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War, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity - Legal Research Strategies and Tips

This guide is prepared for a law seminar class at Washington University School of Law

Subscription databases


Here is a link to all our subscription databases at Washington University

Law school specific databases worth exploring are:

Treaty searches

  • World Treaty Library (HeinOnline) Works from Rohn, Dumont, Wiktor, and Martens create the richest collection of world treaties available, spanning from 1648 to present. Includes related treaty publications, scholarly articles, and a bibliography.

  • United Nations Law Collection (HeinOnline) Explore the United Nations Treaty Series, League of Nations Treaty Series, Monthly Statement of Treaties & International Agreements, UNCITRAL and UNIDIR publications, United Nations Legislative Series, and more.

  • Cambridge Core materials on "war crimes that we have access to via this link.


  • World Trials Library (HeinOnline) This collection includes more than 3,200 trials including complete sets of American State Trials, Howell's State Trials, and the Nuremburg Trials. It also includes famous trials from Philadelphia's Jenkins Law Library, Cornell University, and the University of Missouri-Columbia's trials collections. It contains trial transcripts, critical court documents, and trial-related resources such as monographs which analyze and debate the decisions of famous trials, as well as biographies of many of the greatest trial lawyers in history.

  • Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL) reports on international courts, domestic courts and ad hoc tribunals. Case reports contain the full text of each decision, headnote, as well as analytical commentary and English translations of a number of key non-English decisions. With reports on over 4,000 cases, ORIL is now rightly regarded as a must-have resource for the international law researcher.

         ORIL is divided into 5 modules:

  1. Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts
  2. Oxford Reports on International Criminal Law
  3. Oxford Reports on International Human Rights Law
  4.  Oxford Reports on International Investment Claims
  5. Oxford Reports on International Courts of General Jurisdiction

  • The VLex  database offers access to our European Package Core plus, France, Italy and Spain Premium Cores, EU Core (Eurolex), and Portugal Premium Core. Via this database you will have access to laws, regulations cases and a citator. 

US Legislative information

  • ProQuest Congressional Comprehensive access to U.S. legislative information. Includes: CIS Legislative Histories public laws back to 1969), Congressional publications (1817 -), testimony from Congressional hearings (1824-), Congressional Record and Federal Register, U.S. Serial Set, 1789-1969, Serial Set Maps, 1789-1969, and more.


  •  Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law is authored by a diverse group of 650 scholars and practitioners worldwide and edited by a team from the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The database is updated quarterly and offers access to the Oxford Law Citator service. 

Journal Articles

  • Journals and periodicals (HeinOnline) 3,200 multidisciplinary scholarly journals. Coverage for all journals is from inception through the most currently published issues allowed based on publisher contracts

  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals  (HeinOnline) The preeminent multilingual index to articles and book reviews appearing in 800+ legal journals published worldwide, with in-depth coverage of public & private international law, comparative & foreign law, and more.

  • VLex - European Package Core plus France, Italy and Spain Premium Cores, EU Core (Eurolex), and Portugal Premium Core offers access to select secondary sources. 


All HeinOnline international law resources via this link