Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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,  September 2020

About the author KR

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


Your comments

We'd love to hear your comments about this Research Guide.


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.

Monday-Friday 9:30-17:00
Tel (0)20 7862 5790

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. 

Aust, A.    Modern treaty law and practice 3rd  ed. 2013

Amerasinghe, C.   Principles of the institutional law of international organizations   2nd ed. 2005

Bossche, P. van den   Law and policy of the World Trade Organization: text cases and materials. 4th ed. 2017

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

Brownlie, I.     International law and the use of force by states 1963

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 5th ed. 2013

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.  3rd ed. 2015

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

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

Higgins, R.  Problems and process: international law and how we use it 1994

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

McNair, A.  Law of treaties 1961

Oppenheim, L.  International law. Vol. 1, Peace ed. Jennings & Watts  9th ed. 1992 OUP  (e-book 1996)

Oppenheim, L.  International law. Vol. 2, Disputes, War and Neutrality 7th ed. 1952 

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

Qureshi, A. & Ziegler, A.  International economic law  3rd ed. 2011

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

Schermers, H.  International institutional law : unity within diversity  5th ed. 2011

Shaw, M.   International law  9th ed. 2021

Simma, B.  Charter of the United Nations: a commentary 3rd ed. 2012


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

American journal of international law

American university international law review

Annuaire français de droit international

Australian year book of international law

Austrian  review of international and European law   

Boston College international and comparative law review    

Boston University international law journal      

British  yearbook of international law 

Brooklyn  journal of international law

California  western international law journal

Canadian yearbook of international law

Chinese journal of international law

Columbia  journal of transnational law

Cornell  international law journal

Denver journal of international law and policy

European journal of international law

Finnish yearbook of international law 

Fordham international law journal    

George Washington international law review  

Georgia journal of international and comparative law 

German yearbook of international law

Harvard international law journal 

Hastings international and comparative law review 

International lawyer 

Journal du droit international

Leiden journal of international law         

Michigan journal of international law 

Netherlands international law review

Netherlands yearbook of international law

New York University journal of international law and politics 

Nordic journal of international law    

Penn State journal of law and international affairs    

Polish yearbook of international law   

Proceedings (American Society of International Law) 

Recueil des cours (Académie de droit international)

Revista española de derecho internacional

Revue belge de droit international

Revue générale de droit international public

Revue hellénique de droit international

Rivista di diritto internazionale

Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht

South African yearbook of international law

Spanish yearbook of international law

Stanford journal of international law 

Suffolk transnational law review     

Texas international law journal

Vanderbilt journal of transnational law             

Virginia journal of international law

Yale journal of international law              

Yearbook (International Court of Justice)                              

Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht

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