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.

Foreign and International Law Research Basics: International Tribunals

A basic introduction for those interested in researching international law or the national law of non-US jurisdictions.

International Courts and Dispute Resolution Bodies

A variety of tribunals exist to resolve disputes and interpret questions of international law. (Note that national courts also do this, sometimes concurrently with regional or international proceedings.) Some of the most important tribunals are described here, but surveying the secondary sources on your area of interest can help you identify which tribunals to investigate further.

International Tribunals

While not comprehensive, this list offers a cross-section of tribunals covering everything from disputes between states to prosecutions for genocide to arbitration between investors and states. For a more complete list of tribunals engaged specifically in human rights, see Biddle's Human Rights research guide.

Databases for International Tribunal Decisions

Most tribunals offer access to their recent decisions on their websites. However, if you're looking broadly for decisions on a given subject rather than the documents for a specific case, you may find it easier to conduct your research in one of the databases suggested here, which cover multiple tribunals and allow for more robust searching.

Note that Lexis and Westlaw do include decisions of some, but not all, major tribunals, such as the ICJ.