Chapter 9, International Topics, Human Rights

All freely available websites are available below. Updated and new sources as well as new content follow the footnotes below, organized by section of the Coursebook.

Sample Exercises: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. (Instructors: Feel free to download and edit as you see fit. Please email us for the answer key.)

Human Rights
FN #10, WorldCat
FN #11, Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General, called Status of Treaties on the UN Treaty Collection web site.
FN #12, International Women's Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Bora Laskin Law Library)
FN #13, ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law: Human Rights
FN #14, Study Guides, Food and Water (HREA)
FN #17, Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP)
FN #20, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law
FN #21, RAVE, this site is no longer updated
FN #22, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (UC-Hastings)
FN #23, NGO LINKS ( University of Minnesota Human Rights Library)
FN #24, Hurisearch
FN #25, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
FN #26, Council of Europe Treaties; OAS Treaties
FN #27, University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
FN #28, Multilaterals Project (Fletcher School)
FN #29, Human Rights Instruments (Netherlands Institute for Human Rights)
FN #30, Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL)
FN #31, UN Treaty Database
FN #35, Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments (UN)
FN #36, U.S. reservations, declarations, and understandings, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( University of Minnesota Human Rights Library )
FN #37, Ratifications and Reservations (OHCHR), now available from the UN Treaty Database
FN #38, UN Treaty Database
FN #39, Recent Actions Regarding Multilateral Treaties (OAS)
FN #40, UN Treaty Database
FN #42, Ratifications and Reservations (OHCHR), now available from the UN Treaty Database
FN #44, International Court of Justice (see “Cases” not "Decisions")
FN #45, Cornell ICJ mirror site, site no longer available
FN #46, World Court Digest
FN #47, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (see ‘‘The Cases'')
FN #48, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, A Topical Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity A Digest of the Case Law of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
FN #49, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (see ‘‘Cases'')
FN #50, International Criminal Court (ICC) (see ‘‘Situations and cases'')
FN #51, Special Court for Sierra Leone
FN #52, Commonwealth and International Human Rights Case Law Databases
FN #53, SIM Documentation Site (Netherlands Institute for Human Rights) (click on ‘‘Case law'')
FN #54, Bayefsky.com
FN #55, International Courts & Tribunals Collection (WorldLII)
FN #56, Decisions of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights ( University of Minnesota Human Rights Library)
FN #57, African Human Rights Law Reports
FN #60, HUDOC
FN #61, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
FN #62, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (University of Minnesota Human Rights Library)
FN #63, Inter-American Human Rights Digest (Spanish-only)
FN #65, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (University of Minnesota Human Rights Library)
FN #66, Inter-American Human Rights Database (American University) (updated through 2001)
FN #68, Commonwealth and International Human Rights Case Law Databases
FN #70, Refugee Caselaw Site (University of Michigan)
FN #71, Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom
FN #72, Annual reports (Amnesty International)
FN #73, Documents by Country (Human Rights Watch)
FN #74, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
FN #75, Information for Asylum-Seekers
FN #76, Country Conditions (Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies)
FN #77, Country of origin information service (UK)
FN #78, International News Archives on the Web
FN #79, Online Newspapers
FN #80, Denounce Torture (Amnesty International)
FN #81, Amnesty International Blogs (the blog on violence against women has been removed)
FN #82, Human Rights Blog
FN #83, Human Rights Headlines (now an email list)
FN #84, Human Rights Watch News Releases
FN #85, Jurist International News

Updated/New Sources & Content

References to page numbers in parentheses refer to pages in the Coursebook.

Section II. Human Rights

REFWORLD [select “Research/Evaluation”]

REFWORLD has become an excellent tool for human rights research in a broad range of areas.  Its Advanced Search page now offers several drop-down menus that provide useful full-text search options.

First, researchers can specify the type of document they seek:  e.g., country reports, states parties reports, concluding observations on those reports, etc.

Second, researchers can limit their search to material from various human rights bodies, including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; UN treaty bodies (Committee against Torture, Committee on the Rights of the Child, etc.); the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; numerous national courts; European Council of Europe documents, including decisions from the ECHR; international criminal tribunals; and non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Unfortunately, coverage from at least some of these organizations is not complete.  But for searches in which the goal is to find some relevant documents, as opposed to exhaustive results, REFWORLD is an excellent starting point. 

Section II.B.3. Periodical Databases and Indexes

The RAVE site has index records for only about 30 articles since 2004. (See page 213.)
The Social Science Index is not available on WESTLAW. (See page 213.)

Section II.B.4. Nongovernmental Organization Web Sites

Hurisearch’s web site now offers a search engine that covers more than 5000 human rights web sites, including non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, and intergovernmental organizations. (See page 214.)

Section II.C.1. Treaties and Other Human Rights Instruments, Compilations of Human Rights Instruments

The UN Treaty database no longer requires a subscription. (See page 215.)

Section II.C.2. Treaties and Other Human Rights Instruments, Status Information

On the OHCHR web site, information on "Status of ratification, Reservations and declarations" for the UN human rights treaty bodies now links to Chapter IV: Human Rights of the UN treaty database. (See page 216.)
As of December 2010, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has updated its status information to 2007.  (See page 217.)

Section II.D.1. Jurisprudence, Jurisprudence of International Bodoes

Two new subscription databases on international human rights law are part of the Oxford Reports on International Law: Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law and Oxford Reports on International Criminal Law.  These databases include selective decisions from both international and national tribunals.

International Law Reports is now available online by subscription from Justis. (See page 219.)

To search the jurisprudence of the UN human rights treaty bodies, the best approach is probably to use the Advanced Search function at the OHCHR website,   This function is hidden; you must first use the regular “Search” function.  Your results will include a link to the Advanced Search box, with Google functionality.

Alternatively, use the search function at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, which allows you to specify the human rights body for which you want to search jurisprudence.  For example, you can search only the jurisprudence of the Human Rights Committee, or of the Committee against Torture.  

Section II.D.2.a. Jurisprudence, Jurisprudence of Regional Bodies, African System

The new African Court on Human and People's Rights now has a web site.  Although the Court is too new to have generated much jurisprudence, the site is obviously designed to offer access to its judgments; its first decision and a separate judgment are available.  No pleadings are included on the site.  (See page 220.) 

The African Human Rights Law Reports are now available through 2007.

Section II.D.2.b. Jurisprudence, Jurisprudence of Regional Bodies, European System

European Court of Human Rights, Recueil Des Arrêts et Decisions ceased print publication in 2006.  Use HUDOC for cases after this point.  (See page 221.)

New URL for European Court of Justice jurisprudence, http://curia.europa.eu.  (See page 222.)

Section II.D.2.b. Jurisprudence, Jurisprudence of Regional Bodies, Inter-American System

The search function at the Inter-American Court’s website is not flexible, and the presentation of search results can be confusing.  Researchers are better off using the International Courts & Tribunals Collection (WorldLII) or the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, but the latter is often out-of-date.

No new volumes of the Court’s decisions have been published in several years.  Series B Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents ended in 1986.  Beginning in 1994, the series was continued by Series D--Pleadings, Oral Arguments and Documents, but only three volumes were ever published.    Because of difficulties in obtaining these volumes, collections at various libraries vary widely in their completeness.  (See page 222.)

The Inter-American Human Rights database has Annual Reports up to and including 2005. (See page 222.)

The Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights appears to have ceased publication as of 2005.  (See page 223.)

Section II.D.3. Jurisprudence, National Jurisprudence

International Law Reports are now available online via Justis Publishing (by subscription). (See page 223.)

The subscription database International Law in Domestic Courts is now part of Oxford Reports on International Law.  Several of the modules in this series (e.g., Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts, Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law, Oxford Reports on International Courts of General Jurisdiction) contain cases on human rights. (See page 223, FN69.) 

Section II. E. Country Reports

US Department of State country reports are also available on LexisNexis; use Find a Source and search for Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  (See page 224.)

The best way to get country reports from the Amnesty International website is now to select the country from the dropdown menu on the home page, then click on the link to the most recent report on the first page you retrieve.  (See page 224, FN72.)

The best way to get country reports from the Human Rights Watch website is now to click on the Publications tab on the home page; the resulting page contains a link to the current report.  (See page 224, FN73.)

Asylumlaw.org now has two briefs for Kenya rather than one on the “registered users only” side of the website.  (See page 225.)

Section II.F. News Sources

Lexis now offers a “Business & News” tab instead of “News & Business.”  (See page 225.)

Westlaw now uses the term News:  World instead of “Global News.”  (See page 225.)

Section II.G. Blogs

The state of human rights blogging is unsettled.  If you are interested in subscribing to blogs on human rights, you will probably want to do your own searching.

Some Amnesty International blogs are now hosted by Livewire.   However, the denounce-torture blog is still at amnestyusa.org. (See page 226, FN80.)  The stop-violence-against-women blog has disappeared.  (See page 226, FN81.) 

Useful new blogs include Human Rights First Blog and the blog by human rights scholar William Schabas called PhD Studies in Human Rights.