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Foreign & International Law

This guide is intended to help researchers find the most used sources and materials in foreign & international law with a primary focus on electronic research.

International Case Law

Along with treaties, international cases are some of the most important documents of international law.

The primary source of international cases is the International Court of Justice, a part of the United Nations. Its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, rendered decisions from 1922-45. The current court started in 1945 and is based in The Hague.

The International Court of Justice and European Court of Justice

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) decides cases of international law between separate countries and it issues advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by the UN: Cases from 1947-present available on Westlaw, Lexis, and for free from the ICJ website

The Permanent Court of International Justice was simply the precursor to the International Court of Justice: Cases from 1922-1946 are available on HeinOnline and for free on the ICJ website.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decides cases arising from EU law including, but not limited to, disputes about interpretation and application of treaties and/or failure to implement EU legislation: Cases from 1954-present available on Westlaw, Lexis, and for free from EUR-Lex.

Human Rights Case Law

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR): The ECHR is the result of the European Convention on Human Rights and is administered through the Council of Europe. The ECHR is separate and distinct from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).  Cases from 1960-present are available on Westlaw, LexisNexis, and for free on the Court's website.

Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR): Created in 1979 under the umbrella of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Courts objective is the application and interpretation of the American Convention on Human Rights. Cases from 1979-present are available on the Court's website.

International Criminal Court (ICC): The ICC is an independent, permanent court established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The ICC tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY): Cases from 1996-present available on Westlaw and for free on the Tribunal's website.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR): Cases from 1995-present available on Westlaw and for free on the Tribunal's website.

INTERIGHTS' Commonwealth and International Human Rights Case Law Database Service: Database of Commonwealth courts and tribunals such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The Project on International Courts and Tribunals: Full-text of selected cases from various international courts and tribunals including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Subject Guide