International Human Rights:
A Guide to Selected Sources
Charlene C. Cain
rev. August 2002
Table of Contents
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
Charlene C. Cain August 2002
NOTICE: The purpose of this pathfinder is to assist in the identification and use of potentially relevant sources of legal information. Nothing in this document should be interpreted as legal advice. Items cited in this pathfinder can be located using the library’s catalog. Also, many of the items cited can be used electronically through LEXIS , WESTLAW, and the Internet.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Treaties and conventions are formal agreements between countries. Bilateral treaties are those made between two countries. Multilaterals have more than two parties.
To find treaties, first ascertain whether the United States is a party to the agreement. If it is, check Treaties in Force or TIF (S 9.14:, Docs Office) to find out if the agreement has actually been ratified by the Senate. If ratified, TIF will contain the TIA or TIAS citation used in United States Treaties and other International Agreements. If the document is not listed in TIF, call the Department of State Treaty Office (202-647-1345) to ascertain the status of the treaty.
If the US is not a party to the treaty, look at Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General and International Legal Materials (see descriptions below) as starting points. Other sources are listed below and in the section Internet Resources.
United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (UST)
Beginning in 1950, contains the text of each treaty and executive agreement ratified by the Senate. Treaties published in slip form are published as Treaties and other International Agreements (TIAS).
Documents Dept. S 9.10: and S 9.12:
Statutes at Large
Until 1950, US treaties were published in the volumes containing US statutes.
Documents Dept. GS 4.111: and 2d Floor Federal Materials
World Treaty Index
Covers 1900-1980. Main indices are by party and keyword. Citations are to the United Nations Treaty Series and to the League of Nations Treaty Series, as well as other sources.
KZ 118 .R64
International Legal Materials
ILM is a bi-monthly publication that began in 1962. It provides timely access to current documents concerning international relations. The texts of official foreign and US international agreements and other documents are reprinted along with useful background notes. Each issue has its own index and each November issue contains an annual index. Cumulative indexes covering a range of years are published occasionally.
KZ 64 .I58
Westlaw ILM; ILM Cumulative Index ILM-INDX
Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General 1981-1997
Status of multilateral conventions of which the Secretary General acts as a depository The latest edition now available as part of the United Nations Treaty Database (See Internet resources)
JX 1977 .A2 ST/LEG/ SER.E/
Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments
K3238 .H85 1994
Also, check ILink for other editions
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Division of International Law.
Individually titled. Some volumes contain treaties. Search iLink for Carnegie and your subject in separate “Word or Phrase” blocks. For example, try Carnegie in one Word or Phrase block and China in another.
Compendium of International Conventions Concerning the Status of Women
K644.A35 C66 1988
Inter-American Treaties and Conventions; Signatures, Ratifications, and Deposits with Explanatory Notes
KDZ 10 .T74,
see also Internet Resources
To find customary law, start by searching for relevant texts and treatises, law review articles, and judicial decisions from national and international tribunals. Statements made in landmark resolutions and declarations of the United Nations can also be helpful. International legal matters are frequently litigated in American courts, so check federal and regional digests for cases. Legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS) and American Jurisprudence, 2d (Am Jur 2d) may also contain relevant materials.
See the Government Documents Librarian, Room L401. You may also wish to visit the European Union web site at http://europa.eu.int
The Official Journal is the primary daily publication of the EU Commission. Published in several parts, the current issues are in microfiche. The journal is in English, but using the index is time-consuming because it is also on fiche. The Law Library subscribes to the Journal (KJE 908.3), both C (KJE 908.3 Series C) and L (KJE 908.3 Series L) series, as well as a printed index.
The Law Library also owns European Court Reports: Reports of the European Community Staff Cases and the Court of Justice of the European Communities and the Court of First Instance. These are located at KJE 924.5 .E97 and KJE 934.3 .P76, respectively.
EU delegation in Washington, DC
Additionally, the LEXIS/CELEX library has the full text of EU legislation and case law.
The Law Library owns some UN documents, which can be found through the online catalog. A search might be configured as follows: ‘United Nations’ ‘human rights’ in the Words or Phrase block. (Note: these are single quotation marks.)
The UN Treaty series is located on the Third Floor in the Microform Collection and at KZ 172 .T74.
Middleton Library is a full depository for UN documents, and a few can be found in Middleton's online catalog, LOLA, but it is much more efficient to use the finding aids at that library to locate them. From 1947 to 1995, Middleton received these documents in paper format After 1995, the documents were published in microfiche. Both formats are housed in the Documents/Microforms Department. Copies from the fiche are 20 cents/page. The index for these documents from 1947 to1976 is in paper format. A computer-based index by Readex/Newsbank covers the period after 1976. Both the paper and computer indexes are housed in the Reference Department on the first floor of the library. While the paper indexes are always available for use, the computer index must be requested at the Reference Desk.
See also the UN’s website
International Court of Justice Materials
Court of International Justice cases are published individually and cataloged in iLink as a series. If you don't have a case name, try an author search:
[author block] type International Court of Justice [author block] type European Court of Human Rights
This will turn up entries for individual cases which include pleadings, oral arguments, and documents. A Word or Phrase search is best configured by putting keywords in separate Word or Phrase blocks .
The opinions are also reprinted in English in the International Law Reports, a series published by the Cambridge University Press. This set, located on the Third Floor of the Law Library at KZ 199 .I58, also reprints opinions from other courts. Each volume contains a table of cases, a digest section listing cases within 36 main headings, a table of treaties, and a main section with the opinio ns. Each volume is self-indexed. There is a consolidated index to volumes 1-80, which is shelved next to the Law Reports.
International Court of Justice (a UN body) web site
Cornell University has a mirror site for International Court of Justice materials
European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights cases are published individually and cataloged in iLink as a series. If you don't have a case name, try an author search.
[Author block] European Court of Human Rights
This will turn up entries for individual cases which include pleadings, oral arguments, and documents.
The opinions are also reprinted in English in the International Law Reports. Also includes reprints of opinions from other courts. Each volume contains a table of cases, a digest section, a table of treaties, and a main section with the opinions. Each volume is self-indexed; there is a consolidated index to volumes 1-80, which is shelved next to the Law Reports.
KZ 199 .I58
European Court of Human Rights website
Cornell University now has a site for International Court of Justice materials.
Westlaw International Court of Justice Database
See the Law Library Quick Guide, Searching the Online Catalog, for search strategies.
Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
Australian Journal of Human Rights
Buffalo Human Rights Law Review
K 2 .U339
East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights
European Human Rights Law Review
Harvard Human Rights Journal
Harvard Human Rights Yearbook
K 8 .U45
Human Rights Law Journal
New York Law School Human Rights Annual
New York Law School Journal of Human Rights
South African Journal on Human Rights
Universal Human Rights
How to Find Articles in Domestic and Foreign Periodicals
Journal articles can be located using the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (ILP) and Current Law Index (CLI), which are located on the index table on the 2nd Floor. The third floor index table has the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, useful when doing comparative research on the law of other countries, as well as another current set of the ILPB. The ILPB is also available via all computer desktops in the Law Center by clipping the Wilson Web icon or pointing a browser to http://hwwilsonweb.com . Both ILPB and CLI are available on LEXIS (Law Reviews, Combined) and WESTLAW (ILP and JLR, respectively).
How to Find Articles in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (3rd Floor Index Table)
The IFLP is used for locating articles in selected legal serials dealing with international law (public and private), comparative law, and the municipal law of countries other than the US, the British Isles and the British Commonwealth.
Entries are arranged by subject headings, which are in English, and the periodical titles are Romanized or translated into English. Each volume of the Index is divided into sections, including a subject index; geographic index (lists subject areas used for each country) and an author index (cites subject areas and country). Go to the subject index for the full citation. The periodical titles are abbreviated; use the sections "Periodicals Indexed by Short Form" or “Essay Collections, Festschriften, etc. Indexed” to get the full titles. Then check them against iLink to see if the Law Library subscribes to them. If it does not, please inquire at the Reference Desk about our interlibrary loan service.
Barkan, Elazar. The Guilt of Nations: Restitution and Negotiating Historical Injustices. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
JA 79 .B285 2001
Bottomley, Stephen, and David Kinley, eds. Commercial Law and Human Rights. Aldershot; Burlington: Ashgate Dartmouth, 2002.
K 3240 .C66 2002
De Waal, Johan, Iain Currie, Gerhard Erasmus. The Bill of Rights Handbook. 4th ed. Lansdowne, [South Africa]: Juta & Co., 2001.
KTL 2460 .D43 2001
Drinan, Robert F. The Mobilization of Shame: A World View of Human Rights. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
JC 571 .D84 2001
Forsythe, David P. Human Rights in International Relations. Cambridge [England] : CambridgeUniversity Press, 2000.
K 3240 .F67 2000
Francioni, Francesco, ed. Environment, Human Rights and International Trade. Oxford: Hart, 2001.
K 3585 .E59 2001
Hayner, Priscilla. Unspeakable Truths : Confronting State Terror and Atrocity. New York: Routledge, 2001.
K 29 .E175 2001
Human Rights Practice. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2000.
KJC 5132 .A35
Leach, Philip. Taking a Case to the European Court of Human Rights. London: Blackstone, 2001.
KJE 5138 .L43 2001
Morgan, Rodney, and Malcolm Evans. Combating Torture in Europe: The Work and Standards of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Strasbourg: Council of Europe,2001.
HV 8599.E85 M67 2001
Sarat, Austin, and Thomas R. Kearns, eds. Human Rights: Concepts, Contests, Contingencies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.
JC 571 .H765 2001
Seiderman, Ian D. Hierarchy in International Law: The Human Rights Dimension. Antwerp: Intersentia, 2001. K 3240 .S453 2001 Welch, Claude E. Welch, Jr., ed. NGOs and Human Rights: Promise and Performance. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
JC 571 .N485 2001
International Legal Materials
International Legal Materials (treaties)
Spicers Centre for Europe Abstracts
International Law Reviews
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-Organization of American States
Spicers Centre for Europe Abstracts
WTO & GATT Panel Decisions
International Court of Justice
International Legal Materials
International Legal Materials Cumulative Index
Selected Internet Resources
Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota website for links to the parliamentarysites around the world
Full Text Treaty Sources on The Internet (all sites last visited August 16, 2002)
General Treaty Sources
The Australian Treaties Library (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
Multilateral conventions since 1899 organized by subject or chronologically
The University of Nottingham Treaty Centre
Yale University Avalon Project
United Nations Treaty Database (fee-based)
United States Congress, Senate, House and Treaty Documents database
Internet Sources on Human Rights (all sites last visited August 16, 2002)
American Society of International Law
Derecho Human Rights
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor
Human Rights Interactive Network
Human Rights Internet
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Project
Human Rights Web
Simon Wiesenthal Center
University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
US State Dept. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
US State Department Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (archive) http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/index.html
Women’s Human Rights Resources, Univ. of Toronto
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees