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International Organizations & International Law

Introduction | Background | Research Guides | International Organizations | Treaties | Article Databases


This guide is intended as a tool primarily for students in political science researching international law at Doe Library. It is not comprehensive and concentrates on publications of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs). Additional sources, including books, treatises, and legal reporters are available at the Boalt Law Library on the Berkeley campus. The International and Foreign Law Research Guide and Researching the United Nations guides at Boalt are particularly recommended.

Background Resources

Before you begin start with background information to clarify your research goals. Review cases, decisions, declarations, etc. by consulting a year book or encyclopedia of an international organization. Another excellent starting point is International Legal Materials, which is searchable via Hein Online.

General Report on the Activities of the European Union, Main, DREF JN30.A7 G4 Govt/Stat

Guide to International Legal Research, Law, KZ1234 .G85 2002

Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Main, DREF JC571 .E67 1996

Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Law, KJ29 .E54 1992

Encyclopedia of the European Union, Main, GREF JN30 .E52 1998

Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Relations, Main, DREFJX1977 .O8213 1990

Introduction to the Legal System of the European Union, Law, KJE947 .R39 2001

Introduction to International Organizations, Main, GREF JX1954 .I57 1996

Yearbook of the United Nations, Main, GREF, JX1977.A37 U65;

WTO Analytical Index: Guide to WTO Law and Practice, Main, GREF, K4602.2 2003.

A good guide series on introductory legal research is the West Publishing Nutshell Series, e.g. Public International Law in a Nutshell (Law, KZ3092 .B83 2002). In addition, become familiar with the basic terms and definitions of Legal Research and Citation:

How to find the Law, Main, GREF KF240 .C538 1989

The Bluebook: A Uniform Style of Citation, Law, Reference Desk KF245 .B58

Dictionary of International & Comparative Law, Main, GREF, JX1226 .F69 1992

Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, Law, Reference Desk, KF246 .B559 2001

Finally, consult a good law review to get additional background information. Full-text Law Reviews are available via Lexis-Nexis and Hein Online.

Research Guides

There are many detailed research guides for international law, including the following:

ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law

Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)

Foreign Law Guide (UC Berkeley)

Guide to Foreign and International Legal Databases (NYU)

Human Rights Resources (UC Berkeley)

International Treaties (NYU Law Library)

Researching Public International Law (Columbia)

LLRX.Com: International Law Guides

United Nations Research Guide (UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library)

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library

Documents from International Organizations

CELEX Provides comprehensive information on EU law on a wide range of legal acts, as well as access to treaties, legislation, and case law of the European Court of Justice. Superseded since July 2004 by Eur-Lex. Requires manual login.

CLOUT From the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Access to court decisions and arbitral awards related to conventions and laws of the commission.

Europarl. Official site of the European Parliament. Includes full-text of EU Parliament Debates, searchable by speaker, date and title. Also includes adopted texts, proceedings of the sitting, committee reports and EU Parliament hearings.

Eur-Lex. Free service with access to the The Official Journal of the European Union, full-text of EU Treaties, consolidated versions of existing legislation and recent judgments by the EU Court of Justice.

European Court of Justice. Includes searchable database (CURIA) of EU case law for the European Court of Justice and Court of First Instance.

FAOLEX. Comprehensive and up-to-date computerized legislative database on national laws and regulations on food, agriculture and renewable natural resources.

GATT Digital Archive. Online digital archive of documents and publications from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), from 1947 to 1994.

International Court of Justice. Principal judicial organ of the United Nations responsible to settle legal disputes submitted by member states. Includes Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders, and Pleadings & Oral Arguments.

International Criminal Court. Permanent treaty based, international criminal court established to promote the rule of law and prosecute crimes against humanity.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Cases, legal texts and daily journal of the tribunal.

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Current press releases, trial summaries, the Bulletin of the ICTY, hearings schedule, publications, and case documents.

International Digest of Health Legislation. Selection of national and international health legislation, with summaries in English, from the WHO. Links are provided to sites with the full text of the legislation. Supersedes the print which was published from 1948-1999 at the Public Health Library (PUBL RA 421 .I47).

UNBISnet- UN Bibliographic Information System. Bibliographic database of UN documents, voting records and speeches. UN resolutions of the principal organs are indexed from 1946 to present. Most records are linked to the full-text.

United Nations International Law Section. Gateway site to the work of the United Nations in the field of International Law, including information on the International Law Commission, & the General Assembly Legal Committee.

United Nations International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Includes proceedings and judgements of cases brought before the tribunal.

World Trade Organization (WTO) Documents Online Database. Selected full-text documents from the World Trade Organization, including Legal Texts and Dispute Settlements.


See also the library research guides on Treaties and International Agreements and

Council of Europe, European Treaties. Searchable database of over 190 treaties from the Council of Europe's European Treaty Series (ETS) (final versions in the multi-volume European Conventions and Agreements, Main JX626 1971 .C68).

ECOLEX. Database on international environmental law from the FAO, IUCN and UNEP. Includes information on treaties, international non-binding policy, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature.

FAO Conventions and Agreements. Listing of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conventions and agreements deposited with the FAO.

European Treaties and Explanatory Texts. Includes complete texts of the nine major EU treaties (e.g. Treaty of Paris, Treaty of Rome, Maastrict Treaty) as well as explanatory notes.

ILOLEX: Database of International Labour Law. Database of ILO Conventions and Recommendations, ratification information, comments of the Committee of Experts, interpretations, and related documents.

Inter-American Treaties. Multinational treaties approved within the framework of the Organization for American States (OAS).

International Humanitarian Law Database (ICRC). Includes over 100 treaties from international bodies, from 1856 to present. Includes an introduction to each treaty, commentaries, and the full text of the Geneva Conventions and protocols.

League of Nations Treaty Series. Main, JX170.L4. Not yet online. Cumulative Indexes are in Government Reference (GREF) at the same call number.

Treaties in Force. List of treaties and other international agreements of the United States. Also in print (Main, DREF JX235.9 .A34 Govt/Stat).

UNESCO Legal Instruments. Includes UNESCO conventions, declaration, and recommendations in the areas of education, the natural sciences, culture, communication, and information.

U.N. Treaty Collection. Collection of UN Treaty databases, including: Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General, which lists signatories and parties to more than 517 multilateral treaties, with the full text of declarations and reservations; and the United Nations Treaty Series which contains the full text of more than 40,000 bilateral and multilateral agreements.

United Nations Treaty Body Database. Provides documents of the six UN Human Rights Committees (e.g. Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Rights of the Child) including periodic reports submitted by states to the committee, and committee responses.

U.S. Treaties and International Agreements. Includes full-text of thousands of U.S. treaties and international agreements. Most up-to-date source for many types of the included agreements.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties
. List of treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, with information on the text, parties, notifications, and treaty statistics.

Article Databases & Reporters

Constitutions of the Countries of the World Online. Full text of constitutions from over 190 countries, including English translations and introductory and comparative notes that review recent amendments.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals. Indexes articles and book reviews from more than 450 legal periodicals, including journals, essay collections, and congressional reports.

InterAm Database. Legal information pertaining to trade, investment, and related issues throughout the Americas. Includes primary sources (statutes, regulations, technical standards, official gazettes, constitutions, case law and treaties) and some secondary sources (commentaries, law review articles and analysis).

Hein Online. Provides the full-text to the early issues of many legal journals, including some key international sources such as International Legal Materials.

International Environment Reporter. Environment and safety news on laws, regulations, and policies in all major industrialized and developing nations, and in international governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Lexis-Nexis Academic. Includes over 6,000 titles of international, national and local newspapers, legislative magazines, journals, and newsletters. Has a section devoted to legal research, with law reviews, court cases, and selected international law.

LegalTrac. Good starting point for beginning research. Indexes major law reviews, legal newspapers, bar association journals and thousands of law-related articles from general interest publications. Selected full-text.

World Intellectual Property Report. Monthly news and analysis of developments in the regulation and enforcement of intellectual property rights worldwide.

WTO Reporter. Tracks the progress of multilateral trade negotiations, negotiating positions of parties, policy decisions, dispute settlement activities, and reactions of countries to major developments. Monitors the progress of all major cases taken to the WTO.