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Treaties and International Conventions

How to locate texts of treaties and international conventions in the Library and on the Internet

Travaux Préparatoires

The Travaux Préparatoires are official documents recording the negotiations, drafting and discussions during the process of creating a treaty. These documents may be consulted and taken into consideration when interpreting treaties.  They are often unpublished or inaccessible, and difficult to locate even when these documents have been published in a collated volume. Many bilateral agreements have entered into force without a great deal of formal negotiation; in these cases, there are no travaux préparatoires. 

Collected Travaux Préparatoires, by the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Library
A recommended starting point for research. The object of this page is to collect references and links to travaux préparatoires, either on paper or online.

If the United Nations have been involved, some travaux préparatoires may be found through the Official Document System of the United Nations. Some interesting documents can also be found on the United Nations Diplomatic Conferences Web site. Documents related to the conventions negotiated within the framework of the International Law Commission can be found in the ILC Yearbook.
341(06) HEIA 1653 (in English)
341(06) HEIA 1646 (in French)