Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Treaty Research - Basic Resources

Finding the text of treaties, plus information about status and parties.

Introduction

There are two special types of resources for researchers who'd like to learn more about a particular treaty. These are treaty commentaries, and drafting-history documents (travaux préparatiores).

Treaty Commentaries

Treaty commentaries are somewhat analogous to annotated codes. They point you to books, articles, or other documents about the treaty, to drafting history, and to resources on interpreting specific language. Consider using a treaty commentary when you need in-depth information on the background and possible meaning of a treaty's language, or when you need some ammunition to argue for your preferred way of reading specific treaty language.

This PDF guide explains treaty commentaries and lists the commentaries available at the Zief Law Library.

Drafting History / Travaux Préparatoires

Try these sources if you're looking for the drafting history of a treaty.

School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307