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Introduction to International Law Research Global Perspectives on the Law Law A508 May 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to International Law Research Global Perspectives on the Law Law A508 May 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to International Law Research Global Perspectives on the Law Law A508 May 2012

2 Overview Basic introduction – Definitions, sources of law – Explore websites & other materials Out of class research exercise will be distributed later this week To learn more: E579 International and Foreign Law Research

3 Definitions What is international law? Public Int’l Law: Governs interactions between states (nations), between states and international bodies (IGOs), and between international bodies themselves Ex.: human rights, environmental law Private Int’l Law: Governs the choice of law to apply when there are conflicts in the domestic/national law of different countries that relate to private transactions Ex. contracts, marriage & divorce, child adoption

4 Sources of International Law What are the sources of international law? The sources are set forth in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (annex to UN Charter) Statute of the International Court of Justice Note: ICJ also may decide “according to what is equitable and good” (ex aequo et bono). See: How the Court WorksHow the Court Works

5 Sources of International Law, cont’d. International conventions – Treaties, pacts, protocols, agreements, accords – Bilateral (2 parties) – Multilateral (3 or more parties) International custom, as evidence of general practice accepted as law General principles of law Judicial decisions, and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations

6 Research Guides Gallagher: ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources in International Law: GlobaLex (NYU): International Law Tutorial (Duke Law & Berkeley Law):

7 United Nations United Nations, – Charter Charter – UN Structure and Organization (links on left) UN Structure and Organization – Organizational chart Organizational chart – Library Library GlobaLex research guide: Researching the United Nations GlobaLex research guide: Researching the United Nations

8 Exercise Current topic: UN Agrees to Send More Cease-Fire Observers to Syria (N.Y. Times, April 21, 2012)UN Agrees to Send More Cease-Fire Observers to Syria (N.Y. Times, April 21, 2012) Find the Security Council Resolution on Syria discussed in the N.Y. Times article

9 More on IGOs African Union, NATO African UnionNATO Gallagher Law Library guide on Intergovernmental Organizations Intergovernmental Organizations Yearbook on International Organizations, Reference Office JZ4836.Y43. List (from Northwestern) List ASIL guide on International OrganizationsInternational Organizations

10 Finding Treaties Text, parties, status? Gallagher guide, Treaties & Other International Agreements Gallagher guide, Treaties & Other International Agreements – Links to Research Guides – Status & Signatories FLARE Index – Acronyms & Abbreviations

11 UN Treaties Ex. Locate the Paris Convention (industrial property) U Minn. Frequently Cited Treaties & Other International Instruments U Minn. Frequently Cited Treaties & Other International Instruments United Nations Treaty Collection, Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General (“MTDSG”) and United Nations Treaty Series (“UNTS”) United Nations Treaty Collection

12 U.S. Treaties U.S. State Dept. Treaty AffairsTreaty Affairs – Treaties in Force and Treaty Actions Treaties in ForceTreaty Actions HeinOnline Treaties and Agreements LibraryTreaties and Agreements Library – From the Gallagher Law Library home page, locate “HeinOnline” under “Selected Databases”Gallagher Law Library

13 Judicial Decisions Gallagher guide: International CasesInternational Cases – Ex. International Court of JusticeInternational Court of Justice The Project on International Courts & Tribunals: A Synoptic Chart The Project on International Courts & Tribunals: A Synoptic Chart ASIL Electronic Research Guide on International Criminal Law International Criminal Law

14 Research Hypo: Maritime Piracy NATO videovideo Source: ccs.org/piracy-reporting- centre/live-piracy-maphttp://www.icc- ccs.org/piracy-reporting- centre/live-piracy-map

15 Research Strategy Review Preliminary analysis (what do I already know?) Secondary sources (books, articles, non-legal materials – news, etc.) Primary materials (e.g. treaty) Update & refine

16 Secondary Source Research Research Guide: NATO Maritime SecurityNATO Maritime Security Books: library cataloglibrary catalog Articles: LegalTrac (navigate from Law Library home page)Law Library Scholarly opinion: Restatement of Foreign Relations, Third: Westlaw [REST-FOREL]REST-FOREL Commentary / Reports: ASIL > Issues >International SecurityASIL U.S. government web sites & publications State Dept.State Dept. Intergovernmental organizations UN, the UN’s IMOUNUN’s IMO

17 News and Commentary LexisNexis, Westlaw Real Clear World Today’s Front Pages (Newseum) Today’s Front Pages UW Libraries Electronic Newspapers and News International law blogs

18 Exercise Start at the United Nations Treaty Collection and navigate to the UNTS database, to locate the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – Is the U.S. listed as a participant to this agreement? Use the FLARE Index to search for UNCLOS, and locate a full-text version of this treaty. In which Article is “piracy” defined? Search LegalTrac and locate one article citation that discusses the U.S. & the Law of the Sea Convention

19 Wrap-Up Sources of international law: treaties, custom, general principles, cases, teachings Treaties: can find text in different places IGOs: established by treaties; websites include pubs, press releases, official docs Secondary sources: books, scholarly articles, news. Remember to get non-US perspectives

20 Need help? Contact the Reference Office or


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