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Legal skills - International law research

This guide is designed to help you determine the appropriate sources of international law and locate them.

This video was created by the University of Tasmania Library, 2017.


Where can I find International Law reference materials?

Below are databases by jurisdiction:


Encyclopedias and dictionaries

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law 

This is a peer reviewed online encyclopedia dealing with essential topics of international law.

Parry & Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law 

This reference tool that brings together both terminology and pertinent descriptive information on international law.

United Nations Treaty Reference Guide

This Reference Guide seeks to provide a basic - but not an exhaustive - overview of the key terms employed in the United Nations Treaty Collection


Secondary materials

LexisNexis International

LexisNexis International contains a comprehensive collection of full text legal resources including both primary and secondary material from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other jurisdictions.

Thomson Reuters Westlaw

U.S. and foreign primary and secondary legal materials.

International Legal Materials

Excellent journal containing notes on treaties and international cases.

United Nations Official Document System

Parliamentary documents and official reports of the United Nations.

Oxford Reports on International Law 
Full text decisions of international courts and international law decisions in domestic courts from 1904.

English Reports and US Reports

Case judgments and legislation from common law jurisdictions around the world
Irish Reports and Digests 1838 - present
Justis Irish Cases 1998 - present
International Law Reports
Singapore Law Reports


Where can I find International Law journal articles?

While many journals are only available on paid databases, open access journals and other freely available articles are increasingly available. The following sources collect freely available journal articles.


American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center Journal Search

Search over 400 open access and freely available legal journals with the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center Journal Search.
Google Scholar Google Scholar offers access to academic journals including legal articles. While full text of all articles is not available, Google Scholar does provide valuable citation information.
SSRN Legal Scholarship Network SSRN offers a large collection of working papers, both pre- and post-publication. These papers cover a range of academic subjects. The Legal Scholarship Network specifically collects law related papers.
Directory of Open Access Journals This database collects open access journals on all topics. The legal sub-category contains 139 journals.
JSTOR Journals STOR offer 126 titles of law jounals.
NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository  Provides a free and consistent point of access for working papers, reports, lecture series, workshop presentations, and other scholarship created by faculty at NELLCO member schools, including law schools at Berkeley, Boston College, Cornell, Duke, Yale and many others.

How do if find the drafting history of international agreements?


In you research you may need to locate the drafting history of international agreements. The terms used for such materials are 'Travaux Preparatoires', preparatory works' or the drafting or negotiating history.

Globalex has produced an excellent guide to researching 'Travaux Preparatoires'.

For further assistance, please contact the Law Librarian.

Where can I find International Law Yearbooks? 

Yearbooks are an excellent source of information relating to State practices in a variety of areas of international law. They may contain summaries of important domestic decisions or legislation that impacts  international relations. Below is a selection of yearbooks:

 For a complete listing, including print copies of yearbooks please search the library catalogue. 

How do I stay up to date with international law?

Newsletters and blogs can contain relevant insights and assist with international law research. Below a few are listed: 

ASIL Insights

ASIL Insights, the "international law behind the headlines," provide brief, balanced accounts of the international law issues raised by newsworthy late-breaking events. Insights, which are created as international law events arise, are distributed to subscribers and posted on the ASIL website two or three times a month.

International Economic Law and Policy Blog Commentary on current developments and scholarship in the field of international economic law and policy.

International Judicial Monitor

International Law Observer International Law Observer is a blog dedicated to reports, commentary and the discussion of topical issues of public international law as well as EC/EU-law.
International Law Prof Blog
International Law Reporter
Opinio Juris Opinio Juris is a forum for informed discussion and lively debate about international law and international relations.
UN Dispatch
LLRX : Keeping Current with International Law via the Web  

Need help?


If you require assistance with legal research please contact the Law Library on: 

  • +61 3 6226 2063


or come in during our regular opening hours.

The Law Library is located at the lower end of the Sandy Bay campus in the Law Building.