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International Legal Research: Start Here


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: Encyclopedia and Dictionaries

Meta Sites

Abbreviations and Citations: Deciphering and Style Guides

Bluebook Resources

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, 20th ed. (2015). Reserve KF245 .B58 2015
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

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