International Law

Download PDF version of guide for print

I. Introduction

This guide covers foundational resources on international law generally and study aids. If you are searching for more specific and/or in-depth information, review our other foreign and international materials guides covering specific topics such as the UN, treaties, and international criminal law. Additionally, the library collects a series titled Research Handbooks in International Law, which explains how to reserach international law in a range of areas including cyberspace, criminal law, and energy law. These can be located by searching the catalog by title for Research Handbooks in International Law

Back to top

II. Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

  • Boleslaw A. Boczek, International Law: A Dictionary (Ref. KZ1161 .B63 2005).
  • James R. Fox, Dictionary of International and Comparative Law, 3d ed. (Ref. Desk KZ1161 .F69 2003).
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Ref. KZ1160 .E53 & online) - highly regarded source containing scholarly articles about various aspects of public international law, making it a good place to begin your research; the online version is updated regularly.
  • International Lawyer’s Deskbook (Lucinda A. Low, et al., eds.), 2d ed. (K559 .I563 2002).

  • Clive Parry & John P. Grant, The Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 3d ed. (Ref. KZ1161 .P37 2009 & online) - defines legal terms and acronyms as used in international law; explains doctrine, prominent figures, important incident, treaties, and organizations; and  discusses prominent cases, decisions, and arbitration.

Back to top

III. Bibliographies & Indexes

  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (online) - indexes articles from more than 450 legal periodicals published worldwide, including journals, essay collections, festschrifts, and congress reports.
  • Public International Law: A Current Bibliography of Books and Articles (Ref. K3150 .A12 P82 & online) - lists articles, monographs, essays, and compilations published on all aspects of public international law.
  • Charles Szladits, A Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law: Books and Articles in English (1955-1989), continued by Szladits' Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law: Books and Articles in English (1990-1998) (Ref. K38 .S95). Volumes for 1955-1990 are also available through HeinOnline

Back to top

IV. Treatises on International Law

  • Anthony Aust, Handbook of International Law, 2nd ed. (KZ3410 .A94 2010).

  • J.L. Brierly, Law of Nations: An Introduction to the International Law of Peace, 6th ed. (KZ3225.B75 A33 1963).

  • Antonio Cassese, International Law, 2d ed. (KZ3395.C25 A35 2005).

  • James Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law, 8th ed. (Reserves KZ3225.B76 A37 2012 & online). 

  • Vaughan Lowe, International Law (KZ1242 .L69 2007 & online). 

  • Peter Malanczuk, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law, 7th rev. ed. (Reserves KZ3205 .A44 A3 1997 & online). 

  • L. Oppenheim, Oppenheim’s International Law (Robert Jennings & Arthur Watts, eds.), 9th ed. (KZ3264.A3 I58 1992 & online). 

  • Malcolm Shaw, International Law, 7th ed. (KZ3275.S53 2014).

Certain classic treatises on international law (such as works by Grotius, Vattel, and Pufendorf) can be found in the Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises 1800-1926, as well as through HeinOnline’s Legal  Classics Library.

For some contemporary resources, Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law, available electronically, adds new content biannually from leading international scholars. Oxford Reports on International Law, available electronically, provides coverage of public international case law from more than 65 jurisdictions (from 2013-) in the original language and English translation.

Back to top

V. Study Aids

  • David J. Bederman & Chimène I. Keitner, International Law Frameworks (Concepts and Insights), 4th ed. (KZ3410 .B43 2016).
  • Thomas Buergenthal & Sean D. Murphy, Public International Law in a Nutshell, 5th ed. (Reserves KZ3410 .B84 2013).
  • Valerie Epps, et al., International Law: Examples and Explanations (Reserves KZ1242 .E675 2014).
  • Vaughan Lowe, International Law: A Very Short Introduction (Reference KZ3410 .L694 2015).
  • Stephen C. McCaffrey, Understanding International Law (Reserves KZ3410 .M397 2015).

Back to top

VI. Subject Headings

The following is a non-comprehensive list of related subject headings that are useful when searching our catalog for additional sources.

International law

Conflicts of Law

Jurisdiction (International Law)

International Relations

International Law – Periodicals

International Courts

Back to top

II. Research Guides and Texts

  • For hands-on practice researching international law, take a look at the Duke University School of Law and University of California, Berkeley, School of Law International Legal Research Tutorial.

Back to top

rev. 05/17 cml