Foreign & International Law

Constitute recognized as an “outstanding source” for comparing constitutions

Professor Tom Ginsburg’s collaborative research tool, Constitute: “The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search, and Compare,” has been named one of the Best Free Reference Websites of 2015! Winning sites are selected by the American Library Association Reference and User Services Association Emerging Technologies Section. Criteria for selection include quality, depth, usefulness, currency, and uniqueness of content, authoritativeness, efficiency, ease of access and use.

quill pen

The Machine-Assisted Reference Services (MARS) Best Free Reference Websites Committee, in its annotations to the list of 2015 winners, describes Constitute as follows:

[T]his site provides constitutions in force as of September 2013 from most of the world’s independent states. Constitutions are updated as they are amended. A user can browse using an alphabetical list, read in html, download in pdf, search by keyword or phrase, see where specific topics occur in each constitution, and select two to eight constitutions to compare side-by-side on a particular topic. The site has a clean, uncluttered design, with date of the constitution in effect and date of last amendment shown next to each country’s name. It is appropriate for students, scholars, and anyone interested in this topic. Constitute is an outstanding source for learning about and comparing the constitutions of most countries of the world.

Note that Constitute is a result of partnerships of the Comparative Constitutions Project with Google, Google Ideas, International IDEA, and many others. Constitute has not only an English interface (194 countries), but also an Arabic interface (54 independent states). Find out more about the project here

TRIAL (ends on September 13!): Cambridge Law Reports online

world-peace-090420jWe have a month-long trial (Aug 13-Sep 13, 2015) to a new online resource comprising the International Law Reports (ILR) and the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Reports  – the Cambridge Law Reports. The ILR has decisions of the International Court of Justice, other international tribunals, and decisions in national courts related to international law.  We also have e-access to the ILR via Justis’ International Law Reports.  And we have the ICSID Reports in print. Let us know what you think of the CLR versus Justis International Law Reports online. To access the trial please go to the following URL:



Have an international relations research topic? Check the Chatham House Online Archive

Chatham House logoThe Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) was founded in 1920 following the Paris Peace Conference. University of Chicago researchers now have access to its archives. The  Chatham House Online Archive “provides a searchable, browsable research environment that enables users to explore approximately half a million pages and over ninety years of research, expert analysis, and commentary published in briefing papers, special reports, pamphlets, conference papers and books.”

The archive includes the full text of Chatham House’s flagship publication, International Affairs, a leading academic journal on international relations (IR) topics, as well as audio recordings of Chatham House lectures, with searchable transcripts. 

You can explore the Chatham House Online Archive by region or by subject: 

  • Business and Trade
  • Communications and Media
  • Energy, Environment and Resources
  • Health and Population
  • International Economics, Finance and Investment
  • International Law
  • International Politics, Ideology and Diplomacy
  • International Security, War and Conflict
  • United Nations and UN Bodies

ChathamHouseOnlineArchive browse screenshot



Trial for Malaysian law database, Current Law Journal, ends July 20th

The D’Angelo Law Library has arranged a two-week free trial of Current Law Journal (CLJ) which ends July 20, 2015. The CLJ database includes Malaysian cases, articles, practice notes, legislative forms, precedents, sample agreements, and legislation. There is also a Shariah law reports component. Find out more at and

If you have a current University of Chicago ID and are interested in trying out the database, contact Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian, at for login information.

New online resource:

The D’Angelo Law Library recently added to its collection of useful databases for researching international commercial arbitration. Check out ArbitrationLaw (Juris).  This database includes arbitration law journal articles, ebooks, treatises, handbooks, yearbooks, and practice guides.  It has reports of arbitral awards and court decisions, arbitration rules, laws, and treaties. 

You can access the full text online to the World Arbitration Reporter, the Encyclopedia of International Arbitration Law and Practice, titles in the ASA (Swiss Arbitration Association) and IAI (International Arbitration Institute) book series, and AAA/ICDR (American Arbitration Association/International Center for Dispute Resolution) handbooks and  yearbooks.  The ArbitrationLaw database is particularly useful for researching arbitration law practice and procedure in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.  It specifically has commentary on arbitration practice in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Korea, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

ArbitrationLaw also contains the following journals: The American Review of International Arbitration (ARIA) 1990- ; Dispute Resolution Journal (DRJ) 1965- ; European International Arbitration Review (EIAR); Journal of American Arbitration (JAA); Journal of Damages in International Arbitration (JDIA); Journal of Technology in International Arbitration; Stockholm Arbitration Report (SAR) 1999-2003; Stockholm International Arbitration Review (SIAR) 2004-2009; World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR) 1990- .

New e-resource: IFAR’s art law and cultural property databases

If you are interested in art law research, the D’Angelo Law Library now provides e-access to the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)’s Art Law & Cultural Property databases. IFAR describes them as follows:

International Cultural Property/Ownership & Export Legislation (ICPOEL)

This section contains legislation governing the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries. The legislation is presented in both summary form and as complete text; the latter in the original language and in translation. Selected historical legislation is also included, as, while superseded or amended, it can be useful for researchers looking for statutes applicable at the time of the acquisition, export or import of an art object. Links connect foreign legislation to relevant U.S. case law. There are also links to relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements.

Case Law & Statutes (CLS)

This section contains an extensive body of primarily U.S. case law, including both litigated cases and, notably, hard-to-find, out-of-court settlements. The material is organized under eight topics: World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss; Cultural Property (Antiquities) Disputes Over Non-United States Property; United States Cultural Property; Art Theft (other than World War II and cultural property looting); Other Ownership Title Disputes/Claims Including Conversion and Breach of Contract; Art Fraud, Attribution, Authenticity, Forgery, Libel, and Defamatory Statements; Valuation/Appraisal; and Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Issues.

Under each topic, relevant cases are summarized (where possible, with images of the art objects in question). There are also links to relevant U.S. statutes, foreign legislation and a glossary.

Happy Lunar New Year 2015!

Lyo Chinese New Year 2015 photoChinese New Year/Spring Festival celebrations start today, February 19, 2015, and end on March 5, 2015. It’s confusing whether 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, Goat, or Ram because the character “羊” means “horned animal”. It could also be the Year of the Antelope!  🙂  Let’s celebrate anyway!

If you’re in a serious research frame of mind, you can celebrate by checking out what we have in our Chinese law collection, including our databases. Books,  journals and other law-related materials are located in the D’Angelo Law Library and in the Chinese Studies collection at Regenstein’s East Asian Library.  We subscribe to ChinaLawInfo/LawInfoChina, Westlaw China, and Wangfang Data: Policies and Laws of China (PLOC).

Infernal Affairs (movie)For fun, check out the movies in our law library DVD Collection! We have all three Infernal Affairs action flicks. 

We also own Farewell My Concubine (recommended by our LL.M.s), The Story of Qiu Ju, China: From the Inside, The People’s Court, and other movies made in China and about China.

The University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) has a film library comprising over 5,000 titles from China, Japan, and Korea. You can browse their  online film catalog. The Film Library is at Judd Hall, Room 302. It’s open Mon-Fri. 11:30am-4:30pm. Current University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff members can borrow films. 

If you don’t have a movie in mind and like romantic comedies, I’m told by Jiaxun Wu, Chinese Studies Librarian, that If You Are the One = 非誠勿擾 (2008) is great. Check it out!

You can also visit the “Chinese New Year Paintings Held in the Shanghai Library” exhibit located on the 5th floor of Regenstein Library.  Hurry!  It closes on February 28, 2015.

If you want to celebrate by going to China, we also have travel guides located in the Reserve Room – China (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, 2012), Fodor’s China (2011), and Fodor’s Beijing (2011). Thanks to Lorna Tang, our Associate Law Librarian for Technical Services, for these guides!

And this Sunday at 1pm, there’s a Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown!

Start your international law research with the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline

Are you researching an international law topic for your substantial research paper? For a journal comment or article? For a clinic or center research project? For your B.A. paper? Make sure you look for a related treaty or international agreement on the topic. The D’Angelo Law Library has subscribed to a new database that you can use. It’s available via HeinOnline and called the World Treaty Library (WTL).

World Treaty Library via HeinOnline (screencap)

Covering 1648 to the present, the WTL provides searching across major treaty sources (indexes and full-text compilations in PDF), including:

  • de Clercq’s Recueil des traités de la France (1864-1917)
  • Dumont’s Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens (1726-1739)
  • Hein’s U.S. Treaty Index (1776-current)
  • League of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S., 1920-1946)
  • Martens’ Treaties (Nouveau recueil général de traités, etc., 1817-1944)
  • Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (United Nations’ MTDSG, 1981-2009)
  • Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995 (Christian L. Wiktor)
  • United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S., 1946-current)
  • United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.)
  • Peter Rohn’s World Treaty Index (WTI, 1900-1980)

The World Treaty Library includes other treaty publications and related works, a Bibliography, and scholarly articles.

Check it out!

We have a 10-day trial to the new World Treaties Library via HeinOnline

Test Hein’s new database, the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline,  and let us know what you think.  The WTL includes the digitized version of Peter H. Rohn’s 5-volume World Treaty Index covering 1900-1980, and collects treaties dating back to 1648, so great for historical treaty research.  It also comprises major treaty series, collections, and indexes such as Marten’s and Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar. More information re WTL contents is available via Hein’s brochure.

You can view a YouTube video on how to use and search the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline. 

World Treaty Library (screen capture)

The D’Angelo Law Library is also considering subscribing to the new Oxford Historical Treaties database which includes the Consolidated Treaties Series (C.T.S.) in PDF.

Two Keystone sessions on international human rights research, Wed., Nov. 5, 12:15 & 3pm, Room D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)The D’Angelo Law Library’s Foreign and International Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, is offering two 45-minute Keystone Professionalism and Leadership Program sessions focusing on effective international human rights research.  Students interested in human rights work and practice are welcome to attend!

Researching International Human Rights Law & Policy

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Times12:15pm – 1:00pm; 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Location: Law School, Classroom D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques will provide a quick overview of the United Nations human rights system, as well as the European, Inter-American, African, and other regional systems for the protection of human rights.  She will highlight major sources for locating treaties, jurisprudence, and other human rights-related documents, as well as important IGOs, NGOs, and social media sources.  She will especially emphasize tools for international human rights lawyering, advocacy, and litigation.

This event is being offered twice: at 12:15 pm & 3:00 pm. Point value: 10 Keystone points