Skip to main content

Public International Law Research - A Brief Guide

Basic tools for research in public international law for USF law school students writing papers for classes or participating in international law moot court competitions.

Selected Introductions to International Law

For basic principles, start with these law school study guides.

Selected Scholarly Works

Consult these books for more in-depth, scholarly overviews of international law. Several of these authors — especially Brownlie, Oppenhiem, and Brierly — would be considered to be among "the most highly qualified publicists."

Books from Oxford University Press via "OSAIL"

Oxford University Press's "OSAIL" (Oxford Scholarly Authorities in International Law) includes the full text of more that 50 important books dealing with various aspects of international law.

Draft Articles on State Responsibility

Questions of whether a state will be held responsible for acts it commits are present in virtually every international law dispute. The draft articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts from the International Law Commission should be among the first stops for researchers exploring issues of state responsibility.

Restatement - Foreign Relations

Collected Courses / Recueil des Cours - Hague Academy

"This valuable collection contains the teaching of some of the most prominent international law scholars and practitioners on different aspects of international law (public and private) in English and French." (Georgetown Law Library, International Investment Law Research Guide)

USF's version, from HeinOnline, is fully searchable. You can also use the Hague Academy's free search function to identify useful to identify volumes to pull up on the HeinOnline version.

History of International Law

A rich collection of books and other materials from HeinOnline.

Finding Scholarly Books — Oxford Bibliographies Online ("OBO")

Finding Scholarly Books at USF — Ignacio

To find scholarly, book-length topical discussions dealing with international law at USF, use Ignacio.

Ignacio searches broad descriptions of books. For good results try keyword searches following this model:

"topic words" international law
"topic words" "international law"

For example:

humanitarian "international law"
"armed conflict" international law

To further refine your search, select "Law Stacks" from the "Location" options on the left-hand side of the screen.

Finding Scholarly Books Worldwide — The Peace Palace Library

The Peace Palace Library serves Hague institutions such as the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Hague Academy of International Law, as well as international law scholars from around the world.

Its catalog has been customized for international law research and is a great way to find citations to relevant books — book chapters.

Once you know of a useful book (or a chapter in a book), use Ignacio or WorldCat to locate a copy you can use, or ask about an interlibrary loan.

Finding Scholarly Books Worldwide with WorldCat

To find scholarly books worldwide, try WorldCat.

WorldCat searches broad descriptions of books. For good results, try keyword searches following this model:

"topic words" international law

For example:

humanitarian international law
"armed conflict" international law

Finding Books Worldwide with Google Books

Find books by searching the full text of books using Google Books.

Because Google Books searches the full text, you can often get good results with more narrow, specific searches than would be useful in Doncore or WorldCat — searches such as:

"non state actors" terrorism international law
"state succession" treaties "international law"
School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307