Foreign and International Legal Research

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  • No hierarchy among first 3, 4 and 5 considered subsidiary!
  • Especially the Intro to Public Int’l Law Research from 2010


  • 1. Foreign and International Legal Research
    Saskia Mehlhorn, Visiting Foreign and International Law Librarian, March 2011
  • 2. Foreign and International LawBasic Concepts SourcesResearching International LawResearching Foreign Law O’Quinn SubscriptionsFree reliable online resources
  • 3. Foreign and Int’l Law, Defined and Distinguished
  • 4. What is Foreign Law?
    Foreign Law = Law of the country
    Research requires access of foreign legislation, jurisdiction, commentaries and scholarly work
  • 5. Common and Civil Law Countries
  • 6. What is International Law?
    International Law governs the relations between countries
    Referred to as public international law
    Not Private International Law
    Supranational Law is part of International Law
  • 7. History of International Law
    Commercial Transaction
    17th century move to ius ad bellum
    20th century ius ad bellum rejected
    Founding of International Organizations
  • 8. Basic Concepts of Int’l Law
  • 9. Sovereignty
    Signatory nations are equal
    Traditionally parties were mostly nations.
    NGO’s, IGO’S, Multinational corps
    Authority of International Law largely depends upon voluntary participation of states
    In some areas judicial and quasi-judicial tribunals are available
  • 10. Sources of Int’l Law
  • 11. Article 38(1) ICJ Statute
    International conventions
    Customary law
    General principles of law
    Scholarly work
    Case law
  • 12. Article 38(1) ICJ Statute
    1. The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply:
    a. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
    b. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
    c. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
    d. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.
  • 13. Researching Int’l Law
  • 14. Where to start?
  • 15. International Law
  • 16. Treaty Research
    Ratification and Implementation Process
    What is the difference between a treaty and an executive agreement?
    Where to find treaties?
  • 17. Treaty Research
  • 18. International Trade Law
    UNCITRAL – United Nations
    Commission on
    International Trade Law
    WTO – World Trade
    OECD – Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development
  • 19. UNCITRAL
  • 20. WTO
  • 21. OECD
  • 22. International Organizations
    United Nations
    International Criminal Court
    International Court of Justice
  • 23. United Nations
  • 24. International Criminal Court
  • 25. International Court of Justice
  • 26. Regional Organizations
    Organization of American States
    North American Free Trade Agreement
    European Union
    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
    African Union
  • 27. OAS
  • 28. NAFTA
  • 29. EU
  • 30. APEC
  • 31. African Union
  • 32. Researching Foreign Law
  • 33. Where to start?
  • 34. GLIN
  • 35. GLM
  • 36. LOC Research Guides
  • 37. O’Quinn Subscriptions
  • 38. Start with a search in the library catalog! We have excellent resources available and the fastest way to find them is with a search in the online catalog.
  • 39. CIAO
  • 40. BNA Reporter Int’l Trade
  • 41. LawInfo China
  • 42. Hein Online
  • 43. UN Treaties Collection
  • 44. Index to Foreign Legal Publications
  • 45. Kluwer Arbitration
  • 46. Free reliable online sources
  • 47. Cornell’s Wex
  • 48. NYU Law F&I Research
  • 49. HG by Lex Mundi
  • 50. Legislation Online
  • 51. Thank You!