Public International Law
Public International Law is perhaps best described as an authoritative language, used by States, international organizations, individuals and other participants in the international legal order to interact with each other. International law is a value-oriented jurisprudence used by policymakers and other members of the international community (governments, diplomats, international judges and arbitrators, elements of the “UN family,” etc.) to make difficult choices based on shared values. The traditional definition of international law has broadened in scope to include additional topics or branches of international law. For detailed research guidance on individual topics of public international law, see other research guides on special topics Air (and space) law, Cultural heritage, Environment, Food, Health, Labour, Law of the Sea, Sport, Territory and Water.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Public International Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Public international law and subject heading (keyword) Public International Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
- Besson, S., Breitenmoser, S., Sassòli, M., Ziegler, A.R., Völkerrecht = Droit international public : aide-mémoire, Zürich : Dike, 2013.
- Carreau, D. et F. Marrella, Droit international, Paris, Pedone, 2012.
- Crawford, J., Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Harris, D., S.Sivakumaran, Cases and Materials on International Law, 8th edition, London, Sweet & Maxwell, Thomson Reuters, 2015.
- Oppenheim, L.F.L., Oppenheim's International Law, 9th ed., London : Longman, 1992-1996.
- Salmon, J., Dictionnaire de droit international public, Bruxelles : Bruylant, 2001
- Shaw, M.N., International Law, 7th ed., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Wolfrum, R., Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Cassese, A., International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005.
- Chesterman, S., I. Johnstone, D.M. Malone & T.M.Franck, Law and practice of the United Nations: documents and commentary, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Crawford, J.,Hasard, Ordre et Changement: Le Cours Du Droit International, Leiden, Boston, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2015.
- Combacau, J. et S. Sur, Droit international public, Paris, Montchrestien, 2010.
- Daillier, P., Forteau, M. et A. Pellet, Droit international public, Paris, L.G.D.J, 2009.
- Dumberry, P., The Formation and Identification of Rules of Customary International Law in International Investment Law, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
- Dupuy, P.-M. et Y. Kerbrat, Droit international public, Paris, Dalloz, 2012.
- Evans, M. (ed.), International Law, 3rd ed., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010
- Higgins, R., Themes and Theories : Selected Essays, Speeches, and Writings in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
- den Heijer, M. & H. van der Wilt, Netherlands Yearbook of International Law 2015: Jus Cogens: Quo Vadis?, The Hague, Asser Press, 2016.
- Kamto, M., Gouvernance mondiale et droit international, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2015.
- Koskenniemi, M., The Politics of International Law, Oxford etc. : Hart, 2011
- Lauterpacht, H., The Function of Law in the International Community, New York, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Lowe, V., International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Lung-chu, C., An Introduction to Contemporary International Law : A Policy-oriented Perspective, 3rd ed. New York, NY, US, Oxford University Press, 2015.
- de Oliveira Mazzuoli, V., Curso de Direito Internacional Público, 9.a Edição Revista, Atualizada e Ampliada, São Paulo: Thomson Reuters, Revista dos Tribunais, 2015.
- Orford, A., F.Hoffmann, & M.Clark, The Oxford handbook of the theory of international law, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Rivier, R., Droit international public, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2012.
- Ryngaert, C., Erik J. Molenaar, Sarah M.H. Nouwen, What's wrong with international law?: liber amicorum A.H.A. Soons, Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.
- Saganek, P., Unilateral acts of States in Public International Law, Leiden : Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2016.
- Shaw, M.N., International Law, 7th ed., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Stein, T. von und C. von Buttlar, Völkerrecht, München, Vahlen, 2012.
- Torres Bernárdez, S. [et al.] (eds.), El derecho internacional en el mundo multipolar del siglo XXI : obra homenaje al profesor Luis Ignacio Sánchez Rodríguez, Madrid, Iprolex, 2013.
- Bergé, J.-S., "De la hiérarchie des normes au droit hiérarchisé : figures pratiques de l'application du droit à différents niveaux", Journal du droit international (Clunet), 140 (2013), No. 1, pp. 3-25.
- Fois, P., "Riflessioni sul principo di legalita nel diritto internazionale contemporaneo", Rivista di diritto internazionale, 96 (2013), No. 2, pp. 361-384.
- Katz Cogan, J., "The Changing Form of the International Law Commission's Work", Evolutions in the Law of International Organizations, Leiden, Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2015, pp. 275-290.
- Kolb, R., "La détermination du concept de jus cogens", Revue générale de droit international public, 118 (2014), No. 1, 5-29.
- Lindenfalk, U., "The Source of Jus Cogens Obligations : How Legal Positivism Copes With Peremptory International Law", Nordic Journal of International Law, 82 (2013), No.3, pp.369-389.
- Trindade, Antônio Augusto Canc̜ado, The Contribution of Latin American Legal Doctrine to the Progressive Development of International Law: Special Lecture (2015 Session, Public International Law), Recueil des Cours, Collected courses of The Hague Academy of International Law, 2016.
Periodicals, serial publications
- American Journal of International Law
- Annuaire français de droit international
- Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht
- British Yearbook of International Law
- Chinese Journal of International Law
- Collected Courses of the Xiamen Academy of International Law
- CARREAU, D. (et al.) (éd.), Répertoire de droit international, Paris : Dalloz, 2004
- European Journal of International Law
- German Yearbook of International Law
- Harvard International Law Journal
- International legal materials
- Leiden Journal of International Law
- Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law
- Netherlands Yearbook of International Law
- Nordic Journal of International Law
- Revue générale de droit international public
- The Yale Journal of International Law
Systematic classification → Public international law
1. Backlash Against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa
Keywords: Africa, Regional courts, International law and national law,
2. Is There a Stagnation in International Law?
Keywords: International organizations, Development of international law, Soft law, Global governance,
3. Comparative International Law
Keywords: Russian Federation, International law, Comparative law,
4. Social Media and Promotion of International Law
Keywords: International law, Social media,
5. How Cosmopolitan Are International Law Professors?
Alvarez, J.E., The impact of international organizations on international law, Collected courses of the Xiamen Academy of International Law, volume 7, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2017. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The Impact of International Organizations on International Law addresses how international organizations, particularly those within the UN system, have changed the forms, contents, and effects of international law. Professor Jose Alvarez considers the impact on sovereigns and actions taken by the contemporary Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and UN Specialized Agencies such as the World Health Organization. He considers the diverse functions performed by adjudicators – from judges of the International Criminal Court to arbitrators within the international investment regime. This text raises fundamental questions concerning the future of international law given the challenges international organizations pose to legal positivism, to traditional conceptions of sovereignty, and to the rule of law itself.
Krajewski, M., Völkerrecht, Baden-Baden, Nomos, 2017. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Das Völkerrecht ist keiner einheitlichen Kodifikation unterworfen und unterliegt permanentem Wandel. Die Völkerrechtslehre steht vor dem Problem, ihren Gegenstand dennoch strukturiert und in seinen Zusammenhängen verständlich darzustellen.
Deyra, M., Droit international public, 5e édition, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Gualino, Lextenso éditions, 2018. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Le Droit international public correspond à l'ensemble des règles juridiques qui régissent les rapports internationaux entre sujets indépendants. C'est un droit sans législateur, aux effets relatifs et à portée variable. Dans la société internationale d'aujourd'hui marquée par la globalisation des relations et par le morcellement des structures, il est essentiel d'avoir les repères que constituent le droit des traités, des espaces, de la guerre, de la paix, des personnes, pour constater que ce n'est pas le Droit qui manque, mais que ce sont les États qui manquent à leurs droits. Ce livre constitue une synthèse ordonnée, complète et accessible du Droit international public.
Couvreur, P., The International Court of Justice and the Effectiveness of International Law, Leiden, Brill, 2017.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The International Court of Justice and the Effectiveness of International Law, by Philippe Couvreur, Registrar of the ICJ since 2000, offers an account of the history and main achievements of the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the only court with universal and general jurisdiction. This book discusses the hopes and aims of creating a permanent, international tribunal for settling disputes between States, and the ICJ’s role in ensuring the effectiveness of the rule of law at the international level. Taking into account the characteristics of the international legal order, this work provides a description of the main achievements brought about in this respect by the creation of the ICJ; the basis and scope of its function as a judicial institution; its relationship with other means of settling disputes and its integration in the United Nations; and finally its substantial contribution in two areas of great significance for the promotion and strengthening of peaceful relations between States, namely the settlement of land and maritime disputes and the implementation of the law of State responsibility.
Chesterman, S., I. Johnstone, D.M. Malone & T.M.Franck, Law and Practice of the United Nations: Documents and Commentary, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Law and Practice of the United Nations: Documents and Commentary combines primary materials with expert commentary demonstrating the interaction between law and practice in the UN organization, as well as the possibilities and limitations of multilateral institutions in general. Each chapter begins with a short introductory essay describing how the documents that ensue illustrate a set of legal, institutional, and political issues relevant to the practice of diplomacy and the development of public international law through the United Nations. Each chapter also includes questions to guide discussion of the primary materials, and a brief bibliography to facilitate further research on the subject. This second edition addresses the most challenging issues confronting the United Nations and the global community today, from terrorism to climate change, from poverty to nuclear proliferation. New features include hypothetical fact scenarios to test the understanding of concepts in each chapter. This edition contains expanded author commentary, while maintaining the focus on primary materials. Such materials enable a realistic presentation of the work of international diplomacy: the negotiation, interpretation and application of such texts are an important part of what actually takes place at the United Nations and other international organizations.
Orford, A., F.Hoffmann, & M.Clark, The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, 2016.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The Oxford Handbook of International Legal Theory provides an accessible and authoritative guide to the major thinkers, concepts, approaches, and debates that have shaped contemporary international legal theory. The Handbook features 48 original essays by leading international scholars from a wide range of traditions, nationalities, and perspectives, reflecting the richness and diversity of this dynamic field. The collection explores key questions and debates in international legal theory, offers new intellectual histories for the discipline, and provides fresh interpretations of significant historical figures, texts, and theoretical approaches. It provides a much-needed map of the field of international legal theory, and a guide to the main themes and debates that have driven theoretical work in international law. The Handbook will be an indispensable reference work for students, scholars, and practitioners seeking to gain an overview of current theoretical debates about the nature, function, foundations, and future role of international law.
- ASIL Electronic Resource Guide "Researching Public International Law" by Kelly Vinopal
- Hague Academy of International Law, Recueil des Cours
- Hein Online, Foreign & International Law Resources
- Martinus Nijhoff Online, International Law
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
- Oxford Reports on International Law
- Westlaw International
Satellite Data in International Law
The use of data acquired through earth observation satellites has become commonplace. The use of satellite data has even expanded as an extremely useful tool to implement international law since it provides factual, relevant and up-to-date information. Further technological developments will steadily increase the range of data which can be collected through Earth Observation and further enhance its accuracy. Therefore, satellite data can be used to monitor compliance with obligations contained within international agreements or to resolve disputes before an international court.Read more
Interview Professor Yves Daudet
Professor Daudet officially retired as Secretary-General of The Hague Academy of International Law. A special farewell ceremony and reception were held in his honor during which the new Secretary- General, Professor Jean- Marc Thouvenin was formally introduced. Mr Daudet graciously agreed to be interviewed. Find out more how he looks back on his time at the Academy, his many highlights and accomplishments and how he will continue to stay involved in the future of the Academy.Read more
Interview Sigrid Kaag
This month, we have the honor of interviewing Ms. Sigrid Kaag, a top Dutch diplomat who currently serves as a United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). Last month, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation awarded Sigrid Kaag the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize. Before the ceremony took place, we took the opportunity to interview Ms. Kaag to discuss her work at the UN, in particular, the succesful UN-OPCW joint mission Ms. Kaag led to eliminate the chemical weapons programme in Syria. We also discussed the role of international law in her daily work at the UN. Here’s what she had to say.Read more
Interview: Alexia Solomou
The best part of working in the Library is meeting community members who are working on interesting and important projects in international law. It gets even better when they’re willing to share their stories with our readers. This month, we are delighted to introduce you to Alexia Solomou, Associate Legal Officer at the International Court of Justice. Ms. Solomou is from Cyprus and has recently succeeded in setting up a Cypriot Branch of the International Law Association. She shares with us her experience of working at the ICJ and offers us great insight in what it takes to set up an ILA branch.Read more
Bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis viert 200 jaar Nederlandse Grondwet
On Saturday 29 March, the Netherlands will celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the 1814 Constitution. During the so-called Grondwetfestival (Constitution Festival) government buildings normally off limits to the public, like the Catshuis and Trêveszaal, will open especially for this occasion. The Peace Palace Library will also participate in this event with an interactive tour – in Dutch – explaining the relationship between the Dutch Constitution and international law. [Further information in Dutch]Read more
The Hague Academy of International Law: Celebrating 90 Years of Academic Excellence
On July 24, 1923, ten years after the opening of the Peace Palace, the Hague Academy of International Law was solemnly inaugurated in the Peace Palace ‘to teach subjects which are most important from the point of view of theory, practice, legislation and international jurisprudence, in particular from deliberations of conferences and arbitral awards’ (Art. 3 of its statute adopted in 1914).Read more
Immunities in Public and Private International Law - 9th Session of the Seminar for Advanced Studies, 13-19 January 2013
Each year the Hague Academy of International law, one of the most renowned academic institutions in Europe, holds a seminar devoted to various aspects of public and private international law. The theme of this year’s seminar will be: ”Les immunités en droit international public et privé” (Immunities in public and private international law). This Programme of Advanced Studies will take place from 13 to 19 January 2013 at the Academy building in The Hague.Read more
When Röling Waves Advanced Towards the Shores of International Law
Invitation to lecture about the influence of Röling’s work on international law practice and scholarship by Prof. Nico Schrijver, organized by the Peace Palace Library. The lecture takes place on Wednesday 22 June, 2011, at 17.30-19.30 (lecture starts at 18.00). The location is the Historic Reading Room of the Peace Palace Library. Entrance is free.Read more
The Influence of NGOs on International Law
From a traditional point of view, International Public Law has been understood as a set of rules produced by states in order to regulate relations between them. Since the end of the Cold War, the role of NGOs in international law is growing in importance and their activities are reaching the remotest parts of the world. In this blog, I will briefly discuss how NGOs have transformed international law as well as how they continue to contribute to the development of international law.Read more
In memoriam: Sir Ian Brownlie CBE QC (1932-2010)
Sir Ian Brownlie, the second from the right on the photo, taken at the International Court of Justice when he was arguing the Nicaragua-Honduras case for Nicaragua. The great British international lawyer, Sir Ian Brownlie, died on January 3th 2010, in a car-accident while on holiday with his family in Egypt. His name is a […]Read more
First Lady of International Law
Tuesday last week the First Lady of International Law, Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice bade farewell to her colleagues at the Court in The Hague, after serving nearly fourteen years as judge and as its President.
This event coincided with the presentation of her latest book “Themes and Theories. Selected speeches and writings in International Law” (OUP 2009). An impressive collection of her thoughts over the last forty years. Ten chapters on various aspects of international law, reflected in articles, speeches, lectures and in her work as a member of the International Court of Justice.
Oxford University Press kindly donated this two volume set to the Peace Palace Library, completing the collection of Higgins’ publications.
The Library hopes that Dame Higgins, having spent so many years in The Hague, the Legal Capital of the World, will continue to be inspired by its excellent possibilities for research in international law.Read more
UN Audiovisual Library of International Law
The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs launched the Audiovisual Library of International Law. The Audiovisual Library aims to provide free, scholarly resources to students and practictioners around the world, particularly in regions where there are few resources for the study of international law.Read more
- Conducting research in public international law. An introduction to the information sources, by George Middelkoop
- General International Law, Electronic Information System for International Law
- Introduction to Public International Law Research, by Vicenç Feliú
- Public International Law
- Researching Public International Law, By Kent McKeever
- Sources for public international law research, by David Gee