Public International Law Research

updated by Devan Orr
July 2022

This guide addresses public international legal research generally.

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Some resources on this page are subscription databases that require a W&M ID and password for off-campus access. See Off-Campus Access to Library Resources for more information.

Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg require individual IDs and passwords for both off-campus and on-campus access.



Library Catalog

To search for books, journals, and audiovisual materials held by William & Mary libraries, use our Library Catalog.

Search Tips:
Subject Queries--

  • international law and [specific topic, i.e., environment]
  • international policy
Library of Congress Call Numbers for International Law:
  • K 520-5582 (Comparative Law, International Uniform Law);
  • KF 1971- (International Trade);
  • KZ 64-; KZ 118- (Treaties and other International Agreements);
  • KZ 199- (International Judicial Decisions);
  • KZ 1249- (International law and other disciplines);
  • KZA 1002- (Law of the Sea);
  • KZD 1002- (Space Law).

Browse the shelves under these call numbers to locate relevant treatises.

To search for materials from other libraries, use Worldcat.

Selected Treatises

  • Balouziyeh, John
    Principles of International Law, 2nd ed.
    KZ 3410 B35 2012
  • Cassese, Antonio.
    International Law, 2d ed.
    KZ 3395 C25 A35 2005
  • Dixon, Martin.
    Textbook on International Law, 7th ed.
    KZ 3110 D48 2013
  • Evans, Malcom D., ed.
    International Law, 5th ed.
    KZ 1242 I573 2018
  • Hoffman, Marci B.
    International Legal Research in a Nutshell, 3d ed.
    available online at West Academic Study Aids
  • Klabbers, Jan
    International Law, 3d ed.
    KZ 3410 K57 2021
  • Murphy, Sean D.
    Principles International Law, 3d ed.
    available online at West Academic Study Aids
  • Shaw, Malcolm N.
    International Law, 8th ed.
    Reserves - KZ 3275 S53 2017

Journal Articles

Index to Current Journal Articles (1908-)

Legal Source

Subject Queries--

  • international law - interpretation and construction
  • international law - cases
  • international law and [topic, e.g., human rights]

Indexes articles from over 1,200 legal journals, bar association publications, law reviews, and legal newspapers. Includes some journals from Canada, Great Britain, and Australia and New Zealand.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (1984-present)


Multilingual index to articles from legal journals, bar association publications, law reviews, book reviews, and legal newspapers. Aggregates over 500 legal journals published worldwide.

For More Information
For more information about finding law review articles, including older ones, see Locating Legal and Non-Legal Journal Articles.

Full Text Articles (from journals, newsletters, and legal newspapers)

Topical Services/Reporters & Newsletters


Legal News

  • ASIL Signature Topics: curates international news articles and multimedia presentations into topic areas that are of special interest to the American Society of International Law
  • ABA Global Initiatives News:  contains casenotes and articles discussing current international developments. Also has articles discussing the legal practice internationally. From the American Bar Association's Section of International Law and Practice.
    • Online through ABA website: updated regularly
  • International Law Update: summarizes international and domestic tribunal actions that bear on international issues. Organized by topic (i.e., genocide) and indexed annually.

W&M Databases

The International Law materials on Lexis include treaties, case law, and legislation from the U.S. and other countries. Selected secondary sources include journal articles and newsletters.

The International and Other Countries' Laws Practice-Area Materials include current U.S. legislation and implementing acts, regulations, and court decisions. Selected treaty sources are available, including United States Treaties and Other International Acts. Secondary sources include U.S. journal articles and newspapers. It also contains materials organized by subtopic, such as international environmental law and intellectual property.


Web Sites

U.S. Department of State
The State Department is the foreign affairs agency for the United States. Its website provides information about US international policy and programs delineated by topic. The website also contains the Department's Current Treaty Ations, which indicates recent changes that affect treaties to which the United States is a party.

United Nations
The United Nations website contains a searchable, although incomplete, database of treaties dating back to the inception of the UN. The website also links to various secretariats and UN program webpages, each with topic-specific content, including relevant UN treaties.


ABA Section of International Law and Practice
An American Bar Association section that provides a national forum for lawyers working in all areas of international law.

American Society of International Law
The ASIL web site contains links to resources such as the organization's Electronic Research Guide, a comprehensive Internet research tool that is broken into subtopics such as human rights law.

The International Law Institute
ILI is an independent research and education center. Although the Institute's website does not contain much substantive material (such as treaty texts), the Useful Resources section contains many links to sites that do provide such information.