Treaties and Other Sources of International Law


The purpose of this brief guide is to present researchers and students checking scholarly citations with some basic strategies for locating materials in the international and foreign law. Because it strives to be a concise statement of tips and suggestions, this guide is not exhaustive. It does not provide a lengthy bibliography. This guide therefore only supplements assistance available from reference books and librarians.   It is structured in three parts as listed on the left. 

I. Public International Law

A. Sources

Many major research guides, textbooks, and treatises in international law introduce the sources of international law by referring to Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. To paraphrase the statute briefly, it states that one may look to 1) international conventions; 2) international custom; 3) general principles of law; and 4) judicial decisions and scholarly "teachings." While international legal documentation may be described with reference to these four categories, I have chosen to organize the discussion as follows:

1. Legislation, that is, treaties so considered; 
2. Judicial or arbitral decisions, especially of supranational courts; 
3. Digests and treatises; 
4. Basic documents of Intergovernmental Organizations (IGO's).

One may look also to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties for guidance on norms governing the internpretation of treaties, but as the ICJ Statute indicates, treaties are only only one source of international law. Further, the convention codifies or prefers certain doctrines or principles, but it does not apply retrospectively to treaties concluded after 1969. It should be read together with the corpus of work done by the International Law Commission.

General guides to research in international law are written from the perspectives of various jurisdictions. A reliable specialized guide, written from the US perspective but inclusive of global electronic information, is the Guide to International Legal Research, 3rd ed. (Charlottesville, VA : LEXIS Law Publishing, 1998).
Canadian approaches to substantive international law and its sources may be found in Kindred, Hugh M. et al., International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada 6th ed. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications, 2000); Williams, Sharon Anne and de Mestral, A.L.C., An Introduction to International Law : Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada, 2nd ed.(Toronto : Butterworths, 1987) and Macdonald, Ronald St. J., ed., Canadian Perspectives on International Law and Organization (Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1974).

For a greater focus on electronic information, see Mays, Antje. Legal Research on the Internet : A Compendium of Websites to Access United States Federal, State, Local and International Laws(Buffalo, N.Y. :William S. Hein & Co., 1999). The Kindred text, above, has a unique electronic supplement and reference tool. Two other guides, ones which uniquely integrate substantive law with research strategies, are Adolf Sprudz, International Legal Research Perspectives (Buffalo, NY: Hein, 1988) and Shabtai Rosenne, Practice and Methods of International Law (London and NY: Oceana, 1984). An excellent electronic general guide resides at the Cornell Legal Information Institute.

1. Legislation

Treaties, conventions, and agreements are primary sources in international law. Below is a listing of major treaty collections in paper and microform, their chronological coverage, and their finding aids. A listing of major web sites with treaty text or status coverage follows.

A. Treaty Collections


  • Canada Treaty Series. Ottawa, 1929-. Treaties with Canada Collection CD-ROM. Toronto: Carswell (originally Lawthority, Inc.), 1996[?].

United States

  • Treaty Series. Washington, D.C., 1908-1945. Slip law form. Superseded by TIAS below.
  • Executive Agreement Series. Washington, D.C., 1929-1945. Also superseded by TIAS.
  • Bevans, Charles I. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America. 1776-1949. Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1968-1976.
  • Unperfected Treaties of the United States of America, 1776-1976. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. : Oceana Publications, 1976-.
  • United States Treaties and other International Agreements. Washington, D.C.:USGPO, 1950-. Bound volumes of treaties. Before 1950, US treaties were published officially in United States Statutes at Large. Also at USTREATIES on Westlaw
  • Treaties and other International Acts Series. Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1946-Current "slip law" form.
  • Consolidated Teaties and International Agreements. Dobbs Ferry: Oceana, 1990-
  • Senate Treaty Documents. Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1981-. Texts of treaties in draft as transmitted from the President to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (and perhaps later the whole Senate) for advice and consent. Also available on the internet
    Executive Reports is the name of the current series reporting on the treaty AFTER it has been considered by the committee. The previous title of the treaty document series from 1921-1981 was Senate Executive Documents.


  • Consolidated Treaty Series. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana, 1969-1981. Covers the period from 1648-1918.
  • League of Nations Treaty Series. Lausanne: Imprimeries Reunies, 1920-1946.
  • United Nations Treaty Series. New York: United Nations, 1946-. Still current and the most comprehensive collection of bilateral and multilateral treaties. Web site.
  • Fletcher Multilaterals Project for web treaty texts
  • European Treaty Series. Strasbourg, 1954-. Treaties of the Council of Europe. Web Site .
  • European conventions and agreements. Strasbourg, 1993-. Treaties of the Council of Europe.
  • Treaties establishing the European Communities : treaties amending these treaties : Single European Act : resolutions, declarations.Luxembourg : Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1987. Vol. 2 has title: Documents concerning the accessions to the European Communities of the Kingdom of Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Portuguese Republic. For the Maastricht and Amsterdam texts, consult the official European Union web site, Europa.
  • Collection of the Agreements concluded by the European Communities. [Luxembourg] : European Communities, c1977-.
  • Official Journal of the European Communities: Legislation. Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1973-. Treaties and agreements between the European Union and other countries or IGOs or treaties of and between the member states are officially published in this the official gazette of the organization. The above-mentioned collections are specialized and selective but official. "L" stands for the Legislation part and "C" for the Information part), both parts are on Eur-Lex . Also found on Westlaw: European Union Materials: Legislation. 
    Council of the European Union: Agreements Database.
  • [Organization of American States-OAS Treaty Series]. Treaty series. Washington, D.C. : General Secretariat, Organization of American States. Continues Treaty series (Pan American Union). [?]-1969 and irregular. More current texts on their web site.
  • [Hague Conference on Private International Law] Actes et documents de la [Conference] (or) de la _______ieme session. From mid-Fifties. La Haye: Impr. nationale, various years. Web site. 
    For additional information and some draft documents NOT posted at the official site, try the US State Department Legal Advisor's Private International Law site.
  • Ruster, B. et al. International Protection of the Environment: Treaties and Related Documents. Oceana, 1975-1983; second series, 1990-1994. Continued by Burhenne, Wolfgang and Nicholas Robinson, eds., International Protection of the Environment: consertaion in sustainable development. NY: Oceana, 1995-.
  • UNESCO. Copyright Laws and Treaties of the World. 1956-.

B. Sources of treaty-related material

  • Annuaire europeen. European yearbook. The Hague, Nijhoff. Annual. 1955-. Documents from several IGOs.
  • International legal materials : current documents. Washington, D.C. : American Society of International Law, 1962-. Lexis, 1962- and Westlaw, 1980-.

C. Treaty indexes and finding aids

United States-bilateral and multilateral

  • United States Treaty Index : 1776-[current year] consolidation. Buffalo, N.Y. : W.S. Hein, 1991-. Kavass, Igor, ed. Texts of treaties not yet available elsewhere (some are copies of the Senate Treaty Documents in accompanying microfiche set, Hein's United States Treaties and other International Agreements Current Service).
  • United States Current Treaty Index. Buffalo, N.Y. : Hein & Co., 1991-. Serves as an updating service to the title above.
  • Current Treaty Index. Buffalo, N.Y. : W. S. Hein & Co., 1982-.
  • Congressional Information Service. CIS Annual. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Information Service 1970 (for Senate Treaty Documents).
  • CIS index to US Senate executive documents & reports : covering documents and reports not printed in the US serial set, 1817-1969. Washington, D.C. : Congressional Information Service, Inc., 1987.
  • Lexis-Nexis Congressional (CIS) (Requires password). US Congressional hearings, legislation, history. Legislative (US Congress) section of Lexis.
  • A Guide to the United States Treaties in Force, ed. I. Kavass and A. Sprudzs. Buffalo, N.Y. : W.S. Hein Co., 1983-. Provides numerical, chronological, and other access points not used in Treaties in Force.


  • Bowman, M.J. and D.J. Harris. Multilateral Treaties : Index and Current Status. London: Butterworths, 1984. Was updated by annual supplements through 1995. No longer published.
  • United Nations. Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General: Status as of... New York: United Nations, 1968-. Annual kept very current. Paid subscription required.
  • Wiktor, Christian L. Multilateral treaty calendar = Repertoire des traites multilateraux, 1648-1995. The Hague ; Boston : M. Nijhoff Publishers ; Cambridge, MA : 1998.


  • Rohn, Peter H. World Treaty Index. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1984. Not updated.
  • International tax treaties of all nations : containing English language texts of all tax treaties between two or more nations in force on...    Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. : Oceana Publications, 1975-1997. Continues as fee-based database from Oceana: Tax Treaties Online.

D. Updating, Ratification, and Party Status

United States

TREATY LOCATION SUMMARY (Which index or finding aid do I use?)

Quick Finder for mainly print collections (with notes on free internet and database access) (unless otherwise noted as a word in the title or by the nature of the sponsoring organization, most sets include both multilateral and bilateral agreements)

1. By party

US is a party

Treaties in Force, current year -gives in-force status


Oceana TIARA or Treaties and International Agreements Online


United States Treaty Index, Kavass, 1990- No in-force status given; locates texts

US is NOT a party

Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status. Covers 1896 forward to a lag of two years until it ceased in 1995. (hereinafter called Bowman and Harris)


World Treaty Index, current to 1983 only- for Bilateral treaties (and multilateral)


UPDATED when US a party by calling US State Dept. Treaty Desk, (202) 647-2044.

2. By inter-governmental, non-governmental, or regional organization

United Nations

Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General, current year (UN-sponsored treaties only)


United Nations Treaty Series (has its own infrequent cumulative index--use Bowman and Harris to locate multilateral treaties you think might be in this series) 


UPDATED : Within seven days at the UN web site, You must register to see this version of Multilateral Treaties, now fee-based.

European Union

Official Journal of the European Communities, L Series (best access is electronic, see below)


Collection of Agreements Concluded by the European Communities, 1958-1982


Directory of Community Legislation in Force... (Current year, issued bi-annually, mainly for legislation, but look under "external relations." at Eur-Lex.

Encyclopedia of European Community law, General editor K. R. Simmonds. London, Sweet & Maxwell; Edinburgh, Green [New York] Bender [1973-.


JUSTIS (fee-based database from Context Ltd.) provides access to Celex; European Union Law Library (Sweet & Maxwell) updates legislationby treaty article; Westlaw: under Internatioanl and worldwide materials, European Union (EU-TREATIES, 1951-)


Bowman and Harris (also has many older EC treaties indexed)


UPDATED : Use Eur-Lex

Council of Europe

Conventions and agreements: Chart Showing signatures and ratifications.. 
Loose-leaf UPDATED ; use to locate Treaty number in European Treaty Series; updates and full-text on the web.


Bowman and Harris (also has many Council of Europe treaties indexed until ceased 1995)

Organization of American States

Bowman and Harris. OAS Treaty Series is poorly indexed. 
UPDATED :at the OAS Interamerican Treaties web site

Hague Conference on Private International Law

Recueil des conventions: 1951-1988 lists and cites conventions of these dates. Many are not in force; not a status table. UPDATED by looking in the 2nd (fall) issue of Netherlands International Law Review each year and at the Hague Conference Web Site


3. By subject (these are a few samples only)


World Arbitration Reporter.


International Commercial Arbitration and New York Conventions UPDATED as looseleafs. See also LLRX guide, and the ASIL Guide,


Selected Multilateral Treaties in the field of the Environment.


International Protection of the Environment, Treaties and related documents, Second series and its successor, subtitled as conservation in sustainable development

UPDATED as a loose-leaf. See also the ASIL Guide

Human rights

Human rights: international instruments: chart of Ratifications (UN only)


Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General, human rights section 
UPDATED : in the January issue of Human Rights Law Journal:HRLJ and see the online LLRX and ASIL Guides.


International Tax Treaties of All Nations, Series A and B. 
UPDATED no longer in print but online as Oceana's fee-based Tax Treaties Online.

If you have access to print only, here are some strategies:

If you cannot locate a citation to a treaty and you have only approximations of the title and/or the date, you might try using the following titles:

International Legal Materials, which has an annual index and may have reprinted a treaty or convention, either bilateral or multilateral, U.S. a party or not. ILM is indexed from 1982 in theCurrent Law Index and its counterparts, Legaltrak and Legal Resources Index.

Kavass, Igor. United States Treaty Index: 1776-1990 Consolidation. 11 vols. Buffalo, NY: Hein & Co, 1991. Index tied in to Hein's United States Treaties and Other International Agreements- Current Microfiche Service, which the library holds. If the U.S. is a party but no TIAS number has been assigned as yet to a treaty per Treaties in Force, then consult this index. You may well find a citation to its full text there, and included are citations to ILM and U.S. Senate Treaty Documents, 1981- ; pre-1981: U.S. Senate Executive Documents or to KAV numbers, which refer to reprints of such treaty texts in the accompanying microfiche set. 
Please note also that while those Senate documents and U.S. Senate Executive Reports may be located through the current CIS Index and the Congressional Index, earlier treaties may be found in the CIS Serial Set Index covering 1817-1969. There is also the CIS Index to U.S. Senate Executive Documents and Reports, (1987) covering those not printed in the U.S. Serial Set. Online searching of the CIS Index is available via Lexis Congressional Academic.

E. "Travaux preparatoires"

Researchers frequently ask if it is possible to find background materials for a treaty document to trace it through its formative stages and learn more about its legislative intent. In the Anglo-American context, this aid to interpretation is called a legislative history. Such materials may exist for a particular treaty, and these are sometimes referred to in a general way as "travaux preparatoires." Yearbooks of the relevant intergovernmental organizations or sponsoring bodies are often helpful, as are scholarly books and articles about a treaty.

For example, the European Convention on Human Rights operates under the aegis of the Council of Europe. It has its own Yearbook, Explanatory Reports on the various protocols, and there have been a few years of an International Colloquy, of which there are published proceedings. With regard to treaties or legislation of the European Communities, to cite another example, one may also look at debates of the European Parliament and Working Documents. Remember that unless a scholar has already gathered the background papers, the compilation of any such history is usually a lengthy research project.

   F. National treaty collections and publication

Many countries publish a treaty series. Major series include Great Britain-Treaty Series, Recueil des Traites et Accords de la France, Vertrage der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, and now fully web-published, the Australian Treaty Series. France and Germany also publish agreements in their official gazettes, and in fact this is where treaties may be found for the vast majority of countries which do not publish a regular separate series. For a comprehensive, updated guide, consult Gaebler, Ralph and Maria Smolka-Day, Sources of state practice in international law . (Ardsley, NY: Transnational, 2001- (looseleaf).

2. Judicial or arbitral decisions.

The set of reports of the judgments of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is titled Reports of judgments, advisory opinions and orders = Recueil des arrets, avis consultatifs et ordonnances.(Leyden, A.W. Sijthoff [1947- ]). Only states may be parties before the court. Because of the relatively few cases decided so far, these may be located easily by year using the International Court of Justice Yearbook.( [Leyden, Sijthoff, 1947- ). A collection of major ICJ, arbitral, and national decisions interpreting international norms is International Law Reports (London: Butterworth, 1950-). Historic reports of the Permanent Court of International Justice are found in World Court Reports (Wash. D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 1922-1942).

The ICJ now has its own home page Major international courts and tribunals are brought together now in what will be a master site at the Project on International Courts and Tribunals.

The International Criminal Court home page resides at Access to the new International Criminal Courts for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda is through the main UN home page. Older criminal trials such as Nuremberg and Tokyo are documented uniquely in the Columbia law collection, including some unique material. The Avalon Project at Yale, has collected many historic documents of international law, particularly of the Nuremberg trials, and posted them electronically.

For an overview of the European Court of Justice for the European Union, please see the European Union Research Guide, or Marylin Raisch, (Chapter Eight) in Jeanne Rehberg and Radu Popa, Accidental tourist on the new frontier : an introductory guide to global legal research.(Littleton, Colo. : F.B. Rothman, 1998).

For an overview of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, please see, International Protection of Human Rights Research Guide.

Of increasing importance in the world legal order is the phenomenon of arbitration, both international and domestic. Conventions, rules, and procedures are gathered and updated in Smit and Pechota, World Arbitration Reporter. UN Reports of International arbitral awards are in Reports of international arbitral awards = Recueil des sentences arbitrales [Lake Success?, N.Y.] : United Nations, [1948- ]; UN and other awards are collected in International Arbitration Report, and the International Commercial Arbitration sets (Oceana) (includes the New York convention).

Permanent Court of Arbitration (Hague)

The following web sites are excellent sources of arbitral treaty texts, and most arbitration organizations have home pages. (Prof. Winship site) (T.M.C. Asser Institute, commercial arbitration) 

3. Digests, Treatises, and Encyclopedias

Treatises may be located through online catalogues. Searching large, bibliographic databases such as the WorldCat of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) or the Eureka database of RLG (Research Libraries Group). Remember to look for compiled bibliographies in your area in addition to searching by subject.

For a discussion of researching customary law, see Ralph F. Gaebler, "Conducting Research in Customary International Law" in Contemporary Practice of Public International Law (Dobbs Ferry, NY : Oceana Publications, 1997).

In international law, digests focus not so much on case law as on stating norms derived from all the sources of international law. The most recent volume of the Digest of United States Practice in International Law is for the year 1980. Thereafter consult the Cumulative digest of United States practice in international law. Washington, DC : Office of the Legal Adviser, Dept. of State : U.S. G.P.O., 1993-.The basic information is updated non-cumulatively as the section "Contemporary Practice of the United States relating to International Law" in issues of the American Journal of International Law.

There are several dictionaries and short encyclopedias of international law or international relations, but a standard work is Encyclopedia of public international law, published in 12 vol. under the auspieces of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. (Amsterday and NY: North-Holland Publishing Co., 1981-1990).

The "Virtual Institute" of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg provides an online encyclopedia of public international law. Articles on international law topics with sone hyperlinks may be found at the RAVE site of the University of Duesseldorf. Finally, the UN International Law Commission lists and links to its entire program of work at its site, especially under the "Analytical Guide."

4. United Nations Documentation and basic documents of IGO's

An annotated and comprehensive guide to major inter-governmental organizations may be found at It is impossible to list the "alphabet soup" of organizations around the world on all topics of human endeavor, but an excellent list of home pages for IGO's is maintained by Northwestern University.

United Nations

There are excellent research guides on the UN home page itself covering basic documentsinternational law, and human rights,

Depository status does not mean that a library receives every document from every specialized agency. A core collection includes:

a) the Official Records and documents of the main organs of the U.N.: General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, the Secretariat, and direct subsidiary bodies of these organs;; 
b) sales publications; 
c) periodicals; 
d) the United Nations Treaty Series.

The official web site is invaluable, and by subscription there are full text documents from 1992 via the Official Documents System (ODS) of the U.N., The Readex Corp.'s full microfiche set of U.N. Documents is indexed on the web in a fee-based service called Access UN. Some documents listed in the U.N. index are in a "Limited" series and are not distributed to libraries, but may be found in the microfiche set.

The UNDOC is the U.N. document index in its official print format. If you know the year, use that index. If not, and there is no designation of session in your symbol or you have no symbol, then you must use a subject approach in the index.

African Union (formerly the Organization of African Unity)

For links to summits and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, see

Although it is an older work, consult Basic Documents of African Regional Organizations, ed. Louis B. Sohn, Oceana, 1971. Constitutiones Africae, Bruyland, 1988- is acollection of African constitutions.

Organization of American States (OAS or OEA)

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), now World Trade Organization (WTO)

Legal Instruments Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, adopted at Marrakesh on 15 April 1994, WTO, set of 31 volumes. This set contains the Legal Texts, the Ministerial Decisions and the Marrakesh Declaration, the Signatory Countries, and the Schedules of Specific Commitments in Services, the Tariff Schedules for Trade in Services, and the Plurilateral Agreements. More recent supplements to the schedules, particularly from the United States, can be obtained by request from the Secretariat in Geneva or, in some cases, from the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Subject and author searching under the full name of the organization is best here as well. Documents interpreting the various agreements may be located using the Analytical index : guide to GATT law and practice. Geneva : World Trade Organization ; Lanham, MD : Bernan, 1995. Convenient collections of texts with related acts, documents, and commentary include the following recent texts:

Pescatore, Pierre et al. Handbook of GATT Dispute Settlement. Ardsley-on-Hudson and Deventer, Netherlands and Kluwer: Transnational Juris, 1991.

Simmonds and Hill, Law and Practice under the GATT. Oceana, 1989- Law & practice of the World Trade Organization. New York : Oceana Publications, 1995-.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: Basic Instruments and Selected Documents. Geneva, 1968-.

The GATT Uruguay Round: a negotiating history, 1986-1992. 3 vols. Deventer, 1993.

Zamora and Brond, eds. Basic Documents of International Economic Law, 2 vols. Chicago: CCH International, 1990. Also available on Lexis (BDIEL file) and Westlaw (IEL).

Dispute Settlement

World Trade Organization dispute settlement decisions: Bernan's annotated reporter Lanham: MD: Berman Press, 1998-.

Dispute settlement reports. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000-.

Other important trading relationships not having the status of IGO: North American Free Trade Agreements

In addition to availability of the text on Lexis and Westlaw, the NAFTA text may be found in North American Free Trade Agreements. Oceana, 1993-.

Online consult the CISE Foreign Trade Infromation System at the OAS site.

International Labour Organization

A standard setting organization with unique cooperation among trade union, government, and private industry, its documentation and translations of labor laws may be found at the home page cited above. The ILO-LEX portion includes the recommendations for labor standards, and the NATLEX part presents full-text labor laws on various sub-topics, many translated into English or a European language. The print version of these national laws was titled ILO Legislative Series and then became known as Labour Law Documents. It appears that future publication may shift entirely to the web.

The major ILO-sponsored conventions are listed and found in International labour conventions and recommendations, (Geneva : International Labour Office, 1996). It is updated every few years. The Office publishes a bulletin, and the current treaty texts are at the home page as well.

II. Private International Law and Foreign Law

Electronic Guides and Overviews

ASIL Guide, Private International Law,

U.S. State Department Private International Law database,

Unidroit and the Hague Conventions

The International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, known as UNIDROIT, has proposed conventions which seek to harmonize private law principles in several areas of business, will, cultural property, and, most famously, contracts for the international sales of goods. Consult the home page above, the Pace Law School site, or the UNILEX, international case law & bibliography on the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Irvington, N.Y.: Transnational Publishers, 1996).

Similar attempts at unification have been made by the conventions drafted by the Hague Conference on Private International Law since the turn of the century. In addition to the list of conventions cited above in the treaty section of this guide, there are "acts and documents" published in a series and major guides to the two most popular conventions, the Hague Convention of 18 March 1970 on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, and the Hague Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.

UNCITRAL, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, (includes CLOUT: case law on UNCITRAL texts).

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and International Intellectual Property

Sources of treaties and national laws on copyright :

UNESCO. Copyright laws and treaties of the world. 3 vols. Wash DC: BNA, 1960. 
Contains multilateral treaties as well as national laws. Unfortunately, it is now updated rather infrequently. For more current material, consult the following work.

WIPO. Industrial property and copyright: monthly review of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization, 1995-. 
This title is the successor to two earlier separate similar titles, one entitled "Copyright" and one entitled "Industrial property." Contains new treaty texts, national laws and status of multilateral agreements. An annual cumulative index is published for this monthly periodical which lists the laws published that year for a particular country. N.B. A separate title Copyright and neighboring rights laws and treaties, Geneva, 1987- contains national legislation in a loose-leaf format. It may be received it as a supplement to the above title. International treaties on intellectual property. Wash DC: BNA, 1990.

WIPO Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEM)

United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property. WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act ; and, Online Copyright Liability Limitation Act : hearing before the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, first session on H.R. 2281, WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act, and H.R. 2280, Online Copyright Liability Limitation Act, September 16 and 17, 1997.

GATT and trade-related intellectual property sources

Final act embodying the results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Geneva: GATT Secretariat, 1993.

"Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights," 33 I.L.M. 81 (1994).

Stewart, George R. International trade and intellectual property: the search for a balanced system. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1994

United Nations. New issues in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations. New York: United Nations, 1990.

Yambrusic, Edward Slavko. Trade based approaches to the protection of intellectual property. New York: Oceana, 1992.

Periodicals and books:

International copyright periodicals:

Bulletin du droit d'auteur. Paris: UNESCO, 1967- (continues Copyright Bulletin )

Copyright bulletin: quarterly review. Paris: UNESCO, 1968.

GRUR international. Weinheim: Verlag Chemie, 1980-.

Journal of the copyright society of the USA. New York: The Society, 1981-.

Comparative intellectual property periodicals:

European intellectual property review. Oxford: WIPO, 1978-.

Managing intellectual property. London: Euromoney, 1991 (?)

Rights. Geneva and Amsterdam, 1990/91-.

Books on international intellectual property issues:

Global intellectual property series: practical strategies--trademark and copyright. New York: PLI, 1991.

Intellectual property and the new computer-based media. [microfiche]. Wash DC: Office of Technology Assessment, 1984/85.

Intellectual property rights: global consensus, global conflict? Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988.

Benko, Robert P. Protecting intellectual property rights: issues and controversies. Wash, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1987.

Epstein, Michael A. International intellectual property: the European Community and Eastern Europe. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1992-. looseleaf.

Seminar in international and comparative protection of intellectual property: spring 1990.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1886- "Travaux preparatoires" and important commentary

Actes de la 3me Conference internationale pour la protection des oeuvres litteraires et artistiques, reunie a Berne du 6 au 9 septembre 1886. Berne, Impr. K. J. Wyss, 1886.

Berne convention for the protection of literary and artistic works : texts. [s.l.] : United International Bureaux for the Protection of International Property, [196-?]-

International institute of intellectual co-operation. La protection internationale du droit d'auteur; contribution aux travaux preparatoires de la Conference diplomatique de Rome pour la revision de la Convention de Berne.Paris, Les Presses universitaires de France, 1928.

United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice. Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1987 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundredth Congress, first and second sessions, H.R. 1623... June 17, July 23, September 16 and 30, 1987, February 9 and 10, 1988.

International institute of intellectual co-operation. La protection internationale du droit d'auteur; contribution aux travaux preparatoires de la Conference diplomatique de Rome pour la revision de la Convention de Berne.Paris, Les Presses universitaires de France, 1928.

Barker, Ronald E. (Ronald Ernest). The revised Berne convention : the Stockholm act 1967 : a review with an article-by-article summary. London : Publishers Association, 1967.

Ricketson, Sam. The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works : 1886-1986. [Brentford, Middlesex?] : Kluwer ; London : Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary College, 1987.

Useful and reliable sites for International Intellectual Property on the Web

WIPO Website 
Official site; contains texts of treaties and many documents, press releases and assembly publications which the library does not receive or which may arrive much later in the print bulletin.

United Nations home page
Official site; useful for discussions and developments in this organization. 

UNESCO home page
Official site; documents and agreements on a selective basis.

European Union master web site with links to the constituent institutions- 
Official site; green and white papers for legislation under consideration, Commission reports, etc.

FindLaw- a legal search engine and edited collection of links, including intellectual property

Related area: The Institute of Art and Law (but with more emphasis on heritage and museum law for the fine arts)

III. Notes on foreign law as part of international law

Before beginning research in foreign law, it is often helpful to acquaint oneself with a country's legal system and primary sources of law. Many book-length bibliographies exist for the foreign as well as the international collection. NYU Law School Library web site offers an excellent list of reliable web sites of foreign law compiled by Mirela Roznovschi. Another site for foreign legal materials is Foreign Primary Law on the Web, and Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG).

Some sources for brief overviews and bibliographies are as follows:

Reynolds, Thomas H. Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World. Rothman, 1989-. 2 vols. Print and online versions.(An emphasis is placed on English language materials).

Germain, Claire. Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys. Ardsley- on-Hudson, NY: Transnational Juris Publishers, 1991-.

International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Mohr, Nijhoff, 1983-.

Redden, K.R. Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia. Hein, 1984-.

Danner, R.A. and Bernal, M.H., eds. with AALL, Introduction to Foreign Legal Systems. Oceana, 1994.

Catalog of New Foreign and International Law Titles. Ward and Associates, 1989-. This list shows new acquisitions by this library and some 50 others nationwide. It is divided by subject.

In addition, many guides to legal literature exist for individual jurisdictions. The Parker School of Columbia University School of Law has sponsored several such works with the title Guide to Foreign Legal Materials: and the designation "French" or "German," etc Remember that many good bibliographies and overviews appear as periodical articles.

Foreign Law in English

For those who need materials translated into English, there exist bibliographies of foreign law in English. Attached please find a bibliography of such sources based largely on our collection. Published bibliographies include the following:

Szladits, Charles, ed. A Bibliography on foreign and comparative law. New York : Parker of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia University in the city of New York: distributed by Oceana Publications, 1955-1989.. Compiled and annotated by: Charles Szladits, [1790-1953]-1978-1983; Vratislav Pechota, 1984-1986-1989-1990; Daniel L. Wade,S. Blair Kauffman, and Tracy L. Thompson, 1991-1992-.

Many looseleaf services provide updated materials in English, especially in commercial law and related areas. Bear in mind that translation delays publication, so translated texts may not represent the most current version of the law.


If this brief manual gives the researcher in international and foreign law some sense of where to begin a project in this library, then its purpose will have been served. Legal publishing in this field as in others is continuous and copious, and it is hoped that these strategies show how one can gain some measure of control over their location and use in this particular research collection.