Flare Index to Treaties developed at IALS

About the Flare Index to Treaties

FIT for purpose!

What is it?

The FLARE Index to Treaties is a searchable database of basic information on over 2,000 of the most significant multilateral treaties and some bilateral treaties concluded between 1353 and the present, with details of where the full text of each treaty may be obtained in paper and, if available, electronic form on the internet.

Flare Index to Treaties search screen Click here to connect to the Flare Index to Treaties Database

What does it contain?

The Index includes key multilateral treaties from 1353 onwards and, in addition, key bilateral treaties from 1353 to 1815. Bilateral treaties have been excluded after that date for practical reasons explained below. So, by and large, the database focuses on those treaties where there are three or more parties to the instrument. The selection has been based on entries in:

Multilateral Treaties: index and current status , compiled and annotated within the University of Nottingham Treaty Centre by M.J. Bowman and D.J. Harris (London: Butterworths, 1984, eleventh supplement, 1995) - hereafter referred to as Bowman & Harris;

International Legal Materials (Washington, D.C., American Society of International Law, 1962-)

Index to British Treaties 1101-1988, various compilers (London: HMSO, 1970-1991)

Index to Multilateral Treaties, edited by Vaclav Mostecky (Cambridge: Harvard Law School Library, 1965)

Catalogue of Treaties 1814-1918 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919).

Whilst it would be desirable to create an index to all types of treaty the magnitude of the task may be illustrated by the fact that the World Treaty Index , compiled by Peter H. Rohn (Santa Barbara, California, 1984), merely covers treaties signed between 1900 and 1980, yet comprises over 44,000 entries.

Clearly, it is beyond the resources of the present project to bring that work up to date, so the FLARE Index includes only the most significant treaties, conventions and agreements.

How do I search the database?

It is searchable by any one or a combination of the following:

  • keywords drawn from the official, popular and alternative titles which have been used for each treaty;
  • additional keywords relevant to the subject matter or organisations associated with the treaty;
  • the date on which the treaty was concluded;
  • the place where the treaty was concluded.

The entry for each treaty in the database includes the following basic information:

  • where the full text of the treaty can be found in printed publications;
  • links to where the text is available on the internet - the order in which sites are listed has no significance and no responsibility is assumed by the compiler and provider of the Index for the authority or accuracy of the text contained on those sites - note also that some of the links to Google's digitised books lead to the title page of the book. The digitisation process has not created a separate URL for each page of the original work. Further, the pagination given in the search box or 'slider' on the web page may not match the page numbers printed in the original work - care and patience is required to find the correct page entry in the digitised work;
  • information on whether the treaty has been indexed in the four indexes or catalogues noted above;
  • the official languages used for the text of the treaty;
  • the name of the state or international organisation acting as depository for the treaty.

Information on amendments and protocols has been included either as additions to the entry for the main treaty, where internet versions incorporate this information with the main treaty or, as additional entries in the database, where internet versions keep the text of the amendments and protocols separate from the main treaty.

Where has the information come from?

Information was harvested initially from Bowman & Harris and has been supplemented from the four publications noted above, plus the following:

British Yearbook of International Law (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1921-)

Bulletin of International Legal Developments/Bulletin of Legal Developments (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 1966-2009)

United Nations Treaty Series Index (New York: United Nations, 1946-)

TSO/HMSO Catalogue ( London : TSO, searched from c.1990-)

The web sites of international organisations including:

EISIL ( E lectronic I nformation S ystem for I nternational L aw created by the American Society for International Law) http://www.eisil.org/

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK)
http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/publications-and-documents/treaties/uk-treaties-online/

United Nations Treaty Collection http://untreaty.un.org/English/access.asp

International Labour Organization http://www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/convdisp1.htm

Council of Europe (Treaty Office) http://conventions.coe.int/

European Union (EUROPA - EUR-lex web site) http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

Organization of American States http://www.oas.org/DIL/treaties_and_agreements.htm

AustLII - Australian Treaty Series http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/

How often is it updated?

The Index is updated at frequent intervals, depending on resources available.

Who is behind it?

The Index was conceived and compiled by Dr Peter Clinch, formerly of the Law Library, Cardiff University .

Both the MS Access database into which data have been keyboarded and the web-based search interface were devised by Steven Whittle, Information Systems Manager, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies , University of London .

Initial funding for the project was made available through a successful bid to the University of London Vice Chancellor 's Development Fund.

From the start, the Index has received the firm support and warm encouragement of the FLARE Group of major UK law libraries (Cambridge , IALS, Oxford , SOAS and the British Library) with significant international law collections.

How to contact us

Your reactions to and comments on the Index and suggestions for multilateral treaties which should be included are welcomed and should be sent to Steven Whittle at steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk

Further information on the development of the Flare Index to Treaties is available in articles published by LLRX.com and in the IALS Flare projects collections of SAS-Space.

Flying FLAG and keeping FIT - presentation (pdf)

Compiled by Dr Peter Clinch
Summer 2011