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Public International Law: Judicial Decisions

Guidance for researching subjects related to public international law.

Judicial decisions as noted in the ICJ Statute include decisions of domestic courts on relevant issues in addition to international courts and tribunals. All of these decisions may be reported in national reporters, reporters for individual courts, or in subject-specific reporters. Subject-specific reporters may focus on a particular area of the law, such as human rights or the environment, may aggregate cases on international law generally, or may be historically focused. This resource is to help you find the text of cases. You should also consult secondary sources such as law reviews and books that may review large areas of case law. 

This page contains:

  1. List of international courts with official websites and reporters. 

  2. Subject-specific reporters. 

  3. Books with helpful judicial materials. 

You may also want to consult yearbooks/digests that contain judicial information by providing summaries or reprinting cases.

International Courts

If the official website of the court is the only place to access materials, the name of the court is linked directly to the website.

International Court of Justice (ICJ)

  • All materials (judgments, orders, agreements, etc.) are on the official website of the ICJ. 
  • If having the official reporter is important, use Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders. Older documents on the official websites are from the reporter, and cases are available in print to 2013 (KZ 214 .I58).

Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ) (precursor to the ICJ)

  • The documents of this court were published by Series, each one containing different types of documents.
    • Series A, B, and A/B: decisions
    • Series C: written pleadings, records of public hearings, and correspondance
    • Series D: documents on the organization of the Court
    • Series E: the Court's Yearbooks
    • Series F: catalog of publications
  • Electronic access via the ICJ official website and HeinOnline.
  • Library provides access in print and microfilm

Court of Justice of the European Union a.k.a. European Court of Justice (ECJ)

  • The easiest way to search for EU case law is on EUR-Lex, the official website for EU legal information. There are a wide variety of search options, and it's an all around great resource for researching EU law. It only contains materials from 1973-present. Cases that have been officially published in the reporter have PDF documents on EUR-Lex.
  • To access materials prior to 1973, you must use: 
    • HeinOnline, which provides access from 1954-2012. This should continue to be updated as the reporters are published. You can still search using HeinOnline, but it is more difficult to navigate than EUR-Lex. 
    • The reporter is in print in the Library covering 1954-2003. We also have official French-language decisions from 1954-1973. (KJE 924.5 .C622)
  • The official reporter 
    • Pre-1990 title: Reports of Cases Before the Court of Justice of the European Communities (E.C.R.)
    • Post-1990 title: Reports of Cases Beore the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance (E.C.R.). 

European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

  • The easiest way to search for ECtHR case-law is to use the Court's HUDOC website. Here you can search by year, Convention article, countries involved, the chamber that heard the case, etc. 1955-present. 
  • The Library has print versions of cases (not from the official reporter) from 1960-1999 in print (KJC 5135 .A5 E971). 
  • If the official reporter is important, then you can access copies from 1999-2013 on the official website.
  • Many cases that are considered "important" are available through a commercial (non-official) publisher, European Human Rights Reports. In print (KJC 5132.A52 E97). Contains a combination of case decisions and summaries. 
  • These sources that cover the ECtHR will also includes decisions from the now-defunct European Commission on Human Rights that operated in conjunction with the Court until 1998.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS)

International Criminal Court (ICC)

Other International Tribunals

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights 

Iran-US Claims Tribunal

  • Use the official website to search all materials. You will have to create an account to search off documents, but it is free to use.
  • The official reporter, Iran-United States Claims Tribunal Reports , is available:
    • Print (KZ 238 .I7 I72a)
    • Westlaw

 

Subject-Specific Reporters

  • International Law Reports (1922-present). In print (KZ 199 .I58).
    • Comes with an index, table of treaties, and table of cases to make print research very easy.
    • Previous title: Annual Digest of Public International Law (1922-1951)
    • "[T]he only publication in the world wholly devoted to the regular and systematic reporting in English of decisions of international courts and arbitrators as well as judgments of national courts." 
  • International Litigation Procedure 
    • Available on Westlaw.
    • Decisions for nation and EU courts relating to transnational litigation. States covered: UK, Canada, United States, Australia, select European states.
  • Reports of International Arbitral Awards (RIAA)
  • Common Market Law Reports
    • Print. JKE 925.5 .C64. 1962-1973, 1978-present.
    • Westlaw. (1972-present).
    • Covers all courts geographically located within the EU's common market.
  • American International Law Cases (1898-1979). In print (KZ 238 .A2 .A54 1971).
  • British International Law Cases (to 1970). In print (KZ 638 .A2 B75).

Books