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International Law   Tags: international  

Last Updated: Aug 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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International law is "[t]he legal system governing the relationships between nations; more modernly, the law of international relations, embracing not only nations but also such participants as international organizations and individuals (such as those who invoke their human rights or commit war crimes)." (Black's Law Dictionary 9th edition)

If you are looking for foreign law (the law of another country, as opposed to international law), the best place to start is the Foreign Law Guide.

If you're a student who's trying to pick a topic in international law for a seminar or note, considering reviewing the discussions on some of the most popular international law blogs and current awareness sites like Opinio Juris, ASIL Insights, IntLawGrrls, or International Economic Law and Policy Blog

Citing to International Law

The Bluebook's Rule 21 explains how to cite to international materials. This section provides citation details on treaties, international caselaw, arbitrations, U.N. sources, materials from inter-governmental organizations, yearbooks, digests, and more. Another useful Bluebook section is Table 2 on foreign jurisdictions. The Bluebook is also available online.

For citation help on the web, check out the University of Minnesota's Frequently-Cited Treaties and Other International Instruments, which was written with citation checkers in mind. Another great source is the Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations [K89 .G85 2009].

For additional insight into United Nations materials, see Citing UN Materials: Issues and Strategies by Cyril Robert Emery, a librarian at the UNCITRAL Law Library.

Finally, EISIL (Electronic Information System for International Law) can also be helpful. Under any source document in EISIL there is "More Information" which includes a field for legal citation. The legal citation in EISIL for the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties is a good example of several possible citation sources for this document.


    Key Resources

    • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law  Icon
      The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law is a comprehensive online resource containing peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law.
    • Foreign and International Law Resources Database (HeinOnline)
      FILRD includes the publications of the American Society of International Law along with prominent Yearbooks from around the world, including the Hague Permanent Court of International Justice series.It also includes U.S. Law Digests, International Tribunals/Judicial Decisions and more.

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