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I need to add to my bibliography (in LaTeX, using Bibtex) an entry for the Paris Agreement (2015): https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en

However, I have been unable to find any BibTeX-style (or, for that matter, any citation format) for how to cite such a UN treaty. What would be the right format?

  • Not sure whether it's better suited to Academia.SE. if it is, please feel free to migrate the question. – Clement C. Aug 14 '18 at 3:12
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    Here's what the APA blog has to say: blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/09/… I think this covers most of the things. The APA is an author-year style, so if you're using any author-year style their guidelines would probably work, assuming that most journals don't have a specified style for them. If you are working in a legal citation framework, however, things may be quite different. If you only need this very rarely, then using a misc entry type would probably be simplest. – Alan Munn Aug 14 '18 at 3:35
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    For how to create custom citation and references for legislation in biblatex see What is best practice re. handling legal sources with Biblatex/Biber for disciplines other than law?. – Alan Munn Aug 14 '18 at 3:39
  • The exact form for your .bib entry will probably have to depend not only on the desired output, but also on the (BibTeX/biblatex) bibliography style you use in your document. For the occasional use @misc as suggested by Allan Munn seems the obvious choice, but the exact content of the fields may have to be tweaked a bit between styles. – moewe Aug 14 '18 at 5:35
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    For biblatex @misc{paris, title = {Paris Agreement}, date = {2015-12-12}, note = {UNTC XXVII 7.d}, } would work reasonably well - it wouldn't give you the exact APA style output, but it would probably be close enough for most other intents and purposes. – moewe Aug 14 '18 at 5:45
2

Short answer: there is nothing exactly on point ready to hand. It can be approximated quickly, though.

Slightly longer answer:

Depends on what information you need to pass on to your reader.

What will come into play is choosing from a combination of already existing biblatex styles and the entry types they support.

For example, for general purposes:

The oxnotes biblatex style has a @legal bib entry type, and piltreaty subentrytype, which handles the legally relevant dates. URLs are not really part of that picture (yet).

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}

@legal{paris,
entrysubtype = {piltreaty},
title = {Paris Agreement},
shorthand = {Paris Agreement},
execution = {adopted=2015-12-12 and inforce=2016-11-04},
pagination = {article},
journaltitle = {United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter XXVII 7. d},
url = {https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en},
urldate = {2019-03-28}
}

\end{filecontents}

\documentclass[12pt]{article}

\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[autostyle]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=oxnotes,
        isourls=true,
        ]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}

\section{Oxnotes Style, @legal entry type}
As stated in the \citetitle[Article 4, paragraph 2]{paris}: ``Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, ...''

\printbibliography

\end{document}

Result:

oxnotes treaty

The apa style, by contrast, has a @data entry type which looks promising: it does a nice url, but its dates are limited (more publication-related), and there is not a cascade of them.

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}


@data{paris,
title = {Paris Agreement},
type = {UN Treaty},
entrysubtype = {Treaty No. XXVII-7-d},
%shorthand = {Paris Agreement},
day = {12},
month  = {12},
year = {2015},
organization = {United Nations},
 url ={https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en},
  urlday = {28},
  urlmonth = {3},
  urlyear = {2019},
  author = {},
}

\end{filecontents}

\documentclass[12pt]{article}

\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[autostyle]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=apa]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}

\begin{document}

\section{APA Style, @data entry type}
As stated in the \citetitle[Article 4, paragraph 2]{paris}: ``Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, ...''

\printbibliography

\end{document}

Result:

apa treaty

To get an idea of the effort needed to adapt a style, adding a url to the oxnotes legal entry turns out to be a one-line change, since all the heavy lifting and pre-work (field definition, assignment and allocation; date parsing and processing; options processing; string constant definition) has already been done.

We just get the already-formatted and packaged url+urldate and "bung it in" at the end (literally) of the bit that prints the formatted legal entry item in the bibliography (code from the foundational oxref.dbx file and copied into our document tex file's preamble:

\DeclareBibliographyDriver{legal}{%
  \usebibmacro{bibindex}%
  \usebibmacro{begentry}%
  \iffieldequals{entrysubtype}{\explanatorynote}{%
    \printfield[default]{title}%
    \setunit{\addspace}\newblock
  }{%
    \iffieldequals{entrysubtype}{\parliamentarytype}{%
      \usebibmacro{legal:parliamentary}%
    }{%
      \usebibmacro{treatycitation}}}%
  \setunit{\addcomma\space}\newblock
  \printfield[default]{note}
  \setunit{\addspace}\newblock
  \setunit{\bibpagerefpunct}%
  \usebibmacro{pageref}%
  \usebibmacro{url+urldate}%=========== this line
  \usebibmacro{finentry}}

MWE:

\RequirePackage{filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}

@legal{paris,
entrysubtype = {piltreaty},
title = {Paris Agreement},
shorthand = {Paris Agreement},
execution = {adopted=2015-12-12 and inforce=2016-11-04},
pagination = {article},
journaltitle = {United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter XXVII 7. d},
url = {https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en},
urldate = {2019-03-28}
}

\end{filecontents}

\documentclass[12pt]{article}


%=============================
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage[autostyle]{csquotes}
\usepackage[style=oxnotes,
        isourls=true,
        ]{biblatex}
\addbibresource{\jobname.bib}



%=============================
\DeclareBibliographyDriver{legal}{%
  \usebibmacro{bibindex}%
  \usebibmacro{begentry}%
  \iffieldequals{entrysubtype}{\explanatorynote}{%
    \printfield[default]{title}%
    \setunit{\addspace}\newblock
  }{%
    \iffieldequals{entrysubtype}{\parliamentarytype}{%
      \usebibmacro{legal:parliamentary}%
    }{%
      \usebibmacro{treatycitation}}}%
  \setunit{\addcomma\space}\newblock
  \printfield[default]{note}
  \setunit{\addspace}\newblock
  \setunit{\bibpagerefpunct}%
  \usebibmacro{pageref}%
  \usebibmacro{url+urldate}%=========== this line
  \usebibmacro{finentry}}




\begin{document}

\section{Oxnotes Style, @legal entry type (mod)}
As stated in the \citetitle[Article 4, paragraph 2]{paris}: ``Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, ...''

\printbibliography

\end{document}

Result:

oxnotes legal with url

To change the apa style to be able to handle the dates is TML (too many lines) - for me, anyway :) . Doable, certainly. But not a five-minute job. Although, thinking about it for a moment, the dates could go in as extra, individual fields, and then get formatted, and with bibstrings added. So, six minutes, then.

  • 1
    Very nice answer. Incidentally, as the author of oscola, which is (largely) used by oxnotes for legal material, I suppose I was responsible for not including the URL in treaties. The documentation suggests that it's a deliberate decision; but I can see an argument for having it, and that argument might be stronger for oxnotes and oscola because whereas practising lawyers ware likely to know how to find a treaty given the reference, others might not. – Paul Stanley Mar 28 at 13:23

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