Answered By: Library Reviewer
Last Updated: Oct 16, 2014     Views: 1955

Good Afternoon,

The rule for citing multilateral treaties for which the U.S. is a party is found in rule 21.4.5(a)(ii) of the Bluebook which references a list of official U.S. sources to cite to in section (a)(i) of that same rule. Using Treaties in Force, it can be determined that NAFTA has never appeared in the State Department's official publication of treaties entitled Treaties and Other International Acts (TIAS) or United States Treaties and Other Agreements (U.S.T.).

Thus, moving down the remaining list of acceptable sources in rule 21.4.5(a)(i), Senate Treaty Documents are next on the list.  NAFTA is a unique case in that it was submitted to both houses under the Fast Track procedure, so it was actually published as a House Document (H.R. Doc. No. 103-159, vol. 1) rather than a Senate treaty document. A PDF of the document can be found in one of our subscription databases called ProQuest Congressional. A permalink to the document in the database can be found here.

It was also published in International Legal Materials (ILM) at 32 I.L.M. 289 (1993). The Bluebook also allows citation to an unofficial source (Rule 21.4.5(c)) when a treaty does not appear in an official U.S. source. Looking at how NAFTA was cited in the periodicals databases on Lexis and Westlaw, this cite to ILM was commonly used as well.

Note: If you are accessing the ProQuest Congressional database or other Burns Law Library subscription databases from off campus, you will have to configure your browser to come through our proxy server. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

For more information about treaty research see our research guide A Guide to Treaty Research here or our LibGuide Treaties and International Agreements at Burns Law Library here.


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