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Researching International Law: Print & Online Resources   Tags: abbreviations, acronyms, citation guides, dictionaries, international law, jessup, moot, vis  

Highlights resources available at/via the Tulane Law Library as well as on free, reliable websites. Coverage includes primary & secondary sources. Feel free to contact me whenever you need more help researching international law.
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Roy L. Sturgeon

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Roy L. Sturgeon, Foreign, Comparative, & International Law/Reference Librarian
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This information was published as a LibGuide by Roy L. Sturgeon in October 2011 for Tulane University Law School in Louisiana.


What is International Law?

International law is typically divided into 2 parts: public & private. Public international law governs relationships between national governments, relationships between inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), & relationships between national governments & IGOs. Private international law governs the choice of law to apply when there are conflicts in the municipal (i.e., national or domestic) law of different nations related to private transactions between persons/businesses in those nations. International law may consist of treaties, court decisions, & customary law. Unlike foreign law, for which it is sometimes mistaken, international law regulates or binds national governments & IGOs across national boundaries.


International NGO in Action

Karen Tse, lawyer & founder of the Swiss-based non-governmental organization (NGO) International Bridges to Justices, gave a brief talk in 2011 about ways to end the all-too-common practice of investigative torture in Asia & Africa. Watch below:

Karen Tse talk - TED- from International Bridges to Justi on Vimeo.


Citation Guides

For help in citing to international law, see:

Cover Art
Guide to Foreign & International Legal Citations (2d ed.) - N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol.
Call Number: K89 .G84 2009
Has organization profiles & selected references.

Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (19th ed.) - Columbia, Harvard, Penn, & Yale Law Reviews
Call Number: KF245 .U5 2010
Rule 21 (pp. 185–214) & Tables 3-5 (pp. 426–9) cover international sources.

Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3d ed., 2010) - Melb. U. L. Rev. Ass'n
Part IV (pp. 121–96) covers international sources.

Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (7th ed.) - McGill L.J.
Call Number: KE259 .C25 2010
Chapter 5 (pp. E 79–102) covers international sources.



For help in defining international law terms, see:

Cover Art
Parry & Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (3d ed.) - John P. Grant & J. Craig Barker
Call Number: KF1163 .P36 2009
Has over 2,500 entries. They tend to be longer than in Fox's dictionary below. Focus on mainstream international law, especially human rights & humanitarian law, international criminal law, & international organizational law. Extensively referenced throughout.

Cover Art
Dictionary of International & Comparative Law (3d ed.) - James R. Fox
Call Number: KF1163 .F69 2003
Has over 5,500 entries. They tend to be short, but many are cross-referenced. Valuable as a starting point.

Dictionary of International Human Rights Law - Connie de la Vega
Call Number: K3239.6 .V44 2013
Has hundreds of entries. Also, appendix describes 259 major human rights treaties & has information on how to find them in full text (print & online).

Dictionary of International Trade Law (2d ed.) - Raj Bhala
Call Number: K3943 .B488 2012
Has hundreds of entries plus maps, research tools, & free-trade agreements data. Detailed & referenced throughout. Nearly twice as many pages as 1st edition (2008).


Print Resources

Over many decades, the Law Library has built a substantial collection of international law print resources numbering in the tens of thousands—many not available online. The bulk are shelved on the 5th & 6th floors. These include caselaw, treaties, journals, & treatises. Most are in English. Our collection is particularly strong in European Union, International Court of Justice, & International Criminal Court materials. Additional print resources are shelved on the 3d floor in New BooksReserve, Reference, the Comparative Law Collection, & the Maritime Collection; 4th floor in Special/Rare Collections & Microforms; & 5th floor in Government Documents.

For more details, search the Law Library's online catalog & see boxes below.


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