International and Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook

November 8, 2012

Editors: Marci Hoffman and Mary Rumsey

Edition: Second

Publisher: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff

Pages: 389

Price: EUR112.00

ISBN: 9789004204805

A plethora of international law courses now on offer in the UK's law schools attests to the growing number of students interested in this area. The majority will need training in research methods in order to develop their research capacities and acquire the skills that will enable them to use the vast amount of material available.

International and Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook aims to provide a starting point for researching foreign, international and comparative law. It presents a well-structured, concise approach to doing such research by providing a guide to reference sources, citation guides, periodical dictionaries, web resources, free public websites and subject-specific websites. The editors and authors offer strategies on how and where to find the required information beyond library sources and on how to understand the parameters of a complex international legal problem by finding the relevant information.

Among the subjects examined in this broad survey are research on treaty law, on international organisations and on selected international topics such as international criminal law and international environmental law. The first of the book's six parts offers an introduction to basic concepts of international law before outlining the types of legal material used in legal research. It considers strategies and tools for doing effective web research and technologies such as blogs and wikis, and not only covers the common pitfalls for students researching free web resources but offers advice on how to avoid those pitfalls. The second part deals with researching introductory and background sources on a particular topic through the use of research guides and bibliographies that may exist in many forms, and it details the process of locating background sources from books, journals and articles that can assist students in identifying relevant courses of law, key concepts and legal developments.

The third part focuses on the complex process of researching treaties, customary international law, general principles of law and judicial decisions. Here, the contributors clearly demonstrate the process of collecting background information on international agreements and show how to simplify the process of finding evidence of state practice in relation to customary international law. Parts four and five concentrate on researching foreign and comparative law relating to international organisations with particular reference to the UN and the European Union. The final section focuses on specific topics of international law such as international criminal law and international environmental law, and illustrates how to locate relevant sources.

Who is it for? International law undergraduates and postgraduates, researchers, PhD supervisors and librarians.

Presentation: Clear and accessible.

Would you recommend it? Yes, highly.

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