The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Treaties

The United Nations is a vital part of the international order. Yet this book argues that the greatest contribution of the UN is not what it has achieved (improvements in health and economic development, for example) or avoided (global war, say, or the use of weapons of mass destruction). It is, instead, the process through which the UN has transformed the structure of international law to expand the range and depth of subjects covered by treaties.

This handbook offers the first sustained analysis of the UN as a forum in which and an institution through which treaties are negotiated and implemented. Chapters are written by authors from different fields, including academics and practitioners; lawyers and specialists from other social sciences (international relations, history, and science); professionals with an established reputation in the field; younger researchers and diplomats involved in the negotiation of multilateral treaties; and scholars with a broader view on the issues involved.

The volume thus provides unique insights into UN treaty-making. Through the thematic and technical parts, it also offers a lens through which to view challenges lying ahead and the possibilities and limitations of this understudied aspect of international law and relations.

The Introduction is available free through here.


Foreword by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
Foreword, Miguel de Serpa Soares
Introduction to the Oxford Handbook of United Nations Treaties, Simon Chesterman, David M. Malone, and Santiago Villalpando
1: The UN Charter and Its Evolution, Ian Johnstone
2: Treaty-Making in International Organizations: International Relations Theory, Shirley V. Scott
3: Treaty-Making at the United Nations: The View from the Secretariat, Stephen Mathias
4: The Role of Treaties in Pursuing the Objectives of the UN Charter, Christian J. Tams
5: The Place of Treaties in the Codification and Progressive Development of International Law, Giorgio Gaja
6: The Choice of a Treaty: Hard Law versus Soft Law, Alan Boyle
A: International Peace and Security
7A: United Nations Weapons Control Treaties, Barry Kellman
7B: Creating from Chaos: Practitioner Reflections on Multilateral Treaty-Making, Daniël Prins
8A: Terrorism, Pierre Klein
8B: Terrorism: Practitioner Reflection, A. Rohan Perera
9: The Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Tanja Masson-Zwaan and Roberto Cassar
B: Economic and Social Development
10: Environment and Sustainable Development, Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger and Alexandra Harrington
11: The ILO’s Standard-Setting: The First One Hundred Years, George P. Politakis
12: Women, Hilary Charlesworth
13: Drugs and Crime, David Bewley-Taylor and Martin Jelsma
14: Trade and Development, Makane Moïse Mbengue
15: Culture, Tullio Scovazzi
16: The Practice of UN Treaty-Making Concerning Science, Sam Johnston
17A: Health, Allyn L. Taylor
17B: Health: Practitioner Comment, Gian Luca Burci
18: Intellectual Property, Edward Kwakwa
C: Human Rights
19: The Human Rights Treaty Body System, Jane Connors
20: The Covenants, Bertrand G. Ramcharan
21: The Committees on Human Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Helen Keller and Corina Heri
22: United Nations Treaty-Making: Refugees and Stateless Persons, Guy S. Goodwin-Gill
23A: International Criminal Law and UN Treaties, Salvatore Zappalà
23B: International Criminal Law: Practitioner Reflection, Hirad Abtahi and Philippe Kirsch
D: International Law
24A: Law of Treaties, Malgosia Fitzmaurice
24B: Law of Treaties: Practitioner Reflection, Lionel Yee
25A: Law of the Sea, Yoshifumi Tanaka
25B: Negotiating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Practitioner’s Reflection, Tommy Koh
26: Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies, Davinia Aziz and Alison See
27: Diplomatic and Consular Relations, Sanderijn Duquet and Jan Wouters
28: International Commercial Arbitration, Corinne Montineri
29: Responsibility of States and International Organizations, Pierre Bodeau-Livinec
30: The Negotiation of Multilateral Treaties at the United Nations: A Negotiator’s View, Michael Wood
31: The Participation of Nonstate Actors in the Multilateral Treaty Process, Philippa Webb
32: Participation of International Organizations in UN Treaties, Jan Klabbers
33: The Role of the United Nations in Promoting Transparency in the International Treaty Framework, Jonathan Agar and Christel Mobech
34: The Role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties, Arancha Hinojal-Oyarbide

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Australia: Oxford University

Britain: Oxford University

Japan: Oxford University

Singapore: Oxford University PressKinokuniya

United States: Oxford University