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Political Science: PL/LAW 320 Public International Law

Introductory guide for political science and international affairs.

Research Strategy

  1. Consult secondary sources such as encyclopedias, research guides, and treatises to get an overview of your subject and the areas where you need to search as well as citations to primary materials.
  2. If you are researching a particular international organization, look for their web-site as many organizations have vast collections of primary documents on the web.
  3. Locate and analyze primary law, such as treaties, and subsidiary sources of public international law such as scholarly writings.  Remember that in public international law, cases are NOT considered primary law, though in practice they are often treated with great deference and are an excellent source for determining customary international law or "general principles" of international law.
  4. Make sure your research is up to date.


International Legal Materials

This publication, produced by the American Society of International Law since 1962, reproduces or summarizes important international law documents including foreign relations and diplomatic materials. International Legal Materials (ILM) file provides the basic, primary documents necessary for research and analysis of international law.

You can access ILM on Nexis Uni:

  1. Select All Sources from the top drop down menu
  2. Type "International Legal Materials" in the Search Within Sources search box
  3. Click on  "International Legal Materials"
  4. Select Get Documents to access all IL documents
  5. Select Add source as a search filter to start a new keyword search only within ILM.

Journals of International Law

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