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Human Rights: IALS Library Guides

A guide to the library holdings on human rights

Human Rights Law

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Guide last updated by Katherine Read November 2023

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This guide was created by Katherine Read, Principal Library Assistant at the IALS Library.


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In this Guide

This guide aims to give a brief introduction to the Library's holdings on Human Rights . Please consult the Library Catalogue  for complete information on current titles and locations. If you require further assistance please contact us.

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Introduction to the Library Catalogue

This Subject Guide only lists a selection of Library resources on Human Rights. To find additional resources you will need to search the Library Catalogue, which covers the complete holdings of the Library. It is possible to search for books, journals and series of law reports by author, title or keyword. Please note it is not possible to search for individual chapters, journal articles or legislation (e.g. individual Acts or SIs).

IALS Library is mainly open access and readers are able to browse the shelves in the main collection. There are two main exceptions to this:

  • Older items (marked RES or Depository on the catalogue record) are kept in the closed basement.
  • Key texts for LLM students are often kept in the Short Loan collection.

Please request these at the Library Enquiry Desk.

For more information on understanding the catalogue record and further guidance on the location of materials please refer to our guide Classmarks and the Location of Resources in the Library.


The Library classifies textbooks either by jurisdiction (GO13, GA2 etc.) or according to subject area, examples of which include Comparative Law (SB), Public International Law (SG) and Private International Law/ Conflict of Laws (SH).

All classmark sections have a FOL section for oversize volumes, which is located on the same floor of the Library.

When you are searching the Library Catalogue for books, please note that only the current edition is held on the open shelves or in the Short Loan collection. IALS has a rich collection of previous editions held in the closed basement and these will display a Depository number on the catalogue. Please request previous editions from the Library Enquiry Desk.

UK Human Rights material is shelved at GA2.C.5
European Union human rights
material is shelved at GO1.A1.C.5
Council of Europe & European Commission Human Rights
material is shelved at GO1.A25
International Human rights
material is shelved at SG85

The following list represents a selection of textbooks on Human Rights . Please check the catalogue records for further information and location. Titles marked as e-books may also be available in print. Access from home requires your IALS library barcode and your  family name.  E books with 'open access' status on the catalogue are available to all users of this guide. 

Alston, P. & Goodman, R.  International human rights: the successor to International human rights in context: law politics and morals : text and materials.   2013            

Brownlie, I. & Goodwin-Gill, G.     Brownlie's documents on human rights. 6th ed. 2010                

Dijk, P. Van   Theory and practice of the European Convention on Human Rights. 5th ed. 2018

Casey-Maslen, S. International law and policy on the protection of civilians  CUP 2022 (e-book) 

Douglas, G. International and national perspectives on  child and family law: essays in honour of Nigel Lowe.  2018  Intersentia  (e-book)

Edwards, A.   Violence against women under international human rights law. 2011 (e-book)

Elgar encyclopedia of human rights  2021-  Elgar (e-book)       

Fenton-Glynn, C. Children's rights and sustainable development: interpreting the UNCRC for future generations  2019 Cambridge Core (e-book)   

Fleck, D. & Bothe, M.  Handbook of international humanitarian law 3rd ed. 2013            

Fortin, J.    Children’s rights and the developing law 3rd ed. 2009 (e-book)   

Fraser, J. Social Institutions and International Human Rights Law Implementation: Every Organ of Society. 2020 CUP (e-book)

Gearty, C. On fantasy island  2016   OUP (e-book)

Harris, D. et al.   Harris, O’Boyle & Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights 5th ed.. 2023

Heller, L.        The human rights to water and sanitation  CUP 2022  (e-book)      

Hickman, T.    Public law after the Human Rights Act.  2010 

Ienca, M.  and others   Cambridge handbook of  Information technology, life sciences and human rights  CUP 2022 (e-book)    

Janis, M.W     European human rights law. 3rd ed. 2008.           

Marshall, J.    Personal freedom through human rights law: autonomy, identity and integrity under the European Convention on Human Rights. 2009    

May, J. & Daly E. Human rights and the environment : legality, indivisibility, dignity and geography 2019 (e-book)  

McColgan, A.    Discrimination law text cases and materials 3rd ed. 2023

McDermott, Helen, et al. Human Rights and 21st Century Challenges: Poverty, Conflict, and the Environment. 2020. OUP. (e-book)

Moeckli, D. et al.   International human rights law 4th ed. 2022

O'Connell, R.   Law, democracy and the European Court of Human Rights  2020 CUP (e-book)

Rainey, B. & others Jacobs, White and Ovey: The European Convention on Human Rights     8th ed. 2021

Ratner, S.    Accountability for human rights atrocities in int. law   3rd ed. 2009  

Reiertsen, M.  Effective domestic remedies and the European Court of Human Rights: applications of the European Convention on Human Rights Article 13   CUP 2022 (e-book) 

Roach, K.  Remedies for human rights violations: a two track approach to supra national and national law   CUP 2021 (e-book)

Tobin, J. The UN convention on the Rights of the Child   2019  OUP (e-book)

Villiger, M. Handbook on the European Convention on Human Rights 2023 Brill Nijhoff (e-book)

Wadham, J.        Blackstone’s guide to the Human Rights Act 1998. 6th ed. 2011


IALS Library holds a wide selection of current serial titles on Human Rights from many different jurisdictions. These are located on all floors of the Library. Some titles are only in printed volumes while others or available in both formats. For more detailed help, please refer to the guide on Finding journal articles.

The following titles focus particularly on Human Rights but there may be relevant articles in less specialised journals:

Australian journal of human rights

Buffalo human rights law review  open access

Columbia human rights law review  open access 

European human rights law review  e-journal

European journal of law reform  e-journal

Harvard human rights journal  e-journal

Human rights law journal

Human rights quarterly  e-journal

Human rights law review  e-journal

International journal on minority and group rights  e-journal

Israel yearbook on human rights

Journal of human rights

Netherlands quarterly of human rights  e-journal

South African journal on human rights  e-journal

United Nations. Report of the Human Rights Committee.  open access

Yale human rights and development law journal  e-journal

Yearbook of international humanitarian law

Yearbook of the European Convention on Human Rights

Legislation and Law Reports

If you are interested in legislation or cases concerning Human Rights  issues in specific countries you will need to consult the legislation or law reports for that jurisdiction.

Consult the  Library Catalogue to find the general classmark for the country you require. Consult consolidations of legislation, digests or indexes to trace particular acts or cases.

Academic users may also use databases like Lexis/Westlaw to find UK, US, EU or international decisions. For further information please refer to Law Databases or ask at the Library Enquiry Desk.

You may also find it useful to refer to our guides on finding Legislation and Cases or check to see if we have a Jurisdiction Research Guide for the country you are interested in.

Free internet sources

Eagle-i is an internet portal maintained and updated by IALS library staff. It allows you to search for quality web resources on international economic law.

A valuable free source is BAILII, the British and Irish Legal information Institute which is based and maintained at IALS. It provides free access to full text UK judgments and legislation on a wide range of subjects including Human Rights and also links to other free World Law databases. Jurisdictions covered in these resources include Commonwealth countries eg. AustLII  (Australia) and CanLII (Canada), France, Germany, Italy, the USA and South Africa.

The following represent a sample of the available quality individual web resources on Human Rights:

Amnesty International

Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - Human Rights by Country