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LAW 676C - International Humanitarian Law Clinic (Prof. Blank, Spring 2016)   Tags: counterterrorism, humanitarian law, international criminal law, international law  

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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With the research component of your class in mind, we have compiled a listing of useful resources for the topic of international humanitarian law. If you have any questions, please request a student consult with a librarian using the form linked on the left hand side of this guide.


Secondary Sources

Treatises and other secondary sources will provide you with background information, analysis, and citations to primary resources as you start your research. 

Use discoverE to find print treatises and ebooks. Print materials on the subject of international humanitarian law can be found around KZ6471. Try the ebook databases as well, since they include many titles on international law. These include Oxford Scholarship Online, Cambridge Books Online, and ElgarOnline. Books in the library include Blank, Laurie and Gregory Noone, International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of War, Course Reserves KZ6385 .B53 2013.

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law: Articles on topics within international law, with subject areas including International Humanitarian Law and Use of Force, War, Peace, and Neutrality. Articles include bibliographies and document links, and the Oxford Law Citator with citation form for documents, links to documents, and a citator for finding related documents.

Parry and Grant's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (3rd edition; older edition in print - KZ1161 .P37 2004). Definitions of international law terms with citations to primary documents.

Restatement of Foreign Relations:  Principles of U.S. foreign relations and international law, with citations to cases, treatises and secondary sources. Available online through Westlaw and Hein Online.

CRS (Congressional Research Service) reports are prepared for congressional committees and staff on topics including international law and U.S. foreign policy. Find a complete collection on Proquest Congressional, and less exhaustive lists on the websites of the U.S. State Department and the Federation of American Scientists (whose collection focuses on national security topics).

Law review articles frequently address international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict. Find law review articles on Westlaw, Lexis, and Hein Online. Hein Online also has articles from non-U.S. journals in International and Non-U.S. Law Journals and indexed (sometimes with links) in Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals. JSTOR has full-text articles in non-law disciplines including public policy, Middle Eastern studies, and Latin American studies. 


News and Current Awareness

ASIL (American Society of International Law) publications including:

  • International Legal Materials. Available on Westlaw, Lexis, Hein Online, current table of contents on the ASIL website. New primary documents in international law, including treaties and agreements, international and national court decisions on international law, and UN resolutions and documents. 
  • ASIL Insights: Brief analysis of international law news stories in international courts, treaties, and international law
  • ASIL International Law in Brief: Blog with abstracts of and links to new primary documents in international law, updating International Legal Materials.

Global Legal Monitor (Law Library of Congress): Legal news stories, in English, on foreign and international law.  Search by keyword or topic, or browse by topic (war, war crimes, genocide) or by jurisdiction (countries and international courts).

The Hague Justice Portal has court calendars of the international courts at The Hague and news from the courts, including the Justice Hub blog.

Blogs on international law and human rights can be searched using Justia BlawgSearch


International Courts

Oxford Reports on International Law provides full-text of decisions of international courts, domestic courts deciding issues of international law, and awards of arbitral bodies. Search or browse by subject areas including international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and use of force, war, peace, and neutrality. You can also browse by jurisdiction, both countries and courts. The Oxford Law Citator provides citations to documents and related citing cases and documents. 

The website of the International Criminal Court includes decisions of the court and information on pending cases. The court's Legal Tools Database includes decisions of international criminal courts and tribunals and national courts on international criminal law and human rights, and national implementing legislation.

Materials for the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda can be found in:

  • ICTY: Basic legal documents, cases, judgments, and the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Practice Directions. 
  • ICTR: Basic legal documents, cases, judgments, and the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Practice Directions. 
  • Global War Crimes Tribunal Collection (KZ 1190 .G56 1997). Multi-volume set with cases, documents, and background information from the ICTR, ICTY, International Criminal Court, and Special Court for Sierra Leone. 
  • International Courts and Tribunals: Selected Documents and Materials (KZ 6250 .I57 2001).

International Legal Materials (Hein OnlineWestlawLexis) reports selected judgments and orders of international courts and tribunals.


International Humanitarian Law

International Humanitarian Law (Law of Armed Conflict) Sourcebook: KZ6462 .I58 2014. A collection of primary documents on international humanitarian law.

International Humanitarian Law: Answers to Your QuestionsAn introduction to international humanitarian law from the International Committee of the Red Cross

How Does Law Protect in War?: Online casebook from the ICRC, with introductions to the themes of IHL, practice case studies by topic, region, and document type, IHL courses, and an A to Z annotated glossary with links to documents and cases.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) International Humanitarian Law Treaties and Documents: Find treaties and documents by topic, date or country. Text of the 1949 Geneva conventions and protocols with member state information.

International Humanitarian Law National Implementation database: National caselaw and laws and regulations implementing the treaties.

ICRC Resource Centre: Search publications or find by issue or category.  The database includes reports, articles, guides, and annual reports related to international humanitarian law.

ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law: Analysis of the customary rules of international humanitarian law. Customary practice rules by chapter, rule, or country, with treaty articles, national military manuals, and summaries of state practice from legislation, caselaw, and official statements. Online version of the treatise Customary International Humanitarian Law, available at KZ6471 .C875 2005 and for download of the PDF. 

ICRC Library's International Humanitarian Law Bibliography: Compiles references in new publications by topic (protection of persons, weapons, international criminal law) and includes links to full-text articles and reports.

Armed Conflict Database :  News, background, and statistics on armed conflicts worldwide, including internal conflicts, with timelines and links to other sources. 


International Human Rights

International human rights law and international humanitarian law are complimentary and have some overlap. Both concern the protection of the life and dignity of individuals, and both concern obligations of states to respect certain fundamental rights. Human rights treaties may apply to situations of armed conflict, as well as international humanitarian law treaties.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) resources, including text, legislative history, and a research guide

UN Core Human Rights Treaties: With dates and monitoring bodies

UN Universal Human Rights Instruments: A longer list of treaties and documents, arranged by topic, including treaties on war crimes and crimes against humanity, and treaties on slavery and forced labour

Documents of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Bodies  include core documents, concluding observations, country visits reports, the Universal Periodic Review (peer review), states party reports, and jurisprudence (individual complaint resolution). Reports document human rights abuses and concerns, and the country's steps to implement the human rights treaties, including legislation, caselaw, and agency information.

UN Treaty Bodies Search: Find documents by state, committee, document type, and date.

Universal Human Rights Index: Country-specific information from the Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures, and Universal Periodic Review. Search for annotations by keywords, region or state, document type, treaty body, right, or affected persons.

UNHCR Refworld (UN Refugee Agency): Reports and policy documents from the UN, governmental organizations, NGOs, and academic institutions on human rights and humanitarian law topics. Refworld includes national caselaw and legislation related to refugees and asylum, and country profiles and reports. Search, or browse by country, author organization, or topic.

HuriSearch: Human rights search engine.  Searches the websites of over 5000 human rights organizations for papers and articles from IGOs, NGOs,national human rights institutions, and academic institutions. Enter a simple search to reach a search page with more options, including searching by organization, collection, and format.

Human Rights Watch:  Browse the topics list to find news and reports.


International Criminal Law

War Crimes Justice Project: International Criminal Law Services Training Materials on international criminal law and practice. Training materials developed for use in the ICTY. Training modules are on international criminal law and practice, particularly genocide and war crimes, and they include materials on defenses, procedure, sentencing, protection of witnesses, and mutual legal assistance. 

Gender Jurisprudence and International Criminal Law Project (American University): Database of judgments, decisions, orders and other documents from international criminal courts and tribunals and human rights bodies on sexual and gender-based violence. Search by tribunal, human rights treaty article, keywords related to sexual and gender-based violence, and core crimes.

War Crimes Research Portal (Case Western Reserve Law): Search or browse war crimes memoranda prepared for international war crimes tribunals. 

The website of the International Criminal Court has judgments and pending case information from the ICC. ICC decisions and other international criminal law decisions also available in the Oxford Reports on International LawThe court's Legal Tools Database has ICC documents and legal instruments, decisions of international criminal courts and tribunals and of national courts on international criminal law and human rights, and national implementing legislation.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Treaties related to terrorism as well as crime and drug-related treaties, legal tools including model laws and treaties, a mutual legal assistance request writer tool, a human trafficking caselaw database, and a legal library with laws on drugs, trafficking, mutual legal assistance, and other criminal laws.

Treatises in the law library on international criminal law can be found by searching discoverE by subjects including "international criminal law," "crimes against humanity," and "war crimes,"  or by browsing the 4th floor shelves in the K5000's and KZ7000's. Recommended titles include:

  • M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Criminal Law, K5165 .I58 1998
  • M. Cherif Bassiouni, Introduction to International Criminal Law, K5015.4 .B37 2003
  • Alexander Zahar and Goran Sluiter, International Criminal Law: A Critical Introduction, K5165 .Z34 2008
  • Ilias Bantekas, International Criminal Law, K5165 .B36 2010

Extradition treaties:


Counterterrorism and National Security

Library of Congress: Military Legal ResourcesLinks to U.S. military law resources, including Manuals for Courts Martial, the Law of Armed Conflict Deskbook, U.S. Army Field Manuals, and collections of historical war crimes materials. Military manuals can be found at:

U.S. Naval War College International Law Studies: Browse under the headings for Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, Military and War and Peace, and National Security

U.S. State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism: Country Reports on Terrorism, Fact Sheets, information on programs and initiatives

United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee: Conventions and legal instruments related to counter-terrorism, country reports,Security Council Resolutions on counter-terrorism and surveys of implementation, and policy guidance on human rights.

Security Council Resolutions: Tables of resolutions arranged by year and number, with topic headings, usually states and regions with armed conflicts. Volumes of resolutions and decisions are under Security Council Documents

Digital National Security Archive (subscription database): Declassified government documents on U.S. national security policy, including chronologies and bibliographies. 

CRS Reports for Congress on international law and U.S. foreign policy:

Search discoverE under the subject headings Terrorism-Prevention-Law and Legislation, Terrorism (International Law), and National Security. Recommended titles include:


Customary International Law

According to the Restatement of the Law Third, Foreign Relations of the United State, Sec. 102(2) (1987), customary international law results from a general and consistent practice of states followed by them from a sense of legal obligation."  Evidence of customary rules of international law may be found in treaties, national law, international and national jurisprudence, and scholarly writings. Other sources include the practices of individual states and widely ratified treaties as evidence of the customs and practices of states.

Resources for Customary International Law include: 

  • ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law database has the rules of customary international humanitarian law, and national practice for the rules of customary international humanitarian law. With each rule find a summary of the rule and discussion with citations to treaties, cases, and military manuals.
  • Restatement of the Law, Third, Foreign Relations Law of the United States discusses US practice and policy on foreign relations law and includes statements on customary international law. Available on Range 301 in the MacMillan Law Library and online through Hein Online ALI LibraryWestlaw, and Lexis.
  • Sources of State Practice in International Law, 2d ed, KZ 64 .S67 2014. Chapters by country describing treaty practice and listing treaty collections and sources, as well as sources of diplomatic records.
  • Treatises and journal articles on international law include citable statements of custom and practice, especially international law classics and noted authors:



Treaties and Conventions

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) International Humanitarian Law Treaties and Documents: Find treaties and documents by topic, date or country. Text of the 1949 Geneva conventions and protocols with member state information.

ICRC International Humanitarian Law Database: Includes the Geneva and other humanitarian law treaties, commentaries, full-text of reservations, implementation data, and tables of parties to treaties.

University of Minnesota Frequently-cited Treaties guide: By topic, including criminal law and human rights, with citation format and links to EISIL for free sources and (UMN's) Hein Online links.

Hein Online United Nations Treaty Search. Includes the UN Treaty Series and League of Nations Treaty Series. Find treaties by citation, or search by countries, popular names, date, text, subject areas. Links from the treaty document entries to law review articles in Hein citing the treaty.

Hein Online United States Treaties and Agreements.  Includes US. Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST), Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS), International Legal Materials (ILM), and Senate Treaty Documents. Search by treaty number or citation, country, date, related treaty, subject, or keyword. 

UN Treaties Collection: Text and status of United Nations treaties. Includes the UNTS, recently deposited treaties, and status of treaties. Multilateral and bilateral treaties are deposited with the UN Secretary-General, including but not limited to UN treaties. Search for treaties in the UN Treaty Series database, or use Status of Multilateral Treaties to find UN multilateral treaties by category including human rights, refugees, and penal matters.

UN Audiovisual Library of International Law: Research Library: Links to treaty collections of the United Nations, member states, and other entities. Historic archives with major treaties by topic, with introductory articles, procedural history with document links, and treaty texts.

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