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International Human Rights

A guide to research sources for international human rights law prepared by the Bora Laskin Law Library.

Introduction - Judicial Decisions and Scholarly Teachings - Article 38(1)(d)

The Permanent Court of International Justice was established as an organ of the League of Nations in 1919, and was replaced by the International Court of Justice after World War II.  International court systems have proliferated since that time in the form of both subject specific bodies and regional institutions.  Often the rulings of such bodies are available on their official website. However, the authority of the opinions and decisions issued by such bodies varies, so it is important to have an understanding of a given body’s structure and procedure. For a text on this topic see the Manual on international courts and tribunals.

Remember

International court cases do not make law but rather are, like ‘scholarly teachings’, considered as evidence and clarification of international law.

Court websites

Often the official websites of courts/tribunals will provide full-text of judgements they have rendered. However, the authority of the opinions and decisions issued by such bodies varies, so it is important to have an understanding of a given body’s structure and procedure. For a text on this topic see Manual on international courts and tribunals.

Below are some prominent international bodies: