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Researching International Criminal Law: Print & Online Resources   Tags: crimes against humanity, criminal law, genocide, george clooney, icc, international criminal court, trials, war crimes  

Highlights resources available at/via Tulane libraries as well as on free, reliable websites. Coverage includes primary & secondary sources. Feel free to contact me whenever you need more help researching international criminal law.
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2017 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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What is International Criminal Law?

The roots of international criminal law (ICL) go back centuries. But unprecedented atrocities committed by Germany & Japan during World War 2 dramatically expanded the scope & importance of ICL, prompting historic trials held in Nuremberg & Tokyo of top perpetrators. Today, ICL can refer to only a handful of core crimes (e.g., crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes) created directly by international law & prosecuted by special international courts. It can also include transnational crimes (e.g., cybercrime, drug/human trafficking, terrorism) defined in multilateral treaties but prosecuted in domestic courts instead of international courts. And it can cover both core crimes & transnational crimes as well as other substantive & procedural issues.


George Clooney Eyes Sudanese War Criminals

Academy Award-winning actor/producer George Clooney & activist John Prendergast, both of the Satellite Sentinel Project, spoke with Charlie Rose in 2012 about their joint effort to help shine a global spotlight on war crimes in Sudan. Watch below:


Book Overviews

For help in learning ICL essentials, read:

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Cambridge Companion to International Criminal Law - William A. Schabas, ed.
Call Number: KZ7000 .C36 2015
Comprehensive introduction to ICL covers big issues from interdisciplinary perspective. Organized around 5 themes: purposes & principles, institutions, crimes, trials, & the future. Has 18 chapters by distinguished experts, including former ICC judge (Hans-Peter Kaul), last living Nuremberg Trials prosecutor (Benjamin B. Ferencz), & "father" of modern ICL (M. Cherif Bassiouni).

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Introduction to International Criminal Law & Procedure (3d ed.) - Robert Cryer et al.
Call Number: KZ7000 .I587 2014
Textbook by British, Canadian, & Swedish scholar-practitioners. 23 chapters focus on genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, & aggression. Also briefly discusses terrorist offences, torture, & other crimes not (yet) within the jurisdiction of an international court or tribunal. See book on publisher's website ( for supplemental resources.

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Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice - Antonio Cassese, ed.
Call Number: K5301. O94 2009
A sort of encyclopedia on all aspects of ICL. Combines long & short articles exploring key issues, personalities, & institutions. Also has over 400 summaries of major cases from courts worldwide dealing with ICL issues. Contributions by 133 top academics, practitioners, & judges.

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Research Handbook on International Criminal Law - Bartram S. Brown, ed.
Call Number: KZ7050 .R47 2011
Covers broad range of norms, practices, policies, processes, & institutional mechanisms, exploring how they work & keep evolving in various contexts. Has 18 chapters by top scholars & practitioners worldwide. Some of the topics discussed include genocide, investigation, extradition, & defences.

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Routledge Handbook of International Criminal Law - William A. Schabas & Nadia Bernaz, eds.
Call Number: KZ6304 .R68 2011
Timely & comprehensive survey of emerging & existing ICL areas. Has 27 specially commissioned chapters by top scholars worldwide. Some of the topics discussed include hybrid tribunals, aggression, sentencing & penalties, victims' rights, & universal jurisdiction.

Reel ICL: Documentaries

Take a break from reading & check out these flix on DVD @ Howard-Tilton Library:

  • Milosevic on Trial
    Award-winning film about ICTY's 2002–06 trial of deposed dictator Slobodon Milosevic for crimes against humanity, genocide, & war crimes in the Balkans during the 1990s. Has trial footage as well as behind-the-scenes interviews with key players, including prosecutors, investigators, & Milosevic's legal advisers.
  • The Nuremberg Trials
    Streamable via online catalog. Also owns DVD. PBS "American Experience" film about landmark 1945–46 trial of 22 top surviving Nazi leaders before an international military tribunal in Germany for atrocities committed during World War 2. Has rare archival footage & eyewitness accounts. See film's website ( for more details.
  • The Pinochet Case
    Award-winning film about multinational attempts in late 1990s to try retired military dictator General Augusto Pinochet for human rights violations in Chile during the 1970s & 80s. Landmark case starts in Spain & shifts to UK before ending in Chile. Dramatic legal story that also has stories of Pinochet's victims.
  • The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court
    Award-winning film about the tumultuous early years (2002–09) of the ICC: the 1st permanent court of its kind. Like a deft thriller, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Will the Court succeed? Will the world ensure that justice prevails? See film's website ( for more details.
  • The Specialist: Portrait of a Modern Criminal
    Award-winning film about sensational 1961 trial in Israel of captured Nazi bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann for crimes against European Jewry during World War 2. Based on famous philosopher Hannah Arendt's still-controversial 1963 book "Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil" (also @ Howie-T Library: call # DD247 .E5 A7 1964).
  • The Trial of Saddam Hussein
    PBS "America at a Crossroads" film about 2005–06 trial of toppled tyrant Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity & genocide in Iraq during the 1980s. Tells backstory of courtroom drama while evoking larger story of US project in Iraq. See film's website ( for more details.

Print Resources

Over many decades, the Law Library has built a respectable collection of ICL print resources numbering around 1,000 volumes (& growing!)—many not available online. The bulk are shelved on the 5th & 6th floors: call number ranges K5000–5500 & KZ6300–7500, respectively. These include bibliographies, commentaries, digests, sourcebooks, & treatises. Most are in English. Our collection is particularly strong in International Criminal Court (ICC) law. Additional print resources may be shelved on the 3d floor in New Books & Reserve.

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



This information was published as a LibGuide by Roy L. Sturgeon in March 2014 for Tulane University Law School in Louisiana.


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