UN Pulse reports that the World Intellectual Property Organization has formally released WIPO  Lex, a portal of IP legislation and treaties searchable by country and subject.


From the WIPO description:

“WIPO Lex is a one-stop search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property (IP) of WIPO, WTO and UN Members. It also features related information which elaborates, analyzes and interprets these laws and treaties. It provides streamlined access to reference material of key importance for optimal information on the global IP System.”

WTO’s new Regional Trade Agreements Information System

The World Trade Organization has released a new database of bilateral and regional trade agreements. The site provides full-text for most of the agreements , as well as the legal authority for the agreements under the GATT articles.  The database is researchable by country, date or topic. Many thanks to the WTO for offering this useful treaty research tool. 

WTO Regional Trade Agreements Information System (RTA-IS)


Online draft of Promoting Women’s Human Rights: A Resources Guide for Litigating International Law in Domestic Courts

Global Rights, a human rights NGO, has posted a draft version of their resource guide – “Promoting Women’s Human Rights: A Resources Guide for Litigating International Law in Domestic Courts.”  This would be useful for international human rights courses and clinics.

From the book’s introduction:

Promoting Women’s Rights: A Resource Guide for Litigating

International Law in Domestic Courts was designed as a practical

tool to help lawyers and other legal advocates use international

law to advance the promotion and protection of women’s human

rights in their daily lives. This guide considers how lawyers can

integrate international human rights standards into domestic

litigation and legal policy advocacy involving women’s rights; seeks

to encourage lawyers to undertake such advocacy; and provides

practical strategies on how lawyers might go about doing this.

Promoting Women’s Human Rights: A Resources Guide for Litigating International Law in Domestic Courts


U.S. treaty research in the Congressional Record

Researchers investigating U.S. treaty questions often need to determine if an international agreement is self-executing or not.  For treaties submitted to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification, you can use the declarations of advice and consent that appear in the “Congressional Record.” At the end of the declaration a note will appear if the treaty is self-executing. Hat tip to the Opinio Juris blog. 

Here is an example from the September 23, 2008 Congressional Record. page S9330. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r110:37:./temp/~r110bzXCJP:e11421:

The Senate advises and consents to the ratification of the Protocol to the Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Hungary on Extradition signed December 1, 1994, as contemplated by Article 3 (2) of the Agreement on Extradition between the United States of America and the European Union, signed June 25, 2003, signed at Budapest on November 15, 2005 (Treaty Doc. 109-14), subject to the declaration of section 2.

   Section 2. Declaration.

   The advice and consent of the Senate under section 1 is subject to the following declaration:

   This Treaty is self-executing.

New United Nations Treaty Database

The United Nations released today the new United Nations Treaty Collection Database, including the full-text of agreements in the UN Treaty Series.  For those that miss the old interface, it does include a link to the legacy site.  It does include a new search interface. Many thanks to the folks at the UN Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affiars for their work on the new database.

New United Nations Treaty Collection http://treaties.un.org/

Old legacy site: http://untreaty.un.org/

U.S. international agreements on Dept. of State’s Case Act Databases

An often overlooked free source for recent U.S. treaties and other international agreements is the Department of State’s Reporting International Agreements to Congress under Case Act database:  http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/caseact/ 

Selected bilateral and multilateral agreements in full-text are available from 1982 through 2008.   Unfortunately, the site does not include a keyword search function. The database consists of agreements submitted to Congress by the Dept. of State as required by the Case-Zablocki Act, P.L.  92-403, 86 Stat. 619, 1 U.S.C. 112b. (1972). The agreements appear on this site before they are published in the official compilations of Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.) and United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.).

Agreements from 2006 through 2008 are available at: http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/caseact/

Agreements from 1982 through 2006 are located at the Department of State’s FOIA site: http://www.state.gov/m/a/ips/c24150.htm