I'm looking for the Statute of the International Court of Justice. I can't find it in the UN Treaty Series.
Last Updated: Dec 29, 2016     Views: 1810

Since the Statute of the International Court of Justice is annexed to the Charter of the United Nations, it can be relatively easy to find. Some places you can find it include:

  • Annexed to the Certified True Copy of the Charter of the United Nations, available from the UN Treaty Information website.
  • Annexed to a print copy of the Charter of the United Nations
  • On the website of the International Court of Justice

However, if you are looking for it within a volume of the UN Treaty Series (UNTS), you will not be able to find it. There is a UNTS citation that has been used frequently when the Statute of the International Court of Justice: 33 UNTS 993. This citation can be found in reputable legal literature but it is an incorrect citation.

How to search for a treaty in the UNTS by citation

To verify whether a UNTS citation is correct, look for the volume of the treaty series on the UN Treaty Information website.

Under Registration & Publication, select UN Treaty Series. 

Make sure you are in the Advanced Search option and select Treaty as your document.

Filter by Volume Number and enter the volume or range of volumes you are interested in.

This will bring up all the entries for the volume(s) of the UNTS you entered. You will have the option to view entire volumes in pdf. 

If the citation you have is incorrect, you may need to verify your citation with other treaty indexes or databases, such as the World Treaty Index (available in print or online) [1] or Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status by Bowman and Harris [2], commonly referred to as "Bowman and Harris".

In the case of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the citation, 33 UNTS 993 should actually be a citation to the United States Treaty Series: TS 993 or USTS 993

According to Bowman and Harris, the Statute can also be found in the following treaty series:

  • UKTS 67 (1946) [United Kingdom Treaty Series]
  • Cmd 7015 [United Kingdom Command Papers]
  • 145 BFSP 832 [British and Foreign State Papers]
  • Can TS 7 (1945) [Canadian Treaty Series]
  • 3 Bevans 1153 [US Treaties and Other International Agreements of the US 1776-1949]
  • SATS 6 (1945) [South African Treaty Series]

Finally, depending on which citation style you use, the information related to the treaty series may not be listed. For example, The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation [3], which is used in the legal field, does not include a treaty series in the citation for founding documents or statutes resulting in the creation of a new institution.

For more information about the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the Audiovisual Library of International Law has an excellent historic archives entry to the statute, including procedural history and an introductory note by Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade.


  1. P.H. Rohn, World Treaty Index, 2nd ed. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio Information Services, 1984)
  2. M. J. Bowman and D. J. Harris. Multilateral Treaties : Index and Current Status (London: Butterworths, 1984)
  3. ibid., p.1945.
  4. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 19th ed. (Cambridge: Harvard Law Review Association, 2010), 21.4.

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2016     Views: 1810

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.

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