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International Law Research: International Law Research

International Law research

Article 38 Statute of the International Court of Justice

1. The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply:

a. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;

b. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;

c. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;

d. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties sets out the structure and rules of treaties.


  1. 1155 U.N.T.S 331
  2. A/Conf.3927 (1969)
  3. 8 I.L.M. 679
  4. Entered into force January 27, 1980.

 Issues in treaty research

  1. Locating the text of a treaty
  2. Determine status and ratification information.
  3. Find the text of any reservations and declarations
  4. Determine whether  national implementation needed?  Is it available?
  5. Find background documents-- negotiation and legislative history--in order to determine the intent of the framers


Commentary on the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties / by Mark E. Villiger.  KZ1301.094.2012

The Oxford guide to treaties / edited by Duncan B. Hollis. 1st ed. Oxford, U.K. : Oxford University Press, 2012.    KZ1301 .O94 2012 

Library Director Emeritus

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Carl Yirka