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Human Rights Law Resources

Human Rights Law Resources



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  • In this session we are going to concentrate on online resources of Human Rights Law. Firstly online guides and reference works that will help you through the maze of human rights material. How to search for UN Materials. What International courts and tribunals cover the subject and where to find materials they produce We will take a look at some of the regional materials, how to search for journal articles and commentary and then we have listed some other useful resources as well as links for collections of country reports as well as subject based materials
  • One of the best guides is the American Society for International Law guide which set outs a really good background with links through to other guides and sources. [show website] There is also the UN documentation research guide and the George Washington Law School Guide
  • Charter Based bodies Established by the UN charter Address broad human rights issues Unlimited audience Majority voting Treaty Based bodies Established by a treaty Address issues covered by the treaty Audience is signatories of the treaty only Decisions based on consensus Documents available on UN ODS, UnBisnet Documents produced by the Treaty Based bodies are also available on the Treaty Bodies Database
  • derive their establishment from provisions contained in the Charter of the United Nations , hold broad human rights mandates, address an unlimited audience, and take action based on majority voting.
  • derive their existence from provisions contained in a specific legal instrument, hold more narrow mandates (i.e., the set of issues codified in the legal instrument), address a limited audience (i.e., only those countries that have ratified the legal instrument), and base their decision-making on consensus.
  • Pict - Explanation of the origins, history, functions and procedures of the international and regional courts
  • PICT – Project on International Courts and Tribunals
  • UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination UN Committee against Torture UN Human Rights Committee
  • – “ The Courts at a glance”, Statute of the Court, rules, practice directions
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court

Human Rights Law Resources Human Rights Law Resources Presentation Transcript

  • International Human Rights Resources
  • Outline
    • Research guides and reference works
    • UN Materials and OHCHR
    • International courts and tribunals
    • Regional materials
      • Europe
      • The Americas
      • Africa
    • Journal articles and commentary
    • URLs for collections of
      • Country Reports
      • Subject materials
  • Research guides & reference works
  • Research Guides
    • ASIL@ http://www.asil.org/resource/humrts1.htm
    • UN Documentation: Research Guide on Human Rights
      • http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/spechr.htm
    • EISIL@ http://www.eisil.org
  • Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law
    • Connect via Oxlip+
    • Entries on many human rights topics
    • Includes select bibliography/document lists
  • Browse options Search options
  • Terms in italics (with arrow) refer to other entries in the encyclopaedia Citator – use to see a list of other entries in the encyclopedia which are referred to in this article Contents Select bibliography and key documents
  • UN Resources for Human Rights
  • Research guides: UN
    • ASIL guide@ http://www.asil.org/resource/un1.htm
    • Duke Law School UN guide @ http://www.law.duke.edu/lib/researchguides/un.html
    • UN Documentation Research Guides @ http:// www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/quick.htm
      • Guides for subjects (e.g. Human Rights, International Law…), major UN organs (e.g. General Assembly, Security council etc), document types etc
      • General guide explaining document numbers etc @ http://www.un.org/ Depts/dhl/resguide/
    • UN topical research guides (compiled by Globalex)@ http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/United_Nations_Research1.htm#topical
  • United Nations: Useful URLs
    • UN web site @ http://www.un.org/
    • Official Web Locator @ http://www.unsystem.org/
      • Index to UN web sites
    • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights @ http://www.ohchr.org/
      • Treaties, subject index, special measures, charter and treaty bodies
  • UN Documents
    • Official Document System of the UN @ http://documents.un.org/
      • documents 1993-, resolutions 1946-
    • UNBisnet @ http://unbisnet.un.org/
      • Index to UN documents and sales publications
    • Treaty Bodies Database - http://tb.ohchr.org/default.aspx
      • UN human rights treaty bodies
    • HeinOnline – UN collection (via Oxlip+ - http://oxlip-plus.bodleian.ox.ac.uk)
  • Human rights section which includes documents and links through to different human rights bodies within the UN. It also includes a list of thematic issues. Includes work of the 6 th committee (legal arm of the General Assembly) Resources box includes links to documents and databases
  • Quick links through to key documents and collections as w Links through to search the different databases of documents Box to search by ‘symbol’.
  • Official Document System (ODS) – advanced search Can search using keywords
  • UN-I-QUE focuses on particular types of reports and documents from the UN
  • http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/
  • UN Human Rights Bodies
    • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
    • http://www.ohchr.org/english/
    • Two separate types of UN bodies
      • Charter Based Bodies
      • Treaty Based Bodies
  • Charter Based Bodies
    • Human Rights Council (and it’s subsiduaries)
      • Universal Periodic Review Working Group
      • HRC Advisory Committee
      • Special procedures (discuss and report on human rights situations relating to particular countries or themes)
    • Commission on Human Rights
      • No longer exists – predecessor of the Human Rights Council
    • Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
      • Carries out studies on human rights issues and make recommendations
  • Treaty Based Bodies
    • Committee against Torture (CAT)
    • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
    • Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
    • Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
    • Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW)
    • Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
    • Human Rights Committee (CCPR)
    • Documents produced by the Treaty Based Bodies are available on the Treaty Bodies Database as well as UN ODS, Unbisnet
  • Treaty status and reports by country Information about the different bodies including access to the treaty based documents database
  • International Courts and Tribunals
  • Research Guides
    • Pict – Project on International Courts and Tribuals @ http://www.pict-pcti.org/
    • ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law @ http://www.asil.org/resource/humrts1.htm#SectionD
    • UN Research Guide @ http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm
    • Research guides for individual courts see second half of handout
  • Where to find judgments & decisions: publications: Hard copy sources
    • International Legal Materials
      • Key publication including treaties, UN resolutions and declarations, cases
      • Internat 300 I 240
      • Online Westlaw / Lexis / HeinOnline
    • International Human Rights Reports – Internat 300 I162
    • International Law Reports - Internat 100 I61
  • Where to find judgments and decisions online
    • Web site of the relevant court (also includes indictments, pleadings etc) – URLS later
    • Westlaw
    • Worldlii
    • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Interights - Key human rights cases from Commonwealth (domestic and international courts and tribunals)
    • Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (esp UN committees)
    • University of Minnesota Human Rights Library (esp Inter American Court of Human Rights)
  • Where to find other stuff…
    • Basic Court documents
      • PICT
      • Web site of the relevant court
    • Annual reports etc
      • Web site of the relevant court or its parent body
      • University of Minnesota Human Rights library
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Includes decision, headnote, cases and instruments cited plus articles citing
    • Selected cases only (more being added)
    • ICJ and PCIJ
    • ICC
    • ICTY and ICTR
    • Nuremberg International Military Tribunal
    • Special Court for Sierra Leone
    • UN committees: CERD, CAT, CCPR
    • ECHR
    • African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
    • “ International Law in Domestic Courts“ (decisions from domestic courts in 60 jurisdictions relating to international law)
  • Judgments selected by broad subject. See “Find out more” for selection criteria Browse by subject / date Search options. Advanced search also includes keywords thesaurus Most recent cases added
  • Choose keywords or jurisdictions from thesaurus
    • Search terms can be combined with
    • AND – all terms
    • OR – one term or the other or both
    • NOT – one term but only if the other is not present
    • to truncate e.g. ethnic* finds ethnic, ethnically
    • ? In place of one letter e.g. organi?ation
  • Jump to futher analysis, cases cited etc
  • Westlaw :
    • International Legal Materials
    • International Court of Justice
    • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
    • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
    • European Court of Human Rights
  • Westlaw
    • Search EHRR from “ UK cases ” screen
    • International courts / International Legal Materials are hard to find. To find them: Westlaw International > Directory > All Westlaw Databases > International/Worldwide > Multinational > Court and Tribunal Cases
  • Find Westlaw International under services – this has Non UK/EU materials
  • To search cases from selected courts To search International Legal Materials. Includes treaties, UN resolutions and declarations, cases. From Legislation choose “International Legal Materials”
  • Database selected Combine terms using connectors Rape within the same sentence as ethnic
  • To see all results To search within results To jump to your keywords Print, save, e-mail etc
  • Worldlii @ http://www.worldlii.org
    • 26 international courts including:
    • ICJ
    • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Decisions 2004-
    • International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia 1996-
    • United Nations Committee against Torture Decisions 1993-
    • United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 1988-
    • United Nations Human Rights Committee 1977-
    • European Court of Human Rights
    • Inter-American Court of Human Rights 1981- (Selected)
    • Interights Commonwealth Human Rights Law 1992-2002
    • Interights International Human Rights Law 1981-2001
  • International decisions http://www.worldlii.org/
  • 1. Choose court(s). Either check the boxes next to the court(s) you want to search OR choose a pre selected group of courts (e.g. All Human Rights Courts). 2 . Enter search terms. Use the following connectors: AND, OR, NOT NEAR – within 50 words w/n –term 1 within n terms of term 2 Pre/n –term 1 must precede term 2 by n terms *truncation symbol Check when last judgement was added to Worldlii
  • Sort options To see results from one particular court (or database) only
  • Interights
    • Key human rights cases from international courts and tribunals and domestic courts in the Commonwealth
    • http://www.interights.org/database-search/index.htm
  • Notes for specific courts
  • International Court of Justice
  • ICJ: Research Guides & Reference Works
    • UN research guide includes a section on the ICJ @ http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm#icj
    • International Court of Justice Yearbook Internat 725 c 858 j-k
    • Summaries of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice Internat 121a
    • Bibliography of the International Court of Justice Internat 400 c858
  • ICJ: Judgments in print
    • (Reports of) Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders – Internat 121
      • Annual index
    • Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents – Internat 122
      • Documentation relating to each case (e.g. application, written and oral proceedings, documents submitted to the court, selected correspondence etc)
      • Published after the end of the case in the original language
  • ICJ online
    • ICJ web site @ http://www.icj-cij.org
      • Basic Documents
      • Cases
        • Full text of judgments (contentious cases) /advisory opinions (advisory proceedings)
        • Related documents (e.g. application, oral and written proceedings, orders, summaries, press releases)
      • Not good for subject searching
    • Worldlii and Westlaw
      • Cases
      • Preferable for subject searching
  • Background information – history, how the court works, judges etc Text of judgments and advisory opinions and related documents Statute of the Court, rules of procedure etc Information about the courts’ jurisdiction THE ICJ website
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
    • UN research guide @ http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm#ity
    • Basic documents, annual reports @ http://www.un.org/icty/
    • Judgments in print
    • The Judicial Reports/ Recueils judiciaires Internat 580 I63c
    • Judgments online
    • ITY web site @ http://www.un.org/icty/
    • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Westlaw
    • Worldlii (not entirely up to date)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
    • UN Research Guide @ http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm#itr
    • Online
    • ICTR website @
      • Basic documents
      • Indictments, decisions, judgments
      • Status of pending cases
      • Annual reports etc
    • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Westlaw (indictments, decisions, judgments)
    • Worldlii
  • Other international courts…
    • International Criminal Court
      • UN research guides @ http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/resguide/specil.htm#icc
      • http://www.icc-cpi.int/
      • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Special Court for Sierra Leone @ http://www.sc-sl.org/
      • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor @ http://www.cavr-timorleste.org/
  • Decisions of UN Treaty Committees
  • UN Treaty Bodies Decisions
    • Information about the treaty bodies at @ http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/icm-mc/docs/hri_mc_2007_4.doc
    • Treaty bodies database @ http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf
    • Oxford Reports on International Law
    • Worldlii
    • Netherlands Institute of Human Rights http://www.law.uu.nl/english/sim/
      • Indexed by subject, keyword, state, name etc
      • Once connected choose Databases > Case Law
  • Click on the > next to the relevant body The Treaty Bodies Database
  • http://sim.law.uu.nl/SIM/Dochome.nsf
  • Cases before UN committees Cases before ECHR Cases before tribunals for Yugoslavia / Rwanda Comments by treaty bodies in response to country reports
  • Browse by treaty article, subject, keyword, country etc
  • European Court of Human Rights
  • European Court of Human Rights: Reports of Judgments
    • Official Reports
      • Before 1 Nov 1998 known as Series A and numbered consecutively. Citation looks like: Plattform ‘Ärtze für das Leben’ v Austria (App no 10126/82) (1988) Series A no 139
      • After 1 Nov 1998 - Renamed Reports of Judgments and Decisions . Citation looks like: Osman v UK (App no 23452/94) ECHR 1998-VIII 3124
      • Available online on Justis / in print at Internat 121
    • European Human Rights Reports (EHRR)
      • Reputable publication as an alternative to the official reports
      • Citation looks like: Young, James and Webster v UK (App no 7601/76) (1982) 4 EHRR 38
      • Available online on Westlaw or in print at Internat 150
  • ECHR: Transcripts
    • Court Transcripts are available on
      • Court web site (HUDOC) @ http://www.echr.coe.int/echr
      • Worldlii
      • Netherlands Institute of Human Rights
  • Choose “Advanced Search” for more options Westlaw “UK Cases” includes European Court of Human Rights Reports (all ECHR judgments and selected commission decisions)
  • e.g. searching for ECHR cases on the death penalty
  • ECHR web site
    • http://www.echr.coe.int/
    • Basic Documents and texts of the court
    • Database of transcripts of judgments and commission decisions
    • To go direct to the transcripts database http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/
  • Links through to the basic text including the Convention as well as the Case-law (HUDOC). You can also access HUDOC from the link in the top right. Reports section includes annual and activity reports for the court.
  • Choose which parts of the collections you wish to search. It defaults to judgments only – if you need admissibility decisions (including those made by the Commission before it ceased in 1999) you need to choose decisions as well If you are searching by subject it may be best to narrow it down by article first or use the text box. If you are looking for a specific case then use the application number (e.g. 24276/94) if you have it. If not use the case title to put the party name in and then the state. User guides and help with keywords are available as well as guides to citation.
  • Analytical information including dates, party names, who the case was referred by, Strasbourg case law cited, keywords, durable URL Keywords in context – finds your keywords and displays sorrounding text Links to related information
  • Inter American Human Rights
  • Inter American Commission on Human Rights
    • Inter American Commission on Human Rights @ http://www.cidh.org/DefaultE.htm
    • Cases
      • Cases section of the Commission web site
      • University of Minnesota index to Commission cases @ http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cases/commissn.htm
  • Cases Background information including relationship of Commission and Court Reports from special rapporteurs, country reports, cases, work with the court Documents on specific topics such as migrant workers
  • Inter American Court of Human Rights
    • Reports of judgments
      • Series A – Judgments and opinions
      • Series B – Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents (relating to series A)
      • Series C – Decisions and judgments
      • Series D - Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents (relating to series C)
    • Finding Cases online
      • Court web site @ http://www.corteidh.or.cr/ – Spanish versions appear first
      • University of Minnesota @ http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/iachr/iachr.html - Judgments, opinions and decisions + related documents
      • Worldlii
  • Statute of the court, rules of procedure, composition, history etc
    • Browse judgments chronologically or by country
    • Decisions and judgments =series c (contentious)
    • Advisory = series A
    • Text in word / pdf
    Annual reports – includes cases Search for judgment by keywords or by country/date range
  • Other useful Inter-American sites
    • University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
    • http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/
    Choose Regional Materials
  • Links through to the Commission and the Court
  • Africa: some key web sites
    • African Union
      • http://www.africa-union.org/
    • African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (including Charter)
      • http://www.achpr.org/
    • Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
      • http://www.africancourtcoalition.org/
    • Institute for the Human Rights and Development in Africa
      • www.ihrda.org
    • Africa Human Rights Resource Centre ( University of Minnesota Human Rights Library) http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/africa/index.html
  • Treaties and ratification details, speeches and other pulications List of member states
  • Most recent country reports, and activities reports Treaties Subjects under special mechanisms Other documents such as declarations
  • About the African Court contains historical document, limited case reports and background to its establishment Papers and conclusions contain research and academic papers as well as other published articles Sub- regional courts
  • Legal Desk includes decided and pending cases as well as notes on citation Links through to Human rights institutions in Africa
  • Institute for Human Rights and Development in Afrcia @ http://www.ihrda.org/
  • http://caselaw.ihrda.org/
  • Journals & Commentary
    • Receuil des cours
    • Use usual journals indexes
      • Westlaw
      • Index to Legal Periodicals
      • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
      • Social Science Citation Index
      • Cambridge Scientific Abstracts : Social Sciences
      • PAIS – Public Affairs Information Institute
      • Google Scholar
    • Links to free journals with Human Rights focus
      • http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/links/journals.html
  • Country Reports
    • Collection of links to Country Reports in the ASIL research guide @ http://www.asil.org/resource/humrts1.htm
    • Amnesty
      • http://web.amnesty.org/library/engindex
      • Reports organised by country, region, theme
    • Human Rights Watch
      • http://hrw.org/
      • Reports organised by country and subject
    • International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
      • Europe (esp E Europe)
      • For Reports follow the link to “Documents and publications”
      • http://www.ihf-hr.org/welcome.php
    • US Dept of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
      • Choose Country Reports from the navigation bar
      • Annual reports submitted to US congress
      • http://www.state.gov/g/drl/hr/
  • Subject Approach
    • Amnesty http://web.amnesty.org/library/engindex
    • Human Rights Watch http://hrw.org/
    • University of Minnesota Topics Guide http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/edumat/topicguides.html
      • Introduction to main issues
      • Links to relevant web resources
    • University of Minnesota Human Rights Library http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/links/links.htm
      • Links to document repositories, organisations, country and subjects
  • Subject Approach
    • Derechos http://www.derechos.org/
      • Particularly good for Latin America
    • Human Rights Internet http://www.hri.ca/
    • Hurisearch - http://www.hurisearch.org/
      • search engine searching multiple human rights web sites
    • Worldlii Human Rights Catalog http://www.worldlii.org/catalog/303.html
      • Links to document repositories, organisations, country and subjects