General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine

Resources on International Law

BY Edward Grosek and Mark Hamilton

International and comparative law encompass large arenas: international agreements made between or among nations and intergovernmental organizations; constitutions, statutes, case reports, regulations, and declarations of foreign nations; descriptions of countries’ criminal justice systems and trade and taxation practices; and official documents, charters, and resolutions of intergovernmental organizations.

The following collections of international law materials include Internet directories of links to myriad legal documents maintained by universities and legal associations and institutes; law school libraries that acquire large holdings of foreign law materials and intergovernmental organizations’ publications; and contact information for associations and institutes.

Internet Resources, Universities

Avalon Project Documents, Alphabetic Author/Title List

Texts of documents, charters, treaties, declarations, speeches, and reports from pre-eighteenth century to the present and relevant to the fields of law. New Haven, CT: Yale Law School.

Foreign and International Law

Links to sources for foreign nations’ commercial laws, constitutions, and statutes and to descriptions of their governments, political systems, courts, and legislative bodies. Topeka, KS: Washburn University School of Law.

Foreign and International Law Links (click on "foreign and international law").

Alphabetized links to other international law information: gay law, family courts, patent offices, trade law boards, intellectual property, bar associations, liability, divorce law, and more. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University School of Law Library.

Foreign Law Collections

Links to texts of 123 nations’ constitutions, most of which are displayed in one frame so that searches are efficient. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Law School, Biddle Law Library.

Human Rights Treaties and Other Instruments

Links to texts of 135 conventions, declarations, and charters on human rights (i.e., the rights of women, indigenous peoples, etc.); includes OAU, OAS, and CE conventions. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, Human Rights Library.

International Inter-Governmental Organizations Webpage Finder

Links to webpages of the United Nations, UN commissions and institutes, interstate and commodity organizations, etc., with links to official documents. Columbus, SC: University of South Carolina.

International Trade/Commercial Law Monitor: International Trade Instruments

Links to texts of trade treaties and model trade laws: current WIPO draft treaties, European contract law agreements, NAFTA, UNCITRAL model laws, Patents Cooperation Treaty, etc. Tromsø, Norway: University of Tromsø.

Law by Global Source

Links to texts of foreign nations’ statutes and judicial opinions, international trade law materials, treaties, and decisions of the International Court of Justice. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute.

Multilaterals Project

Links to texts of multilateral treaties from 1648 to the present, accessible chronologically or by broad topic category. Medford, MA: Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

UN Scholars’ Workstation at Yale University (scroll to research approaches to UN information).

A guide to UN information in which each UN organ is described, with links to official documents, conferences, and press releases. Also search for reports and speeches, by topic. New Haven, CT: Yale University Library and Social Science Statistical Laboratory.

Internet Resources, Associations, Institutes

Academic Council on the United Nations System

Links to texts of UN documents, records, reports, charters, and conventions, as well as to multilateral treaties among nations; copies of Council newsletters and topic papers. New Haven, CT: Yale University, Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

Australian Legal Information Institute

Texts of regulations, court cases, consolidated acts, and commission decisions of Australia’s states and territories, plus texts of Australia’s treaties and reports on industrial issues. Sydney, Australia: Australian Legal Information Institute.


The EU’s homepage, with links to its Official Journal of the European Communities, treaties, case law. Brussels, Belgium: European Union.

Hieros Gamos: Guide to International Law

Links to texts of treaties, UN records and documents, work of international organizations, and select journals on global issues; plus a guide to working with intellectual property and litigation. Houston, TX: Lex Mundi Association of Independent Law Firms.

Information Resources on International Law

Links to general sources of international law (treaties, interstate organizations, and law institutes), Internet resources on issues like economic law, and essays by international law experts. Washington, DC: American Society of International Law.

International Labor Organization (click on "ILO Conventions")

Texts of all 182 (as of June 1999) International Labor Organization conventions, including under forced and superseded agreements. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labor Office.

International Law Topic Area

Divided into world arenas (Western Hemisphere, Asia and Oceania, Middle East, etc.); each has links to summaries of national laws and descriptions of national criminal justice systems. San Francisco, CA: International Association of Independent Law Firms.

Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law

Texts of intergovernmental agreements underlying the issue of state responsibility for internationally wrongful acts (one of Lauterpacht’s special concerns). Cambridge, England; Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law.

NATO Basic Texts

NATO’s website has links to the texts of the Treaty and to 12 supplementary agreements and protocols. Brussels, Belgium: North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters.

Texts of Treaties Administered by WIPO

Texts of multilateral agreements protecting inventions, trademarks, integrated circuit designs, and literary, musical, and artistic copyrights, administered by WIPO. Geneva, Switzerland: World Intellectual Property Organization.

Law School Libraries

California Western School of Law Library

225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Acquires UN, ICJ, ILO, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, Asian and European national publications.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law Library

11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106

Acquires ICJ, Council of Europe, EU, European, Canadian, Mexican, Caribbean national publications.

Chicago-Kent College of Law International Relations Library

565 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60661-3691

Depository for UN, EU, FAO, ILO, GATT/WTO and WHO documents; acquires UNCTAD, IMF, IBRD, OECD, UNESCO, WIPO, IAEA, Council of Europe, OAS, UNIDO, WMO, yearbooks of international law from select foreign nations, and Canadian national publications.

Columbia University School of Law Library

435 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027

Depository for UN documents; acquires ICJ, UNCTAD, ILO, and Economic Commission publications.

Fordham University School of Law Library

140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023

Acquires UN, ICJ, EU, and European, African, Colombian, Singaporean, Malaysian, and Swiss national publications.

University of Georgia School of Law Library

225 Herty Drive, Athens, Georgia 30602-6018

Acquires UN, ICJ, UNCTAD, ILO, FAO, UNESCO, WHO, WMO, IMF, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, EU, OAS, OECD publications.

Harvard University Law School Library

1545 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

A depository for EU documents; acquires UN, UNCTAD, ILO, WHO, IBRD, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, OAS, ICJ, IMF, and European and Canadian national publications.

Indiana University School of Law Library

735 West New York Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202

A depository for UN and OAS documents; acquires UNCTAD, ILO, FAO, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, OECD, UNIDO, European national publications, and Economic Commission publications.

University of Iowa College of Law Library

276 Boyd Law Building, Iowa City, IA 52242

Acquires UN, ICJ, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, OAS, EU, and European and Canadian national publications.

New York University School of Law Library

40 Washington Sq. South, New York, NY 10012

A depository for EU and GATT/WTO documents; acquires UN, UNCTAD, ILO, IBRD, IAEA, Council of Europe, OAS, OECD, ICJ, IMF, European, Mexican, South American, Central American, and Canadian national publications.

University of Pennsylvania Biddle Law Library

3460 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-3406

A depository for EU, UN, GATT/WTO, and OECD documents; acquires Council of Europe, ICJ, ILO, UNCTAD, and Asian and Canadian national publications.

Temple University School of Law Library

1719 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Acquires UN, ICJ, EU, ILO, OECD, and African and European national publications.

Tulane University Law School Library

6329 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70118-5600

Acquires UN, ICJ, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, EU, NATO, OAS, and OECD publications.

Washington and Lee University School of Law Library

Wilbur Hall, Lexington, VA 24450

Acquires UNEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNIDO, ILO, FAO, EU, UNESCO, WHO, GATT/WTO, Council of Europe, OAS, ICJ, IMF, Canadian national and Economic Commission publications.

Associations and Institutes

ABA Section of International Law and Practice

Broad subdivisions of law (like public international law); maintains more than 60 committees on specific law concerns (such as Eastern European law).

American Foreign Law Association

645 Madison Ave., 17th floor, New York, NY 10022

Attorneys, jurists, and law professors who work with global legal issues; has registered nongovernmental organization status with the UN; sponsors international law weekends and projects.

British Institute of International & Comparative Law

17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR, England

Meetings, publications, and analysis and training programs, to familiarize lawyers with other countries’ legal systems (particularly the European Union).

Hague Conference on Private International Law

6 Scheveningseweg, NL-2517 KT, The Hague, Netherlands

Works for global unification of private international law; sponsors intergovernmental conferences on specific issues (i.e. family law), drafts treaties on those issues, then monitors compliance with the treaties.

International Law Association

Lawyers and representatives from 85 countries, active in shipping and banking industries; maintains interest groups on civil rights issues like extradition..

International Law Institute

Programs for research and training on legal aspects of international business transactions.

World Jurist Association

Judges, law professors, jurists, and lawyers from 140 countries, who study each other’s legal systems.

Edward Grosek is an assistant professor in charge of United Nations’ and other international organizations’ publications at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. He can be reached by e-mail at . Mark Hamilton is a j57 Technical Assistant in the Government Publications Department at Northern Illinois University Libraries. He can be reached by e-mail at .

Back to Top