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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: Sep 8, 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.


The Syrian Crisis & International Law Lessons?

Ahmet Üzümcü, a Turkish ambassador & head of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, spoke at the Brookings Institution in April 2015 about the ongoing Syrian civil war. Watch below:


Citation Guides

For help in citing to international law, see:

ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (5th ed.) - Ass'n Legal Writing Dir. & Coleen M. Barger
Call Number: KF245 .A45 2014
Rule 19 (pp. 189–94) covers treaties.

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

Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed.) - Colum. L. Rev., Harv. L. Rev., U. Pa. L. Rev., & Yale L.J.
Call Number: KF245 .U5 2015
Rule 21 (pp. 200–31) & Tables 3–5 (pp. 491–6) cover 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.

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.



For help in defining international law terms, see:

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).

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 above. Focus on mainstream international law, especially human rights & humanitarian law, international criminal law, & international organizational law. Extensively referenced throughout.


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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