How can I research an Article of the United Nations Charter?
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2019
There are many ways to approach Charter research.
Some sources are arranged by Article of the Charter, such as:
- The Charter of the United Nations: a Commentary, edited by Bruno Simma et al.
- Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs (on-line and in print)
- Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council: Constitutional Issues section
Other sources may look at the Charter as a whole, such as:
Secondary sources such as books and articles may also discuss certain aspects of the Articles of the Charter. For example:
- Admission to the United Nations : Charter Article 4 and the rise of universal organization, by Thomas D. Grant
- 'Armed attack' and Article 51 of the UN Charter : evolutions in customary law and practice, by Tom Ruys
To find which local libraries might have this material, check the local libraries' catalogues or worldcat.
In addition, it is possible to search by subject in databases and library catalogues to identify material that may discuss the substance of Charter articles (such as self-defence, UN membership, General Assembly, Security Council, International Court of Justice, etc.).
For research into the drafting history of a particular Article of the Charter, in addition to the sources suggested above, the final two volumes of the Documents of the United Nations Conference on International Organization are indexes to the complete set of documents, organized by Article of the Charter. Within the section for each Article, there are citations to the documents by proposal and committee, as well as a subsection for subject analysis. Volume 21 is the English index. Volume 22 is the French index. Volume 16 is a subject index to the first 15 volumes of the set. Volume 21 and 22 can be found via HeinOnline's United Nations Law Collection (UN Headquarters only).
Please see the UN Documentation : Charter of the United Nations Research Guide for more information.
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.