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International Legal Research: Human Rights Resources, Research Guides & Journals

This Guide covers essential print and electronic resources for researching international and foreign law.

Human Rights Resources, Research Guides and Journals

The most comprehensive and reliable resource for researching international and regional human rights law is the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library. At this website, one may find treaties by subject matter, browse an alphabetical instrument list or run searches for treaties.

In addition to treaties, a vast amount of U.N., regional and U.S. human rights documentation is available via this website. This documentation includes the jurisprudence of court like bodies like the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights and other international bodies such as the Human Rights Committee (ICCPR) and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.   

The Bibliographies and Research Guides and Topic Guides are helpful starting points for research on a particular subject. Note that the category of human rights is quite broad. For example, there are Topic Guides on slavery and forced labor, education and freedom of expression. 

A useful feature of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library website is the Ratification of Human Rights Treaties information it provides for each country. A chart like the one below, Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties by South Africa, displays all human rights treaties and indicates whether the country has or has not signed or ratified each treaty. The path to this information is as follows: UMN Human Rights Library Home Page > Other Information at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library > Resources for Researching Country Conditions > Alphabetical List of Countries > i.e. South Africa > Ratification of International Human Rights Treaties  


Research Guide

Excellent electronic research guides (ERGs) like Marci Hoffman's International Human Rights are available via the American Society of International Law (ASIL)'s deFord Library and Information Center website. Such ERGs can be huge time savers. It is generally much easier to start research from a guide like this than to run searches in a large database. Also, at times, it can be challenging to navigate the Human Rights Library at the University of Minnesota as it is quite vast and complex. A narrative discussion such as that provided in a research guide can be a helpful alternative.


Journal Articles

In addition to the general journal indexes described under the Law Reviews Tab, the following journals are particularly relevant to international criminal law research:

  • Journal of the International Court of Justice
  • Leiden Journal of International Law
  • International Criminal Law Review
  • American Journal of International Law
  • European Journal of International Law
  • Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law

Other sources for scholarly articles about emerging case issues, legislative trends and treaty applications include national and regional yearbooks which are available via Hein Online's Foreign and International Law Resources Library.

Visit the Peace Palace Library for U.N. Operations to search the catalog for journal articles and books.


Non Law Related Journal Indexes

Because international human rights is a multidisciplinary topic, one should not overlook non law related journals and journal indexes. The following resource is especially useful:  EBSCOHost

Now that JMLS is part of UIC, students have even greater access to article databases in many different disciplines. Explore these databases via the UIC Library's databases and collections websites.