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International Treaties Research Guide: Background Information (Travaux Préparatoires)

Research guides

Courts rely on supplementary means of interpretation under the article 32 of ICJ when the meaning is ambiguous or obscure, or leads to a manifestly absurd or unreasonable result. The supplementary means include the preparatory works (travau préparatoires). U.S. courts are more inclusive of preparatory works in order to interpret treaties. Preparatory works are available only for multi-lateral treaties and are published either as a collection in print or on the websites of the hosting conference or international organization.

         Refer to the research guide, A la Recherche des Travaux Préparatoires: An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreement by Jonathan Pratter.

        Available in GlobaLex at