Public international law is sometimes called “the law of nations” because it governs the relationships among national governments and international organizations. Topics include environmental, trade, and human rights issues. Private international law governs the choice of law that applies when there are conflicts between individual parties in different countries. Topics include contracts, marriage and divorce, and jurisdiction. Foreign law involves the national law of a sovereign nation, such as French law. Comparative law studies the differences and similarities between the laws of different countries or legal system.
Basic Tools - Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (off-campus link)
The place to begin your research. Over 1600 in-depth, peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law.
Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (off-campus link)
Extensive entries define and explain terms and concepts. Also includes citations and references to cases, books and articles.
Also available in print: Reference KZ1161 .P37 2009
International Law: a Dictionary
Reference KZ1161 .B63 2005
Abbreviations and Citations - Deciphering and Style Guides
Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (6th ed. 2009).
The most comprehensive abbreviation dictionary: search by abbreviation or full title.
LawRefDesk KF246 .P75 2009; older edition online via LexisNexis.
The best free online source, this site primarily covers law reports and law periodicals in English, but major foreign language law publications are also included Raistrick, Donald. Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations (3d ed. 2008). Especially helpful with European abbreviations.
LawRefDesk KD400 .R35 2008
Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations (3d ed. 2008)Raistrick, Donald
Especially helpful with European abbreviations. LawRefDesk KD400 .R35 2008
Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations (2d ed. 2009). Created by the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics. First edition available online (pdf)
LawRefDesk K89 .G85 2009
International Citation Manual by Washington University Global Law Studies Review
Free and online, this site covers abbreviations and citations for countries that are often not included in other tools.
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed. 2010).
Reserve KF245 .B58 2010.
The rules provide citation suggestions for foreign and international materials, with specific examples found in the Tables:
- Rule 20: Foreign Materials
- Rule 21: International Materials
- T.2: Foreign Jurisdictions
- T.3: Intergovernmental Organizations
- T.4: Treaty Sources
- T.5: Arbitral Reporters
Research Guides - Gathers the Best Web and Print Resources on a Topic
International and Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook
Marci Hoffman & Mary Rumsey
K85 .H64 2012
In-depth coverage of all international and foreign law research topics.
International Legal Research in a Nutshell
Marci B. Hoffman & Robert C. Berring
Reserve KF240 .C54 2010
Brief but excellent overview of international and foreign law resources.
Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law (American Society for International Law)
Excellent source for links and basic strategies for finding international legal materials online.
Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)
Provides "primary materials, authoritative web sites and helpful research guides to international law on the Internet."
Georgetown Law Library Research Guides
Over 40 research guides on a variety of foreign and international law subjects.
NYU Law Library Research Guides
An assortment of guides, some especially helpful for cite-checkers.
Peace Palace Library Research Guides
The librarians for the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration have created over 40 guides on both public and private international law topics. (Click on the tabs for bibliographies, web links, and librarian favorites.)
Globalex International Law Research Guides (NYU's Hauser Global Law School Program)
Over 20 extensive research guides written by experts in their fields.
Other Introductory Guides to Public International Law Research
NYU Law Library International Law Research
A well-organized and current listing of print and online international law sources.
Also lists current awareness sites and resources.
Berkeley Law Library
Extensive guides that also lists classic treatises on international law.
UC Berkeley and Duke's online International Legal Research Tutorial
For those who prefer a self-paced introduction to basic sources, treaty research, customary international law, and international organizations.
Foreign & International Law (Washburn University School of Law)
Enormous subject list in alphabetical order.
Legal Research on International Law Issues Using the Internet (University of Chicago)
Older site, but still useful.
WorldLII International Law Library
Searchable free database of treaties, decisions, and law journals.