Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Human Rights Law Research Guide

This guide will lead researchers through primary materials and introduce important secondary sources. While general human rights sources are covered in the guide, special attention is paid to resources that specifically address international women's human

Human Rights Case Law (Jurisprudence)

Table of Contents

Research Strategy

There is no single, comprehensive human rights database that includes all of the judgments, decisions, findings, and determinations that comprise the ever-expanding body of human rights case law.  Some sources do publish human rights decisions issued by multiple institutions or jurisdictions, but they are selective in what they publish and tend to focus on landmark cases of the highest significance.

If you have a citation to a known case as a starting point, and that citation includes an unfamiliar abbreviation or acronym, use one of the following resources to help you decipher the citation and identify the source in which the case was published:

Once you have identified the name of the source, search for it by title in the library's online catalog to see if it is available in print or online.  Don't hesitate to ask a librarian if you need help.

If you don't have a citation, start by identifying the relevant institution or jurisdiction.  Are you looking for decisions issued by a UN treaty body, a regional commission or tribunal, or a national court?  Once you have made this determination, use the links above to access the available sources for retrieving decisions issued by the relevant institution or jurisdiction.

Finally, it's worth noting that some IGOs and NGOs offer free online databases of human rights case law that focus on a particular subject or group of related subjects.  These can be good sources for locating cases that are not available elsewhere.

Human Rights Cases


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Legal Research


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