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United States Practice


International Law


(Mrs. Harold Herbert Leich)



References :

Bevans Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of

America 1776–1949, compiled under the direction of Charles I.

Bevans. EAS Executive Agreement Series, issued singly in pamphlets by the Depart

ment of State (until replaced in 1945 by the TIAS). LNTS League of Nations Treaty Series. P.L. Public Law of the United States. Stat. United States Statutes at Large. TIAS Treaties and Other International Acts Series, issued singly in pam

phlets by the Department of State. TS Treaty Series, issued singly in pamphlets by the Department of State

(until replaced in 1945 by the TIAS). UNTS United Nations Treaty Series. U.S.C. United States Code. UST United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (volumes

published on a calendar-year basis beginning as of January 1, 1950).

Earlier volumes :

1973 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Stock No. 044-000_01525–1 $7.50
1974 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Stock No. 044-000_01566–8 (2d printing) $11.00
1975 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Stock No. 044_000_01605–2 $11.00
1976 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Stock No. 044-000–01645–1 $9.50
1977 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Stock No. 044-000-01720-2 $12.75


Released December 1980

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, D.C. 20402


The 1978 volume of the Department of State's Digest of United States Practice in International Law follows the pattern established for the first volume of this work in 1973. It is somewhat lengthier than its predecessors, partly for reasons of content and partly for reasons of presentation.

The volume's size reflects, first, the reality that the annual Digests embody not only practice vis-à-vis other nations but also the domestic foreign policy law of the United States, and second, the special circumstance that 1978 saw completion of several United States foreign policy initiatives in train for a number of years. Two were particularly controversial in United States constitutional law, and came before both the Congress and the courts : ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties, and establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China combined with notice of termination of the defense treaty with Taiwan.

Less controversial aspects of foreign policy were also litigated, e.g., extradition, prisoner transfer, implementation of fisheries conventions, the making of aviation agreements, and U.S. actions to seize narcotics cargoes and to participate in other nations' efforts to eradicate narcotics production.

The expanded content of this volume derives not only from the increase in domestic litigation challenging the conduct of foreign affairs. It also results from an effort to describe domestic legislative provisions having major impact upon United States practice in international legal relations. The application of existing, and the emergence of new, foreign policy law is thus to be perceived as involving a continuing interaction among the three branches of United States government.

This volume illustrates, too, activities of the United States in the diplomatic tradition of the mediator: American diplomacy in promoting Egyptian and Israeli agreement upon a framework for peace in the Middle East and a framework for conclusion of a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel; and American participation in multilateral diplomacy under United Nations aegis in Southern Rhodesia, Namibia, Cyprus, and Lebanon, and under Organization of American States aegis in Nicaragua.

Presentation of material has varied according to the subject under treatment. In general, emphasis has been placed upon completed, rather than ongoing, action, such as the SALT and the MTN negotiations. Nonjudicial and nonlegislative material includes a variety of official correspondence and statements. More sources have been reproduced than in former volumes in an attempt to make the 1978 Digest more valuable to foreign users and to members of the Foreign Service of the United States at posts abroad, who do not have access to the same library facilities, primarily for American law, that practitioners in the United States enjoy.


Legal Adviser

Department of State Washington, D.C.

October 1980

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