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Public International Law: IALS Library Guides

An introduction to the library's holdings on public international law

Public international law

Guide last updated by Katherine Read,  March 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 Public International Law.  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 Public International Law. 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.

Public International Law material is shelved at SG (SG5 for general works)

The following list represents a selection of textbooks on public international law. 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. 


Amerasinghe, C.   Principles of the institutional law of international organizations   2nd ed. 2005  CUP (e-book)

Bossche, P. van den   Law and policy of the World Trade Organization: text cases and materials. 5th ed. 2022 CUP (e-book) 

Brownlie, I.     Brownlie's principles of public international law  9th ed. 2019  OUP  (e-book)

Cassese, A.   Cassese's international law 3rd ed.  2020

Cassese, A.    International criminal law 3rd ed. 2013

Chuah, J.    Law of international trade: cross-border commercial transactions 6th ed. 2019

Conforti, B.   Law and practice of the United Nations. 5th ed. 2016 (e-book)

Crawford, P.       Creation of states in international law 2nd ed. 2006

Dinstein, Y.     The conduct of hostilities under the law of international international armed conflict.  4th ed. 2022 CUP (e-book)

Dinstein, Y.    War, aggression and self-defence   6th ed. 2017

Evans, M. (ed.)  Blackstone’s international law documents 15th ed. 2021

Evans, M.   International law 5th ed. 2018

Gray, C. International law and the use of force  4th ed. 2018  OUP (e-book)

Harris, D.J.   Cases and materials on international law 9th ed. 2020

Higgins, R and others .  Oppenheim's international law. United Nations  2017  OUP  (e-book)

Hill, J. Aust's modern treaty law and practice  4th ed. 2023  CUP 

Khan, Daniel-Erasmus  Democracy and sovereignty: rethinking the legitimacy of public international law  Brill Nijhoff 2023 (e-book)

Klabbers, J.  International law 4th ed. 2024  CUP

Orakhelashvili, A  ed.  Akehurst's modern introduction to international law 9th ed. 2022   

Qureshi, A. & Ziegler, A.  International economic law  4th ed. 2019

Schabas, W.  An introduction to the international criminal court  6th ed.  2020 CUP  (e-book)

Schermers, H.  International institutional law : unity within diversity  6th ed. 2018 Brill Nijhoff (e-book)

Shaw, M.   International law  9th ed. 2021

Simma, B.  Charter of the United Nations: a commentary 3rd ed. 2012 OUP  (e-book)


IALS Library holds a wide selection of current serial titles on public international law 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 Public international law but there may be relevant articles in less specialised journals.

African yearbook of international law  e-journal

American journal of international law  e-journal

American university international law review  open access

Annuaire français de droit international

Australian year book of international law  e-journal

Austrian  review of international and European law  e-journal 

Boston University international law journal    open access  

British  yearbook of international law e-journal

Brooklyn  journal of international law  open access

California  western international law journal  open access

Canadian yearbook of international law  e-journal

Chinese journal of international law  e-journal

Columbia  journal of transnational law  e-journal

Cornell  international law journal  open access

Denver journal of international law and policy  open access

European journal of international law open access

Fordham international law journal  open access 

George Washington international law review  open access

Georgia journal of international and comparative law open access

German yearbook of international law  e-journal

Harvard international law journal  open access

Hastings international and comparative law review  open access

International lawyer 

Journal du droit international

Leiden journal of international law   e-journal     

Michigan journal of international law  open access

Netherlands international law review  e-journal

Netherlands yearbook of international law e-journal

New York University journal of international law and politics open access

Nordic journal of international law   e-journal

Penn State journal of law and international affairs   open access 

Polish yearbook of international law   e-journal

Proceedings (American Society of International Law) e-journal

Recueil des cours (Académie de droit international)  e-journal

Revista española de derecho internacional  e-journal

Revue belge de droit international

Revue générale de droit international public

Rivista di diritto internazionale

Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht

Spanish yearbook of international law e-journal

Stanford journal of international law open access

Suffolk transnational law review   open access  

Texas international law journal  e-journal

Vanderbilt journal of transnational law   open access          

Virginia journal of international law  open access

Yale journal of international law  e-journal            

Yearbook (International Court of Justice)  open access                            

Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht  e-journal

Legislation and law reports

If you are interested in legislation or cases concerning public international law issues in specific countries you will need to consult the serials in SG.

Consult the Library Catalogue to find the general classmark for the subject area 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.

Please refer to the serials section of this guide to find specific law report series.

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 public international 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 public international law 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 public international law.


United Nations Treaty Collection 

European Court of Human Rights 

Gabriela Femenia. Researching League of Nations Documents. Updated 2020

Jonathan Pratter. À la recherché des Travaux Préparatoires: an approach to researching the drafting history of international agreements. (Globalex) Updated 2021 

Linda Tashbook. Researching the United Nations (Globalex). Updated 2022