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Referencing - International Law: Bilateral treaty

How do I reference a bilateral treaty?

This guidance applies whether you found the treaty in print or online.

title | (parties to bilateral treaty) | (opened for signature date OR signed/adopted date, entered into force date) | treaty series reference

Footnote and bibliography:
e.g. Rehabilitation and Development Co-operation Agreement (Australia-Nauru) (signed 5 May 1994, entered into force 5 May 1994) ATS 1994 15

To pinpoint, follow the citation with the relevant term or abbreviation and a number. To pinpoint several articles or paragraphs, insert a dash between the numbers:
e.g. Rehabilitation and Development Co-operation Agreement (Australia-Nauru) (signed 5 May 1994, entered into force 5 May 1994) ATS 1994 15 arts 4-5

Term Abbreviation
article/articles art/arts
paragraph/paragraphs para/paras

Title

  • Do not include 'The' at the beginning of the title
  • Use capitals for the major words
  • Include details of amendments in the title, if necessary
  • Include parties to a bilateral treaty in (round brackets) after the title with party names separated by a dash, e.g. (Australia-Nauru).

Date

  • If parties can accede to the treaty, cite the full date that the treaty was opened for signature
  • Otherwise, cite the date that it was signed or adopted
  • If available, then give the date that it entered into force.

Parts of a treaty

Treaties are divided into articles and paragraphs.

These divisions are referenced using either a term (e.g. article 4) or an abbreviation (e.g. art 4) as follows:

  • In a footnote, use the abbreviation
  • In the text of your work, use either the term or the abbreviation but...
  • Use the term at the beginning of a sentence
  • When referring to paragraphs, always use the abbreviation.

If citing a paragraph as part of an article, use only the abbreviation for the article. For example, paragraph 1 of article 6 of the Rehabilitation and Development Co-operation Agreement (Australia-Nauru) is referenced as follows: Rehabilitation and Development Co-operation Agreement (Australia-Nauru) (signed 5 May 1994, entered into force 5 May 1994) ATS 1994 15 art 6(1).