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Researching Foreign and International Law with HeinOnline

March 24, 2011


We all love HeinOnline’s easy access to law review and journal articles, but did you also know Hein is a great tool for foreign and international legal research?

HeinOnline is an especially user-friendly resource for treaty research. All of the major sources for finding treaties and executive agreements to which the United States is a party can be found in the . The Treaties and Agreements Library contains all of the official publications for U.S. treaties, including Statutes at Large, Treaties and International Agreements (TIAS) and United States Treaties (UST), as well as Treaties in Force, the U.S. State Department’s annual index of treaties and international agreements currently in effect. This library also provides access to the unofficial but very reliable KAV Agreements series and its finding tool, Kavass’s Current Treaty Index, for agreements too recent to have been published in official sources yet. Additional finding tools, guides and secondary sources on the law of treaties can be found in this library to assist your research. For treaties deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General, go instead to the United Nations Law Collection, where you can quickly retrieve a treaty using its United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS) citation, or search for treaties by keyword, name, or member states using the “Search for a Treaty” feature.

Decisions and documents of the major international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (INTLOS) can also be found in the United Nations Law Collection. Documents from the post-World War II Nuremberg and Tokyo criminal tribunals are accessible in the World Trials Library, along with a wealth of historical trials material. For decisions of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), look in the Foreign & International Law Resources Database, which also offers access to many yearbooks and digests for research into specific areas of international law. 

constitutions.jpgHeinOnline’s newest library, World Constitutions Illustrated, is an excellent resource for comparative and historical constitutional research. In this library, you can readily find current and prior constitutions for every country of the world, with at least one English translation available for each non-English-speaking country. The World Constitutions Illustrated library also includes a variety of books, periodicals and other sources on the constitutional law of each country to enhance your research.

HeinOnline libraries provide even more resources for specialized questions. For example, if your research involves foreign policy questions, the Foreign Relations of the United States library incorporates Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), the State Department’s official documentary history of major foreign policy decisions, plus additional U.S. foreign policy documents. If your project focuses on historical English law, the English Reports library contains a full reprint of English Reports, comprising the important English cases from 1220-1867, and Statutes of the Realm, containing English legislation from 1235-1713.

If you would like pointers on how to use HeinOnline’s tools for foreign and international law research or help in developing a research strategy for your project, email Gabriela Femenia, Foreign and International Law Librarian, at, or stop by Tanenbaum 412.