University of Pittsburgh

Foreign, Comparative, & International Law Research

Researching the law of foreign countries and the international community of national governments requires careful thinking about who might create or organize information about a particular place or topic. The following list categorizes and links to reliable current providers of information:

Reference Sources
answer short factual research questions. Use them to find and convey fundamental details.
dictionaries - gov’t reports - research guides - more…
Foreign Law
Governments publish their statutes, administrative rules, and judicial decisions with diverse systems and limitations. Learn the government’s structure and publications and you will know where to look for law sources.
cases - legislation - source leads - more…
Private international law
is the law made by multiple national governments agreeing to recognize and enforce private transactions made between citizens of their separate countries.
UNCITRAL - UNIDROIT - Hague conf. - more…
International agreements
also known as “treaties”, “conventions”, and “covenants”, are the fundamental primary sources of international law. Written by representatives of multiple governments, they generally attain legal effect when countries ratify them as components of their national codes.
Hein Online - UN - EISIL - search tips - more…
International tribunals
decide disputes arising under international law. Tribunal research requires analytical thinking about a tribunal’s mission and methods as well as reading its publications.
ICJ - EU - Perm. Ct. Arb. - Int. Arbitration Awards - more…
U.S. International & Foreign Sources
The U.S. government publishes information about U.S. foreign policy, international agreements in preparation and in force, and foreign countries.
State Dep’t issues - State Dep’t Legal Advisor - more…
International organizations
produce and publish international and comparative law and policy as well as thorough research studies.
intergovernmental (IGO) - non-governmental (NGO)
Journal articles
contain analytical and explanatory coverage of emerging legal questions.
Legal Trac - Oxford - Kluwer - Hein Online - more…
News Sources
News sources have clues and vocabulary to help you identify people, organizations, and documents connected with legal issues. Use the clues and vocabulary to identify and search in other types of sources.
International Judicial Monitor - International News - Foreign Affairs - more…
Course Materials
Link to research guides and the Web or TWEN pages available for Pitt Law’s international law courses.
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Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC