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International Law: General Sources: International organizations

This guide lists essential sources for researching general aspects of international law. For specialized topics, such as human rights and international arbitration, see the guide International Law: Specialized Sources.

Research strategy

Start with websites and publications where the organization has summarized its work, e.g., Analytical Guide to the Work of the Int’l Law Commission, Yearbook of the United Nations or the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. Also consult books and articles on your topic. As you read, note the document symbols for relevant documents so that you can use them to locate the full text of the documents. Also consult the research guides, websites and databases below for more information, including how to find official documents from various international organizations. 

TIP for searching for IGO documents on the open web: In addition to using any proprietary databases and any search engines on the IGO's website, use Google Advanced Search. First, look at several online documents of the IGO and try to identify the portion of the url that is common to all documents. Then use that string in the "site or domain" field in the Google Advanced Search form, in addition to your specific keywords, etc. (Hat tip to Artie Berns, Spot-On Legal Research, Western New England University School of Law.) 

Selected websites & databases