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Researching International Human Rights Law & Policy. Effective Tools & Techniques. Lyonette Louis-Jacques. Foreign and International Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law, D’Angelo Law Library, The University of Chicago Law School, Keystone, November 5, 2014. Welcome!.

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Researching international human rights law policy

Researching International Human Rights Law & Policy

Effective Tools & Techniques

Lyonette Louis-Jacques

Foreign and International Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law, D’Angelo Law Library, The University of Chicago Law School, Keystone, November 5, 2014


Lyonette “Lyo” Louis-Jacques

Research techniques
Research Techniques

  • Plan your research strategy – what is the deliverable, desired outcome?

  • Time, Cost, and Access

  • Get background on human rights (including asking people)

    • Research challenges – locating foreign case-law, translation issues, myriad UN documents and determining level of authority, etc.

  • Consider search terms (synonyms, languages, connectors)

  • The language/vocabulary of human rights

  • Think in different dimensions (3D)

    • U.S. (“Bringing Human Rights Home”)

    • Country, region

    • Race, ethnicity, gender identity, class/status

    • Data visualization

    • Numbers

    • Stories

  • Google? Google!

Domestic violence
Domestic Violence

Jessica Lenahan(Gonzales) at the IACHR

Seeking justice for jessica
Seeking Justice for Jessica

  • “[W]hat can we do about the injustice of intimate partner abuse? More than 10 years ago [in 1999], Jessica Lenahan faced just that question when the police failed to respond to her pleas for help, resulting in the deaths of her three children. Following that tragedy, she took the issue of police response to domestic violence to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that she had no constitutional right to enforcement of her restraining order, and then to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).” – ACLU, Oct. 24, 2011

Child migrants
Child Migrants

Maria Woltjen

Omar khadr
Omar Khadr

“Child in Armed Conflict”

Key tools
Key Tools

  • Other documents

  • Books

  • Journal articles

  • News & current awareness

  • Data, images, stories

  • “People” resources

  • Background Sources

  • Research guides

  • Treaties & other international instruments

  • Case-law (international and national)

Quick background on human rights
Quick Background on Human Rights

Study Supps.

Oxford Bibliographies


Research guides
Research Guides



UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsHuman Rights IssuesHealth, Women, Violence, Police…

EISIL (American Society of International Law, Electronic Information System for International Law)

Guides to regional systems
Guides to Regional Systems

  • Inter-American System of Human Rights (Ellen Schaffer, American University, LibGuide, 2014)

  • The Inter-American System of Human Rights: A Research Guide (Cecilia Cristina Naddeo, GlobaLex, 2010)

  • The European Human Rights System (James W. Hart, GlobaLex, 2011)




Global Health & Human Rights Database

Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR Project)

Database on HRC Decisions (Centre for Civil and Political Rights)

Case-Law Database (ESCR-Net)

WorldLII(International Decisions – e.g. IACtHR)

SIM Case-Law Research System****

  • IGO’s website

    • ECHR HUDOC Database

    • IACtHR / IACHR

    • UN OHCHR

  • ORIL: Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law Module

  • ORIL: Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC)

  • Justis’ International Law Reports (ILR)

  • UMN Human Rights Library

Treaties other hr instruments
Treaties & Other HR Instruments

Other documents
Other Documents


Lawyering advocacy
Lawyering & Advocacy

Books and other IHR lawyering resources

Journal articles
Journal Articles

Data images stories
Data, Images, Stories


Ask a librarian
Ask A Librarian!

Ihr research advocacy opportunities
IHR Research & Advocacy Opportunities

The end
The End!

Questions or Comments?

Lyonette Louis-Jacques