject specific treaties
I would think this would be useful background reading before tackling the HeinOnline Treaties and Agreement Library which as you will recall is USA based
First say – will have links through to texts of treaties then click – articles on aspects of treaty law
Treaties Elizabeth Wells Foreign and International LL October 2009
Although an unofficial publication, this is the most complete historical collection
Shelved at Internat 5
Not available online
CTS Index-Guides Internat 5* BLACK LABEL Party Index – Names are Modern Cross-refs for Historic/Colonial SCARLET GREEN LABELs Chronological Lists Include Archival Source Used for each Treaty No Subject Index