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Minnesota State Law Library

Treaty Research

About this Guide


A treaty is an agreement between two or more countries or between international agencies that have been given treaty-making power by the states that created them. A treaty establishes a relationship governed by international law. Treaties may be bilateral (between two parties) or multilateral (between several parties). Treaties are the exclusive province of federal law.

The library maintains resources that enable users to do the following research on U.S. treaties and conventions:

• Find an authoritative text of a treaty;

• Determine whether a treaty is “in force” and with what entities;

• Interpret a treaty; and

• Verify and update the current status of a treaty.

Treaty Citation

About Treaties

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties – the law relating to treaties and how they are made.  This resource can be useful to help understand treaties.

Source: United Nations, Office of Legal Affairs

The Vienna Convention, information from the U.S. Department of State

   Other Resources:

  • Thomas Buergenthal, Public International Law in a Nutshell (West 2013) - KZ3410 .B84 2013

  • National Treaty Law and Practice (vols. 27, 30, and 33) – published as part of the series Studies in Transnational Legal Policy – covering the treaty practice and procedure of 18 countries.  Available through HeinOnline at the Minnesota State Law Library.

  • U.S. Treaties and Agreements Library.  Available through HeinOnline at the Minnesota State Law Library.

Treaty Research Guides


In our positions as librarians, not lawyers, we can suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file) or legal opinions (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts). To do so could be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Even though we try to suggest materials that will be of help, more research is often required to find a complete and correct answer. For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney.