International Criminal Law

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I. Starting Places

American Society of International Law's Research Guide on International Criminal Law provides information on the major electronic sources for researching international and transnational crime, with links to tribunals, organizations, and agencies. Chapter VI (A) is devoted to war crimes and human rights violations. The ASIL Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL) database on International Criminal Law includes links to primary documents and recommended websites.

The Frederick K. Cox International Law Center War Crimes Research Portal contains links to international humanitarian law websites along with bibliographies and research guides.

International Criminal Law: A Selective Resource Guide provides a guide to basic research materials, in both print and electronic formats, and also includes a section specifically on crimes against humanity and human rights issues; unfortunately, it's a bit out-of-date.

NYU's Guide to Foreign and International Legal Databases: International Law: Specialized Sources: International Criminal Law tab provides links to international criminal law resources on the web.

The Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (Antonio Cassese, ed.) (Ref. K5301 .O94 2009) is a reference work that includes essays on major issues, definitions of terms and short biographies, and summaries of important cases.

International Criminal Law: War Crimes and Special Tribunals at New England School of Law includes links to war crimes materials on the Internet.

For a list of basic reference sources for international law, see the Goodson Law Library's International Law Research Guide.

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II. United Nations Documents

You may be using a lot of UN documents in your research. Many documents, especially recent ones, are available on the UN website. You can find International Court of Justice documents on the ICJ website and in Westlaw (INT-ICJ database). The Goodson Law Library UN Research Guide provides in-depth advice on finding UN documents.

The UN Uphold International Law web page includes links to UN tribunals (see below) and other UN agencies concerned with international law issues (such as the International Law Commission).

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III. Treaties

United Nations Treaty Collection includes both texts of treaties (United Nations Treaty Series) and status information, updated monthly. 

The American Society of International Law's Research Guide on International Criminal Law and LLRX's International Criminal Law: A Selective Resource Guide include links to other international criminal law treaties. For more advice on treaty research, see the Goodson Law Library Treaties Research Guide.

International Criminal Law Deskbook (John P. Grant & J. Craig Barker, eds.) (K5013 .I58 2006) is a collection of core international criminal law instruments with commentary and an outline of their legislative histories.

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IV. International Tribunals

Amy Burchfield's research guide International Criminal Courts for the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone: A Guide to Online and Print Resources and Harvard's International Criminal Courts and Tribunals provide useful research advice and helpful links..

International Criminal Court

The Coalition for the ICC Home Page on the International Criminal Court is a useful site maintained by an NGO. International Criminal Law Database & Commentary provides searchable texts of the case law from the International Criminal Court and a commentary to the Rome Statute. Eyes on the ICC (Periodicals) is an interdisciplinary journal that analyses issues related to the ICC. An Introduction to the International Criminal Court (5th ed.)(KZ7312 .S33 2017) is a good overview of the workings of the Court. The Annotated Digest of the International Criminal Court (KZ6310 .A48) provides subject access to ICC jurisprudence.

A list of international agreements regarding the surrender of U.S. citizens to the ICC (called Article 98 agreements, bilateral immunity agreements (BIAs), impunity agreements, or bilateral non-surrender agreements) is available through Georgetown's ICC Article 98 research guide.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC)

This tribunal was created by the government of Cambodia and the U.N. to try serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979). Yale University's Cambodian Genocide Program is an excellent resource for information about the tribunal.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Tribunal Pénal International Pour Le Rwanda: Recueil Des Ordonnances, Decisions et Arrêts = International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: Reports of Orders, Decisions and Judgements (KZ1201.A2 T75) reprints documents from 1995- in French and English. Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals (KZ6310 .A55 1999) includes the texts of selected decisions (including concurrences and dissents) from 1994- along with commentary. Basic Documents and Case Law is a CD-ROM that includes some documents not available on the website (e.g. expert witness testimony) (KZ1201.A12 I574). ICTR documents (judgments, decisions, orders, and indictments) are also available on Westlaw (INT-ICTR database).

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Judicial Reports = Recueils judiciaires (KZ1203 .I58) reports decisions from 1994-2000. The ICTY law review, Judicial Supplement, offers summaries of important decisions, orders and judgments from 1994-2004. The Appeals Chamber Case-Law Research Tool provides summaries of judgments by the ICTY Appeals Chamber since July 2004. Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals (KZ6310 .A55 1999) includes the texts of selected decisions (including concurrences and dissents) from 1993- along with commentary. ICTY documents (including judgments, decisions, orders, indictments, and transcripts) are also available in Westlaw (INT-ICTY-ALL database).

Special Court of Sierra Leone

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals (KZ6310 .A55 1999) includes the texts of selected decisions (including concurrences and dissents) from 2003-present, along with commentary. Digest of Jurisprudence of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, 2003-2005 (KZ1208.S53 L38 2007) is a collection of selected abstracts of decisions and orders. 

The website of the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT) has organized in one place news about the activities of international courts and tribunals, archives of case law, etc.

William A. Schabas, The UN International Criminal Tribunals : The Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone (KZ1203.A12 S34 2006) is a guide to the law of these courts.

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V. Current Awareness

The ASIL Insights series of short articles on current international law topics includes several essays on international criminal law.

Hague Justice Portal provides access to the activities of the international courts and organizations located in The Hague, including the ICTY and the ICC.

International Enforcement Law Reporter (Periodicals and Lexis & Westlaw) is a monthly newsletter that includes coverage of issues such as international human rights and the law of war.

War Crimes Prosecution Watch is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that collects documents and articles concerning the investigation and prosecution of war crimes.

The websites of organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are also good sources of current information.

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VI. Finding Books and Journal Articles

Useful recent works on international criminal law include:

  • Roger O'Keefe, International Criminal Law (KZ700 .O34 2015).
  • M. Cherif Bassiouni, Introduction to International Criminal Law (K700 .B37 2013).
  • Roberto Bellelli, International Criminal Justice: Law and Practice from the Rome Statute to its Review (KZ6304 .I58 2010).
  • Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law, 2d ed. (K5000 .C37 2008)
  • Robert Cryer, An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure, 2d ed. (K5000 .I587 2010).
  • Globalization and its Impact on the Future of Human Rights and International Criminal Law (M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed.) (KZ1266 .G56 2015).
  • Alexander Zahar & Göran Sluiter, International Criminal Law: A Critical Introduction (K5165 .Z34 2008).

You can find additional recent topically relevant books in the law library by searching the catalog by subject headings such as International Criminal Law, International Offenses, Crimes Against Humanity, Criminal Liability (International Law), Criminal Procedure (International Law), Criminal Jurisdiction, Genocide, Human Rights and War Crimes.

You can find law review  articles by searching with the same subject headings (and by keyword, author, and title as well) in the index LegalTrac. This index is also available in Westlaw, as the LRI database (look under "Law Reviews, Bar Journals & Legal Periodicals" > "Periodical Indexes"). The Index to Legal Periodicals includes links to the full text of some articles.

Many useful databases for related disciplines, such as political science and international relations, are available from the Duke Libraries Research Databases page.

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rev. 04/2017 jpb