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

Regional Human Rights Commisions & Tribunals - Decisions & Reports

Table of Contents

African Human Rights System

African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights - Judgments & Decisions

  • ACHPR Court Website
    The Court's website offers the most comprehensive collection of decisions, final judgments, and case summaries, but these materials are not searchable by keyword.  Instead, users must browse through separate listings of Finalized Cases, Pending Cases, cases in which the Court has issued Provisional Measures, and Advisory Opinions.
     
  • African Human Rights Case Law Analyzer
    This free, searchable database is maintained by the Institute for Human Rights & Development in Africa.  It offers selective coverage of case law from the African Court, decisions issued by the African Commission, and documents from other regional human rights bodies.  It was last updated in 2017.
     
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
    Selectively publishes judgments of the African Court and decisions issued by the African Commission, along with headnotes and other editorial enhancements.  Use the blue menu bar to select African Organizations/Institutions as the Jurisdiction.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the left to narrow or search by keyword.

 

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights - Decisions & Reports

  • Commission Website
    The Commission's website provides access to decisions issued on individual complaints (known as "communications") alleging the violation of rights guaranteed under the African Charter; reports on the compliance of state parties with their obligations under the Charter; and many other types of documents.
     
    • Decisions on Communications (individual complaints)
      Scroll down below below the procedural guidelines and rules to search or browse for decisions issued by the Commission on communications (individual complaints).
    • State Reporting (country reports)
    • Documentation Center -- search across all public documents including press releases.
       
  • African Human Rights Case Law Analyzer
    This free, searchable database is maintained by the Institute for Human Rights & Development in Africa.  It offers selective coverage of decisions issued by the African Commission, case law from the African Court, and documents from other regional human rights bodies.  It was last updated in 2017.
     
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
    Selectively publishes judgments of the African Court and decisions issued by the African Commission, along with headnotes and other editorial enhancements.  Use the blue menu bar to select African Organizations/Institutions as the Jurisdiction.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the left to narrow or search by keyword.
     

Inter-American Human Rights System

Inter-American Court of Human Rights - Judgments & Decisions

  • IACHR Jurisprudence Finder
    The Court's free database includes English translations of final judgments in contentious cases, and sometimes also English summaries (abstracts) thereof, but it often takes years for these translations to be added to the database.  Other documents are only available in Spanish.  To retrieve a document from a known case, browsing is the most efficient option.  To search by keyword, you must enter search terms in Spanish.
     
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
    Selectively publishes significant decisions of the Inter-American Court in translation.  Use the Jurisdiction menu to select American Organizations/Institutions.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the left to select Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  Then use additional filters to narrow or search by keyword.
     
  • Butterworths Human Rights Cases,  Call No. K3239.23 .B88.  Also available online on Lexis.
    Selectively publishes significant decisions of the IACHR in translation.  Dates of Coverage:  1997-2011 (in print). 
     
  • International Human Rights Reports,  Call No. K3239.23 .I57
    Selectively publishes significant decisions of the IACHR in translation.  Dates of Coverage:  1994-present.
     
  • Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights, Call No. K3239.4 A58.
    This official OAS series publishes the full texts of the Court's judgments and decisions in both Spanish and English (if the Court has released an English translation).  Consult the table of contents in the front of each volume for a list of cases and page numbers.  Note that each annual edition of the yearbook may consist of up to three volumes.
     
  • Series A.  Judgments and Opinions [Advisory Opinions], Call No. KDZ 574.A52 I582.
    These are the official texts published by the Court in Spanish, bound separately.  The library has Nos. 1-18 in print.
     
  • Series C.  Decisions and Judgments [Contentious Cases], Call No. KDZ 574.A52 I59.
    These are the official texts published by the Court, bound separately.  Most are in Spanish, but there are some English translations.  The library has most of Nos. 1-291 in print, but there are some minor gaps in coverage.
     

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights - Reports

  • Commission Website
    The Commission provides access to most of its reports on its website.  There is no searchable database.  So you must browse for them chronologically by report type.  Most, but not all, reports are published in English.  Older reports are not available for download and must be viewed in a Web browser.
     
  • Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights, Call No. K3239.4 A58.
    This official OAS series publishes the full texts of the Commission's decisions on the merits in both Spanish and English.  Consult the table of contents in the front of each volume for a list of decisions and page numbers.  Note that each annual edition of the yearbook may consist of up to three volumes.
     
  • Annual Report - Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Call No. KDZ 578.I5 A85.
    Content includes case summaries, excerpts of decisions, and press releases issued by the Commission during the designated calendar year.  The library has the Commission's annual reports from 1976-2007 in print.
     
  • OAS-Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
    This Westlaw database includes includes case summaries, excerpts of decisions, and press releases published in the Commission's Annual Report from 1994-present in English and Spanish.
     
  • Many of the Commission's country reports and thematic reports also are available in print at the library.  To  determine if the library has a specific report in print, search for it by title in the library's online catalog.
     

European Human Rights System

European Court of Human Rights - Judgments & Decisions

  • HUDOC Database
    The ECHR's free database offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the Court's judgments and decisions.  The search interface can be intimidating for first-time users.  Consult the following before searching:
  • European Court of Human Rights Cases
    Academic subscribers to Lexis may access a searchable database of full-text judgments issued by the ECHR from 1960-present.  Bear in mind that this database is updated less frequently than the HUDOC database.
     
  • European Human Rights Reports
    This.Westlaw database includes full-text judgments issued by the European Court of Human Rights from 1979-present, with limited coverage of cases decided between 1960 and 1978.  It also includes selected reports and decisions from the European Commission of Human Rights from 1979 until it was abolished in 1999.
     
  • Oxford Reports on International Law
    Selectively publishes the most significant judgments of the ECHR, along with explanatory headnotes.  Use the Jurisdiction menu to select European Organizations/Institutions.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the left to select Council of Europe.  Then use additional filters to narrow or search by keyword.
     
  • World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)
    This free resource offers comprehensive coverage of ECHR judgments from 1960-present.  To limit searches to ECHR judgments, scroll down and check the appropriate box.  It is also possible to browse alphabetically by party name or chronologically by year.
     
  • Reports of Judgments and Decisions,  Call No. KJC 5132.A52 E88.
    This official compilation of the Court's most significant judgments has been published in print in English and French from 1997-present.  Five to six volumes are published each year, along with an annual index.  Each volume, from 1999-present, is available for download in PDF format from the Court's website.
     
  • Publications of the European Court of Human Rights. Series A, Judgments and Decisions, Call No. KJC 5132.A52 E88.  All of the Court's substantive judgments and decisions were published in print in this official series from 1962-1995 [ceased].
     
  • Publications of the European Court of Human Rights. Series B, Pleadings, Oral Arguments, and Documents.  Call No. KJC5132.A52 E882.  Pleadings, oral arguments, and related documents were published in print in this official series from 1962-1995 [ceased].
     

European Commission of Human Rights - Decisions & Reports

From 1960-1998, the Commission acted as a gatekeeper, performing an initial evaluation of individual applications alleging violations of rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights, with the authority to refer applications to European Court of Human Rights for further adjudication.  Since the Commission was abolished in 1999, individuals may submit applications to the Court directly.  Decisions and reports of the Commission are available from the following sources:

  • European Human Rights Reports
    This Westlaw database includes selected reports and decisions issued by the European Commission of Human Rights from 1979 until its abolition in 1999.  It also includes full-text judgments issued by the European Court of Human Rights from 1979-present, with limited coverage of cases decided between 1960 and 1978.
     
  • Collection of Decisions, Call No. KJC5135.A5 E97.
    The Commission's decisions were published in English and in French in this official series from 1960-1974 [ceased].
     
  • Decision and Reports.  Call No. KJC 5135.A5 D43
    This Commission's decisions and reports were published in English and French in this official series from 1975-1998 [ceased].