The African Union (AU) was established in 2002 to promote unity and international cooperation, and accelerate socio-economic improvements, among African states. AU documents on the site include speeches; decisions and declarations; reports; and treaties, conventions and protocols. Also included are some documents (eg founding treaties) relating to the AU’s two predecessor bodies, the African Economic Community and the Organization of African Unity.
The American Society of International Law’s Electronic Resource Guide (ERG) provides structured, annotated links, in a narrative format, to major international law resources on the internet. Content is presented in the form of chapters on specific topics, such as international commercial arbitration and international humanitarian law. Updating dates vary from chapter to chapter and range from 2013 to 2015. There is a link to ASIL’s complementary research tool, EISIL.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is a global network of over 2500 non-governmental organisations advocating a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC). Its web site provides information on the background and history of the ICC, and on current develpments and cases before the Court. Many ICC publications, and publications of other bodies, are reproduced on the site in addition to those of CICC itself.
Comité Maritime International (CMI) is an international non-governmental organisation, founded in 1897, whose aim is the unification of all aspects of maritime law. Site content includes information on the status of ratification of maritime conventions and a database containing summaries of decisions by national courts on the interpretation of maritime conventions. Publications available for download include the CMI Yearbook 1978 onwards, and documents either on-site or downloadable include the York-Antwerp Rules 1994, 2004 and 2016.
The Council of Europe’s official treaty web site provides both full text and summaries of the complete European Treaty Series (ETS) 1949-2003, and its continuation the Council of Europe Treaty Series (CETS) 2004 onwards, together with details of signatures, ratifications, reservations, etc.
EISIL is a research tool, produced by the American Society of International Law (ASIL), which provides extensive links to primary materials, websites and research guides on the different aspects of international law. Subject areas include international human rights, international criminal law and private international law.
ENTRI (Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators) is a searchable database of multilateral environmental treaties and related information produced by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University. Information includes treaty status (last updated in August 2012), and full text is provided of many treaties.
Conceived and compiled by Dr Peter Clinch of Cardiff University, Flare is a searchable database containing information on over 2000 of the most significant multilateral treaties from 1353 to the present, and key bilateral treaties from 1353 to 1815. Based on the entries in Multilateral Treaties by Bowman and Harris, the index can be searched using keywords, date, or place where the treaty was concluded. Entries include information on where to find print and online versions of the full text, official languages used for the treaty, and the name of the state or international organisation acting as depository for the treaty.
Forwarderlaw is an informal international network of maritime and transportation lawyers. Its website provides articles, commentary and case notes relating to developments in the global logistics, freight forwarding and shipping industries.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was a legal agreement existing from 1947 to 1994, to promote international trade and reduce trade barriers, which led to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Over 59,000 GATT documents and publications are available to browse and search on this site, which was created in a partnership between the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) and the WTO.
GlobaLex provides online guides to international, foreign and comparative law research. The site’s four sections are International Law Research (guides to over 25 topics), Comparative Law Research, Foreign Law Research (guides to over 100 countries), and Tools for Building Foreign, Comparative and International Law Collections. The guides include commentary, bibliographies and links to online resources, and are written by subject librarians and faculty staff from universities and other institutions from around the globe. The site is produced by the Hauser Global Law School Program (HGLSP) at the New York University School of Law.
This is a research guide by Elisa Mason, on the LLRX site, to some of the key online texts and resources relating to issues in refugee law. Last updated in July 2009, it covers international and regional instruments, human rights and humanitarian law, international bodies, national legislation, case law and periodicals.
The Hague Conference was first convened in 1893 and became a permanent inter-governmental organisation in 1955. Its site has the full text of the conventions for which the Conference is responsible, together with status information and lists of member states and other connected states. Conventions include the Hague Convention on Service Abroad and many others which are concerned with commercial law, international civil procedure, and protection of the family and children.
Official information website for the Claims Resolution Tribunal (CRT) of the Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation against Swiss banks and other Swiss entities. The CRT completed its work and closed its offices in 2012 but its web site remains accessible. Content includes the rules of the tribunal, court documents and details of awards made.
The International Child Abduction Database (INCADAT) was established by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law with the object of making accessible many of the leading decisions taken by national courts in respect of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Cases are searchable by state, keyword, or legal basis. Full text of cases is provided where available.
InforMEA is the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements. It provides access to the text of multilateral environmental agreements, to decisions and resolutions of their governing bodies, and to other relevant information.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is an agency of the United Nations based in Montreal, Canada. It was created by the Convention on International Civil Aviation 1944 (the “Chicago Convention”) and came into being in 1947. Information on the Chicago Convention includes texts of all nine editions to date, and a list of contracting states. “Treaty Collection” (found under “About ICAO”) includes lists of parties to multilateral air law treaties from the Warsaw Convention (1929) onwards, and status information on individual states with regard to multilateral air law treaties. Further legal information is provided by ICAO’s Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau (within the site’s “Secretariat” section).
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is a non-governmental organisation which promotes human rights and the rule of law both internationally and at a national level. Founded in 1952, it comprises a standing group of 60 eminent jurists from many jurisdictions worldwide, supported by an International Secretariat based in Geneva. Publications on its web site extend back to 1952. They include defunct publications such as the ICJ Review (1969-2001), the ongoing series of Practitioners’ Guides, reports on topical issues, and annual reports. The ICJ’s frequent E-Bulletin on counter-terrorism and human rights is available on subscription (free of charge).
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent, neutral organisation based in Geneva which works to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife worldwide, and to promote respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law. IHL content is accessible in the “War & Law” section, or via the Quick Access or Resource Centre tabs. There are three separate “IHL databases”, devoted to treaties (texts, information and commentary), customary IHL and national implementation. Throughout the site links are provided to key documents and other publications. ICRC annual reports are included from 1994 onwards.
The International Court of Arbitration is the arbitration body of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Site content includes the full text of the ICC Rules of Arbitration, details of how the Court works, and a collection of ICC publications.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The ICJ’s entire jurisprudence since 1946, as well as that of its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice (1922-1946), is available online. The site includes information on current and pending cases; press releases; documents (the UN Charter, the Statute of the Court, court rules, practice directions etc.); recent annual reports; and lists of publications.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent permanent court, based in The Hague, which tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Select “Resources Library” from the “Documents” menu to access Key texts including that of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (its founding treaty), the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, “Elements of Crimes”, which details the crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction, the Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel and the Code of Judicial Ethics.
This guide, published on the GlobaLex site, is by Amy Burchfield, Head of Access and Faculty Services at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library, Cleveland State University. Last updated in July/August 2017 by Andrew Dorchak, it gives, for each tribunal, background information on the conflict out of which its work arises, and information regarding online and print resources including case reports.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established by the United Nations following the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and closed on 31 December 2015. This legacy site, maintained by the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, includes the Statute of the ICTR and other key documents; an alphabetical list of cases (with full text judgments); annual reports and press releases.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), dealt with war crimes that took place during the Balkans conflict of the 1990s. It was established by the United Nations in 1993 and closed in 2017. Site content includes annual reports to the UN and other publications, and links to databases of public court records and of case law.
This guide to international family law resources on the internet is by Marylin J. Raisch of the Bora Laskin Law Library, University of Toronto. The main section headings include Marriage & Divorce, Maintenance & Support, Child Custody & Adoption, Inter-Country Adoption, Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Supervision of Adults. There are comments on – and, where appropriate, links to – web sites, major documents, treaties and periodicals. The guide was first published in August 2000 and updated June 2002.
Founded in 1960, the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) was created with the purpose of cooperating with international and national organisations to foster the development of space law and study the legal and social science aspects of the exploration and use of outer space. The web site includes standing committee reports, the statutes and bylaws of the IISL and publications, including conference reports and proceedings.
This “international law resource for judiciaries, justice sector professionals, and the rule of law community around the world” is published by the American Society of International Law and the International Judicial Academy. It includes cases of note, opinions and commentary, and news and event information. There is an archive going back to vol.1 issue 1, March 2006.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations which promotes labour rights and the decent treatment of working people. Select “Statistics and databases” to access ILO’s legal databases. These include NORMLEX, a database of international labour standards (ratification information, reporting requirements, comments of the ILO’s supervisory bodies, etc.), and NATLEX, a database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation.
The International Law Association (ILA) was founded in 1873 to promote the study, clarification and development of both public and private international law. The freely accessible pages of its web site (there is also a members’ area) have details of membership, events, committees and branches.
The International Law Commission (ILC) was established by the UN General Assembly in 1947 to promote the progressive development and codification of international law. Its site includes extensive information and documentation on the ILC’s activities. Both the annual report and the Yearbook are available back to 1949. The texts of treaties drafted by the ILC (eg the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) are also provided.
The International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) is a consortium of non-governmental organisations with a head office in Stockholm. It was formed in 2002 with the aim of assessing and making recommendations on rebuilding justice systems in post conflict countries. The site includes “Mission Reports” and a small collection of thematic reports.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations agency responsible for promoting maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships. Although the texts of conventions for which the IMO is responsible are not included on the site, there is a complete list of the conventions, summaries, details of status and ratifications, and extensive historical and other background information.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The site includes information on procedure before the Tribunal; judgments and related documents; details of pending cases (under the heading “Docket”); press releases 1996 onwards; and links to the text of the Convention and current status information on the United Nations Oceans and Law of the Sea site.
This is a series of 15 volumes of material selected and prepared by the United Nations War Crimes Commission, 1947-1949. It covers proceedings taken against individuals accused of war crimes during World War II, excluding those tried by the Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals. The volumes have been scanned and are available on the Library of Congress’s Federal Research Division web site as downloadable PDFs.
LLRX describes itself as an independent web journal which provides articles, research guides and other resources relating to legal practice, research and law firm management. Material can be browsed by subject, date and author via the ‘Archives’ menu option. The “International Legal Research” subcategory has articles and guides on international law topics and on researching the law in various countries and regions of the world.
The LCIA is an international institution, based in London, which provides arbitration and dispute resolution services for all parties, regardless of location, under any legal system. Contents include the text of the LCIA’s Arbitration Rules, its Mediation Rules, Recommended Clauses, and guidance notes for parties and arbitrators.
The Institute’s site includes a “Research Online” section which has conventions, protocols and other documents relating to air, aviation and space law.
NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was created by the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Documentation on its web site includes the text of the Treaty and protocols, key policy documents, communiqués, press releases and a news archive.
This is the site of the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. The full text of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is included, together with background information and details of current status.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is the leading United Nations entity on human rights. Site content includes an extensive collection of conventions, declarations and other “human rights instruments”; information on human rights by country; a set of specialised databases; and many fact sheets, reference materials and other publications.
The Organization of American States (OAS) was created in 1948 in order to strengthen cooperation between the countries of north, central and south America and the Caribbean. The web site has information on the work of the OAS, member states, press releases 1998 onwards, annual reports 2001-2002 onwards, treaties 1947 onwards, and other documents and resolutions 1995 onwards.
Trans-Lex is a research tool for transnational commercial law aimed at both professionals and academics. It is made up of four databases which can be searched or browsed: Principles, which contains over 120 principles and rules of transnational law; Bibliography, a selected collection of bibliographic references; Materials, a collection of domestic statutes, international conventions, model laws, restatements and other soft-law instruments; and Links, a collection of links to sites which are relevant for anybody doing research in transnational law and international business. The site is developed and maintained by CENTRAL – the Centre for Transnational Law at the University of Cologne, Germany.
Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, also known as the “Blue Series”, is the official published record of the trial in Nuremberg of the major civilian and military leaders of Nazi Germany who were accused of war crimes. All 42 volumes are available as large downloadable PDF files from this page of the Library of Congress’s Federal Research Division web site.
Information available either directly on this site or via links, includes: details of the treaty enquiry service; advice on UK treaty practice and procedure; a list of the multilateral treaties for which the UK government is a despository, with links to text and downloadable status information; texts of treaty command papers; and links to the full text of some treaties involving the UK. Also available via the site is the UK Treaties Online Database which is searchable by treaty title, or can be browsed by treaty type and country.
UNIDROIT – the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law – is an independent intergovernmental organisation set up to study the needs and methods for modernising, harmonising and co-ordinating private law, particularly commercial law, between states and groups of states. Much of its work is concerned with the preparation of draft conventions and model laws. Texts of these are provided on the site, together with annual reports 1996 onwards and other documents.
UNILEX is a database of international case law and bibliography on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts. The texts of those instruments are provided on the site, with status information relating to CISG. For each case decision there is an abstract and, where available, full text (the latter in its original language).
The United Nations, founded in 1945 as successor to the League of Nations, aims to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. Its site provides extensive background information and documentation on the UN and its main bodies, which include the General Assembly, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice, and on its many additional bodies and agencies.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) was created in 1966 to harmonise and unify the law of international trade. Resources in the site’s “Texts and Status” section include conventions, arbitration rules, conciliation rules, model laws, explanatory texts and legislative guides. Other site content includes the UNCITRAL Yearbook 1968 onwards, and “CLOUT” (Case Law on UNCITRAL Texts), a system for collecting and disseminating information on court decisions and arbitral awards relating to the Conventions and Model Laws that have emanated from UNCITRAL’s work.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the UN office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. The site’s Space Law section includes United Nations and other treaties and agreements governing space activities; General Assembly resolutions relating to outer space; a database of national space laws; and space law FAQs.
This site provides free online access to full text both of the United Nations Treaty Series (1946-) of registered and published treaties and international agreements, and of the earlier League of Nations Treaty Series (1920-1944), together with cumulative indexes and other resources. Status information is provided in the Depositary section on over 560 major multilateral treaties for which the Secretary-General of the UN is the depositary, with links to full text.
The Office of the Legal Adviser furnishes advice on all legal issues, domestic and international, arising in the course of the work of the US State Department. The site provides access to texts of both bilateral and multilateral treaties in force for the United States. Also included is a section devoted to private international law, and sets of links to documents reproduced in the annual publication Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1989 to date.
World Court Digest is a systematic arrangement of the law set out in the judgments, advisory opinions and orders of the International Court of Justice, and in the separate opinions of the individual judges, covering the period 1986-2000. This online version of the three-volume work published by Springer is provided by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law at Heidelberg.
The World Health Organization (WHO), established in 1948, is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. Its publications include the legally binding International Health Regulations (2005), the text of which, incorporating subsequent amendments, is available to download from the site.
WIPO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which was created in 1967 to promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide. “WIPO Lex” is a one-stop search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property of WIPO, WTO and UN Members. It also features related information which elaborates, analyzes and interprets these laws and treaties. It can be found under the “Legal Resources” tab.
The World Trade Organization, successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), supervises the rules of trade between nations. It was created by the Uruguay Round negotiations of 1986-1994. “Documents Online” is a database of WTO documentation from 1995 onwards, together with selected Uruguay Round documents. Creation of a digital archive of all official documents issued under the GATT is in progress. Other site content includes news, reports, statistics, a glossary of “WTO speak”, and sections devoted to specific trade topics.
The World Treaty Index has the aim, when completed, of covering all known agreements in the 20th century. It has been developed out of a hard copy resource first published in 1974. The database can be searched by using either the “flexible search” option which allows results to be filtered by fields such as country, keyword, and date signed, or by exact citation if known. Results are displayed in a tabular format, giving information such as treaty number, date and hardcopy source. Note that full text is not provided by this service.