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Public International Law. Sources of Public Int’l Law:. Treaties and other international agreements Custom General principles of law Judicial decisions and teachings of qualified publicists. Key Texts in International Law. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law

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Sources of Public Int’l Law:

  • Treaties and other international agreements
  • Custom
  • General principles of law
  • Judicial decisions and teachings of qualified publicists

Key Texts in International Law

  • Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law
  • Oppenheim, International Law
  • Shaw, International Law

Remember you can do author/title searches in GAVEL


Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law older editions in print in Law Library


Source: Treaties

  • Resources:
  • Bluebook lists official and unofficial cites
  • depends on whether U.S. is a party and number of parties
  • use treaty indexes and databases to get citations
  • databases: TIARA, UN Treaties, Westlaw & Lexis
  • Web resources: Tufts, ENTRI, EISIL, Hein Online, etc.

Treaties in Force

online at

or via Hein Onlineor LLMC Digital





Bluebook for

Rules re each



important resources for recent & pending treaties


Treaties & International Agreements Online

especially good for treaties where U.S. is party

Convention on wetlands

linked from Research Resources page

currently not available off-campus


Use this to determine when adopted or concluded, who has signed and/or ratified and when, who has denounced, when it entered into force, any declarations or reservations, and more


The EISIL record provides useful info:

citation, link to online sources, description, etc.

hein online not just law reviews
Hein Online: not just law reviews!

Many international law resources, including treaties


Categories reflect early emphasis on env’t but now includes more


Travaux Préparatoires

  • the preparatory work (or "legislative history") of a treaty
  • often used for the purpose of interpreting the treaty

sources for travauxpréparatoires

  • Check GAVEL: keyword search the name of the treaty and (travauxor preparatory orcongress or history or negotiations or negotiating history), etc.
  • Treaty documents collected by an international organization
  • international conference web sites
  • Yearbooks of international law

National Treaty Law and Practice series

Title search in GAVEL

Volumes for additional countries forthcoming


Frequently-cited Treaties and Other International Instruments

but you have access through UGA


Source: Custom

  • Resources: your objective is to find evidence of state practice
  • records of state’s foreign relations
  • domestic court decisions
  • domestic legislation
  • resolutions, declarations of int orgs

Where do I find these types of evidence?

  • documents on foreign or int’l relations
  • digests, e.g. Digest of United States Practice in International Law
  • repertories of practice
  • yearbooks
  • International Legal Materials
  • Web - State Department and corollaries in other countries

Digests of Int’l Law

digest and international law


Sample search in GIL at Main Library

foreign documents canada

relations diploma? repertory

(foreign and documents and canada) and (relations or diploma? or repertory)


references to:

  • treaty collections
  • sources of diplomatic documentation
  • other materials that shed light on customary state practice in international law, including yearbooks and digests
  • relevant web sites
  • Currently covers 15 jurisdictions with plans to add more.

Avalon Project at Yale

  • "Documents in Law, History & Diplomacy"
    • digitized
    • doesn't provide citations
    • does provide hyperlinks to referenced docs

U.S. State Dept. Office of the Historian

"Foreign Relations of the United States" database

  • 30+ historians
  • declassifying documents
  • compiling documentary history of foreign relations in the U.S.
  • currently 480+ volumes and growing

Don’t forget: ILM is a good resource for many different kinds of docs, including treaties and domestic legislation & case law

bluebooking international agreements
Bluebooking International Agreements
  • Rule 21.4 & the abbreviation tables
  • can be time-consuming
  • lots of details: name, parties, date, source
  • may need to look several places to get all of the information
  • pay attention to all citation elements