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LAW 817 - Implementation of International Law in the United States (Prof. Van der Vyver, Fall 2015)   Tags: human rights, international law, treaties  

Last Updated: Aug 24, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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With the writing component of your seminar in mind, we have compiled a listing of useful resources for the topic of international law in the United States. 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.


Starting Points

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law: Detailed articles on international law topics, with citations, document lists, and bibliographies. Includes links to documents and the Oxford Law Citator for finding citation form and related citing documents.

Parry and Grant's Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (3rd edition; older edition in print - KZ1161 .P37 2004). Definitions with citations and links.

ASIL Benchbook on International Law: Primer for judges on international law in U.S. courts, with chapters on jurisdiction, immunities, human rights, international family law, criminal justice, and research resources.

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 , Lexis, and Hein Onlineand at Range 301.

International Law News: For research topics and current awareness

  • ASIL Insights: Short articles on international law news from the American Society of International Law.
  • ASIL International Law in Brief: Updates to International Legal Materials with new primary documents in international law.
  • International Law Update (Hein OnlineWestlawLexis): Newsletter of international law cases and other international law documents.
  • Global Legal Monitor: Articles on foreign and international law news by topic or jurisdiction (including courts), with dates, citations, and some document links.




Books and Treatises

Van der Vyver, Implementation of International Law in the United States, KF4581 .V36 2010

Bradley, International Law in the U.S. Legal System, KF4581 .B73 2015 and Oxford Scholarship Online

Bederman, International Law Frameworks, Study Aids KZ3410 .B43 2010

Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law, Oxford Public International Law

Oppenheim's International Law, Oxford Public International Law

Emory Library collections: Search discoverE (the library online catalog) for books on international law and U.S. foreign policy. Use the subject search for International Law - United States, and United States - Foreign Relations.For print materials, international law can be found, in general, in the KZs, and international relations in the JZs, with works on treaties and international agreements at KZ118-194. In government documents on the first floor, State Department documents are found in the S's. DiscoverE also includes records for e-books, with links.


U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. Department of State: Find press releases, reports, and other information by policy area, topic, or country

Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser: State Department source for treaties, including Treaties in Force and TIAS, and information on U.S. international law.

Digest of U.S. Practice in International Law (also on Hein Online): Annual State Department publication on U.S. practice in international law, with summaries, text of documents, and links to documents.   Use the Table of Contents and find chapters with the same subject arrangement each year. For example, Chapter 3 is on International Criminal Law, and Chapter 6 is on Human Rights.

Foreign Relations of the United States (also on Hein Online): Historical record of U.S. foreign policy. Volumes by administration and issue, with documents 1861-1980.

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 by topic on the websites of the U.S. State Department , the University of Maryland Law Libraryand the Federation of American Scientists. 

International Legal Materials. (American Society of International Law). 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. 


U.S. Treaties

Treaties in Force (on and Hein Online): Annual publication listing treaties currently in force, with citations and parties.

UST: US Treaties and Other International Agreements (US Docs S 9.12 and Hein Online): Bound official publication of US treaties 1950-1984.

TIAS: Treaties and Other International Acts Series ( and Hein Online): Newer slip treaties, online only.

Pending and Unratified Treaties:

  • Treaties Pending in the SenateList of treaties submitted to the Senate but not ratified, with citations and links to the Treaty Documents.
  • Treaties: Treaty Documents and status with legislative history actions, date,s and citations, and listing understandings and conditions. You can search Treaty Documents by Congress, status, and treaty topic.
  • Senate Treaty Documents and Executive Reports (GPO FDSys): Treaty Documents are text of the treaty submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with transmittal letters, and Executive Reports are reports from the committee with analysis, amendments, and reservations. GPO FDSys has official pdfs of the documents.

Other Legislative History Documents (GPO FDSys, Hein Online, Proquest Congressional): Use legislative history sources to find Committee hearings and the Congressional Record for testimony and debate on treaties and agreements.


U.S. Case Law on International Law

Westlaw: Search case law by Topic under International Law (US).

Lexis: Use Browse Topics by Practice Area to search for International Law cases under subheadings including Foreign Immunity and Treaty Interpretation.

USCS: United States Code Service: International Conventions volume (print at Range 303and on Lexis): Major treaties and conventions with annotations, including history, related statutes, secondary sources, and cases in the interpretive notes.

Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the U.S. (3d and 4th) (print at Range 301, Hein Online, Westlaw, Lexis): Restatement and commentary of U.S. law, with citations to cases, treaties, and secondary sources.

International Legal Materials (Hein Online, Westlaw, Lexis, current table of contents at Bimonthly publication of significant international law documents, including cases from US and international courts, treaties, and UN resolutions.

ALR Fed (Westlaw): Includes some articles on treaties and statutes on international law, with case citations.



Journal Articles

Search law review articles on Westlaw , Lexis, and Hein Online.

You might also search for articles in social science and interdisciplinary journals.

discoverE: The catalog for the Emory libraries is also a database for searching articles in multiple campus databases. Log in first as an Emory user. Use the Combined tab, search, then refine your search results by topic. Results will include links to the articles in multiple (but not all) campus databases.

Academic Search Complete: Multi-disciplinary database of full-text scholarly journals,  searchable by full-text and fields. Many articles are available in PDF images of the original journals.

 JSTOR: Full-text, pdf journals, including older volumes. Disciplines include International Relations, Law, Peace & Conflict Studies, Political Science, and Public Policy & Administration.

Foreign Affairs magazine.  (Council on Foreign Relations; also available on Lexisand Hein Online): Periodical on U.S. foreign policy and global affairs.



Customary International Law

Rules and practice of international law followed by states:

ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law: rules and national practice of customary international humanitarian law, with summaries of rules and citations to treaties, cases, and military manuals.

Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States 3d & 4th (Hein Online ALI Library,  Lexisand Westlaw): Analysis of international law and foreign policy of the United States, with statements on customary international law. Draft 4th edition volumes are on Treaties, Sovereign Immunity, and Jurisdiction. Sections include black letter discussion of the law, a comment, and reporter's notes with case citations.

Treatises and journal articles can be cited as statements of custom and practice, especially classics and works by noted authors. A country's treaty practice can also be evidence of customary international law.


International Human Rights Law

Universal Human Rights Instruments: Human rights treaties by topic, with links to status and treaty bodies.

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.

Special Rapporteurs: Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Find reports by country and theme.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Cases, thematic rapporteurs, and reports by country and theme.


International Humanitarian Law

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.

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.


International Courts and Tribunals

International Court of Justice (Reports of Judgments also found in WestlawLexis, and Hein Online): Judgments and court documents on disputes between sovereign states. The court's website includes pending cases, oral and written proceedings, orders, and summaries of judgments and orders.

The website of the International Criminal Court includes decisions of the court, investigations of the court, and rules and regulations of procedure in the Official Journal. The court's Legal Tools Database has ICC documents and legal instruments, decisions of international criminal courts and tribunals and national courts on international criminal law and human rights, and national implementing legislation.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has decisions, judgments, advisory opinions, and pending cases available in pdf and as Word documents. 

Oxford Reports on International Law: Modules include International Law in Domestic Courts, International Criminal Law, and International Human Rights Law, with filters by subject and state party. The Oxford Law Citator provides citations to documents, case details, and related citing cases and documents. 


International Law of the United Nations

Charter of the United Nations

UN International Law Commission: Treaties and Analytical guide with reports and documents.

UN Legal Publications and Yearbooks ( and Hein Online): Publications on the UN’s work including international law.

UN Audiovisual Library of International Law: Preparatory documents by treaty. Find UN treaties by subject, with procedural history and documents.

Repertoire of Practice of the Security Council: Activities of the Security Council, arranged by year and by Chapter and Article of the UN Charter.

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

UN Core Human Rights Treaties: With treaty text, treaty monitoring bodies, and tables of status of ratification and reservations.

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