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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Legal Databases

Legal Research Databases

  • Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals [from law library e-resources list] -- provides full-text access to important decisions in various international tribunals and commentary about those decisions from international criminal law experts.
  • British and Irish Legal Information Institute -- a full-text database of British and Irish case law and legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.
  • Foreign Law Guide -- [from law library e-resources list] contains both primary and secondary source legal information for more than 170 jurisdictions from major nations to crown colonies, semi-independent states, and supra-national regional organizations.
  • Global-Regulation -- a comprehensive, user-friendly search engine of machine-produced English translations of regulatory laws from approximately 128 data sources representing jurisdictions throughout the world, including the European Union.
  • HeinOnline Foreign and International Law Resources Database -- [from law library e-resources list] includes the publications of the American Society of International Law along with prominent Yearbooks from around the world, including the Hague Permanent Court of International Justice series. It also includes U.S. Law Digests, International Tribunals/Judicial Decisions and more. Access by clicking on link in left-hand column.
  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library -- [from law library e-resources list] full text access to digitized content of major legal periodicals, the Federal Register, and other law-related materials.
  • Human Rights Studies Online -- a research database that provides comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide from 1900 to 2010. The growing collection takes a case study approach in providing access to primary and secondary evidence across multiple media formats (more than 75,000 pages of text and 150 hours of video) that give voice to the countless victims of human rights crimes, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than thirty other major subject areas.
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals -- [from law library e-resources list] a multilingual index to articles and book reviews published worldwide.. The database covers international (public and private), comparative, and municipal law of countries other than the United States, the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
  • LEXIS/NEXIS Academic -- a database that includes full text access to law review journals, federal and state case law, European Union Cases, and the complete contents of the International Legal Materials publication from the American Society of International Law.
  • Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law -- [from law library e-resources list] this online version is a peer reviewed, regularly updated, and comprehensive work covering the central and essential topics in international law. Particular attention has been paid to the contextualization of each topic within international law as well as the presentation of current trends while maintaining a focus on the mainstream/majority view.
  • Philosopher's Index -- indexes articles from over 550 English and foreign language philosophy journals covering topics such as ethics, social and political philosophy, and the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language.
  • World Legal Information Institute [WorldLII] Database --  an open access database of Internet-accessible legislation, constitutions, statutes, case law, superior or high court decisions, journals, treaties, law reform, domain name decisions, secondary materials, and related legal material from around the globe.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

United Nations

United Nations--Overview

Databases/Documents Collections

Human Rights Information by Country

Legal Structure

Charter-based bodies

Treaty-based bodies

There are eight human rights treaty bodies that monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties:

United Nations Human Rights Treaty System

Other important United Nations agencies concerned with international law and human rights:

Economic and Social Council

The following bodies report directly to Economic and Social Council:


Regional Commissions

United Nations Security Council

The following bodies report directly to the Security Council:

United Nations Research Guides

Related Social Sciences Databases

Social and Behavioral Sciences Databases

Listed below are databases that provide access to legal research applied to specific fields of study.

News Sources


  • GovInfo [U.S. government documents]
  • JSTOR [multidisciplinary journal article archive]
  • ProQuest Multiple [multidisciplinary newspapers, magazines, and journals]

Human Rights Law

Below is a select list of web sites with links to additional resources on human rights law.

Document Collections

Human Rights Research Guide

Listed below are organizations and advocacy groups that research, provide information about, or advocate for human rights.

  • Global Campus for Human Rights -- an interdisciplinary center formed by universities from all European Union member states committed to the promotion of high-level inter-disciplinary human rights education, research, training, and culture, and a shared global understanding of human rights and democracy.
  • Global Health and Human Rights Database -- a free online database of law from around the world relating to health and human rights. The database offers an interactive, searchable, and fully indexed website of case law, national constitutions and international instruments.
  • International Justice Resource Center -- a nonprofit human rights organization that aims to educate and empower individuals to better understand their human rights as global citizens.  IJRC has extensive overviews of human rights laws, its directories of the international courts and bodies that monitor them, and its accompanying research aids. Within these aids, there are Thematic Research Guides—comprehensive primers outlining specific human rights (e.g., citizenship, education, asylum, immigration) and their associated oversight mechanisms and latest developments. The website also provides resources for staying up to date on recent global developments through “News and Events” and its “Media and Publications” section, where visitors can download various manuals and even view videos of some of their prior training sessions.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

International Environmental Law

Below is a select list of web sites with links to additional resources on international environmental law.

International Environmental Law Research Guide

International Courts and Tribunals

Listed below are standing institutions intended to settle disputes between sovereign States through binding decisions based on international law:

Criminal Bodies


Regional Bodies


Middle East




International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals -- organization of the UN mandated to perform a number of essential functions previously carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (“ICTR”) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (“ICTY”). In carrying out these essential functions the Mechanism maintains the legacies of these two pioneering ad hoc international criminal courts and strives to reflect best practices in the field of international criminal justice.