Featured Database: Foreign Law Guide

International law can be one of the most complex and challenging areas of legal research. The Foreign Law Guide seeks to simplify the process by providing links to both primary and secondary sources of law for over 190 countries throughout the world. The database provides links to English translations of the legal materials from each country. In addition to providing information on individual countries, the database contains bibliographical information on many international conventions and treaties. The database is easy to navigate, as users can search for legal information by country name or by searching for particular areas of law.  Check it out on the library database page.


New and Notable: The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict

The Oxford handbook of international law in armed conflict (Andrew Clapham & Paola Gaeta eds., Oxford University Press 2014) KZ6385.O94 2014

“An authoritative and comprehensive study of the role of international law in armed conflicts, this Oxford Handbook engages in a broad analysis of international humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, international criminal law, environmental law, and the law on the use of force. With an international group of expert contributors, this book has a global, multi-disciplinary perspective on the place of law in war. Full of thought-provoking analysis and new insights into this critical area of international law, the Handbook will be an unparalleled resource for students, scholar, and practitioners.” –from the Publisher.


Featured Database: Encyclopedia of Public International Law

The Seattle University Law Library subscribes to the online edition of The Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL). Published by the Oxford University Press in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, it is the only comprehensive encyclopedia on the subject in the English language.  As with all encyclopedias, the EPIL can be used to verify facts, provide in-depth background information, or, as a source of references to other works on the same subject.  The online edition of the Encyclopedia of Public International Law easily meets and exceeds these goals through its authoritative analysis, abundant cross references, article bibliographies and links to the primary sources cited in the essay.

Whether you need to understand an international legal concept or theory or have a specific question about the importance of a particular case or the context of an event, the Encyclopedia of Public International Law online will prove to be an invaluable first stop for your international law research.


Today in Legal History: SALT I Talks Commence

On November 17, 1969, Soviet and U.S. negotiators met in Helsinki, Finland to start working out an agreement on what to do with all the nuclear weapons each nation was stockpiling.  This was the start of the first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I).  It was a long talk, with the SALT I agreement about Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABM) and Multiple-Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs) finally being signed in May 1972.  Alas, as international relations go, this agreement was not the end and internal debate continued here in the United States about the meaning of the agreement.  International lawyer John Norton Moore claimed this debate was “ … almost certainly the most complex and contentious legal debate in the history of United States foreign policy.”

More information is also available at:


Trick or Treaty: Fun with International Law

Researching a paper? Have work-related research questions? Law librarian research talks can get you on the right path. Sessions last thirty minutes.



Trick or Treaty: Fun with International Law

Researching a paper? Have work-related research questions? Law librarian research talks can get you on the right path. Sessions last thirty minutes.

Treaties are central to international law. We’ll explore some tricks for finding them, assessing their applicability, and gathering useful commentary … all in 30 minutes.

Come by Room 309 at noon, Oct. 31, to hear Bob Menanteaux give his talk!



The Syrian Crisis and International Law

The complicated political and military landscape in Syria continues to zigzag even as new diplomatic efforts to eliminate the use of chemical weapons take shape. In times of crisis, international legal scholars unleash a lively stream of commentary on the web. How to keep up with it? Oxford University Press recently began to map their statements focusing on the question of use of force in Syria. See the debate map here.

The library recently received a new book which introduces and provides a legal analysis of the Syrian conflict. It includes the texts of several international legal documents related to the crisis. See: Law and War in Syria: A Legal Account of the Current Crisis in Syria.


The U.S. and the International Criminal Court

Jen Trahan blogged recently on Opinio Juris that three statements made by the former U.S. Department of State Legal Advisor Harold Koh, prior to leaving office in December, 2012, could signal a return to signatory status for the United States with respect to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At separate appearances at NYU, the University of Leiden, and the New York City Bar Association, Koh clearly stated that the U.S. respected the “object and purpose” of the treaty. Under normal circumstances this would place the United States in conformance with article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties on the obligations of treaty signatories. Whether Koh’s oral statements would trump the written note sent by John Bolton to the UN in 2002, withdrawing U.S. intent to become a party, is still in question.


Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare

The Revue de Presse Juridique reports that the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare will be published by the Cambridge University Press later this year. It will cover the application of international rules on armed conflict and international humanitarian law to this new type of warfare. If you can’t wait to see what the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence under the general editorship of Michael N. Schmitt has come up with, NATO has made an advance copy available here. Topics covered include: States and Cyberspace; Use of Force; Law of Armed Conflict; Conduct of Hostilities; Occupation; and Neutrality.


New ICC Prosecutor Sworn In

Fatou Bensouda was recently sworn in as the new Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in the Hague replacing Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Bensouda is a native of The Gambia and formerly served as its Solicitor General and Minister of Justice. She graduated from law school in Nigeria and holds a Masters of Laws from the International Maritime Institute in Malta. Read a recent interview with the new Prosecutor.