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International Legal Research. Advanced Legal Research. International Law: Categories of Sources. International Conventions – Treaties Customary International Law – rules arise out of the general and consistent practice of states acting out of a sense of legal obligation

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International Legal Research

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International Legal Research

Advanced Legal Research


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International Law: Categories of Sources

  • International Conventions – Treaties

  • Customary International Law – rules arise out of the general and consistent practice of states acting out of a sense of legal obligation

  • General Principles of Law – principles common to the major legal systems (due process in admin of justice, time as a bar to a claim, etc.)

  • In certain circumstances:

    • Judicial Decisions of tribunals or International Courts

    • Writings of International Law Scholars


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What Is International Law Not?

  • Not Foreign Law

    • Laws of other countries

  • Not Comparative Law

    • Comparison of legal systems of two or more countries


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What Is International Law?

  • Public International Law

    • Relationship between two or more countries

  • Private International Law

    • Relationships between private parties

    • Applies domestic law

    • Conflicts of law principles

    • Sometimes called transnational law


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International Legal Research Tips

  • Use Secondary Sources

    • Treatises, Nutshells

    • Journals, Encyclopedias

  • Use Traditional Research Aids

    • Legal Research Text that covers Int’l law

    • Dictionaries

    • Bluebook for Citation

  • Start small - find the treaty and work from there.


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Treaties

  • Also called

    • Conventions

    • Agreements

    • Pacts

    • Covenants

    • Charters

    • Protocols

    • Memoranda of agreement/understanding


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Treaty Terms

  • Making Treaties

    • Signature and Ratification

    • Accession (for definition see Glossary in the UN Treaty Handbook)

    • U.S. Const. art. II, § 2: President has the power “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur”

  • Reservations, declarations, understandings, clarifications, etc.


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Treaty Sources

  • The United States Is a Party

    • United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.)

    • Treaties and Other International Acts Series (T.I.A.S.)

    • Senate Treaty Documents (S. Treaty Doc.)

    • Department of State Bulletin (Dep’t St. Bull.)

    • Dep’t St. Press Releases


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Treaty Sources

  • The United States Is a Party, older

    • Statutes at Large (Stat.)

    • Treaty Series (T.S.)

    • Executive Agreement Series (E.A.S.)

    • Senate Executive Documents (S. Exec. Doc.)


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Treaty Sources

  • The United States Is Not a Party

    • United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.)

    • League of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S.)

    • Pan-American Treaty Series (Pan-Am. T.S.)

    • European Treaty Series (Europ. T.S.)


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Treaty Sources

  • Unofficial/Commercial Treaty Sources

    • International Legal Materials (I.L.M.)

    • Hein’s United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (Hein’s No. KAV)

    • Parry’s Consolidated Treaty Series (Consol. T.S.)

    • Bevans

    • books and periodicals


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Treaty Indexes

  • Is the United States a Party?

    • Yes – Then use Treaties in Forces: A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, ….

    • No – Then start with Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General.


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Great starting place to find Treaties and other Docs.

  • International Legal Materials

    • Recent treaties

    • Significant judicial decisions and documents

    • Domestic legislation and regulations

    • General policy statements concerning international affairs

    • Frequently the first place to publish such info.

    • Often the only place to find things in English


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International Judicial Opinions

  • International Court of Justice

  • Court of Justice of the European Communities

  • European Court of Human Rights

  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


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Other helpful International Law Materials

  • United Nations documents

  • Yearbooks

  • Topical Sets

  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

  • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest

  • Foreign Law : Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World


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