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Georgetown Law Library

United Nations Research Guide

This guide will suggest background resources and tips on navigating United Nations documents.

UN Courts and Tribunals


The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the principle judicial organ of the United Nations.  It replaced the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was established by the League of Nations in the aftermath of World War I.


  • ICJ Website
    The ICJ's website is a convenient access point for information about the Court, its procedures, and its judgments.
    • The Court - history, current and prior judges, court operations, and annual reports.
    • Basic Documents - including the Statute of the ICJ, court rules, and practice directions.
    • Jurisdiction - explains the basis of the ICJ's jurisdiction in contentious cases and its authority to issue advisory opinions.  Links to declarations recognizing the jurisdiction of the Court and treaties that confer jurisdiction.
    • Cases - Browse chronologically for pending cases, contentious cases, and advisory opinions.  For each case, you will find an overview and links for downloading pleadings, judgments, orders, press releases, and related documents.
  • Westlaw (INT-ICJ)
    Westlaw provides online access to full texts of ICJ judgments, advisory opinions, and orders issued from 1947-present. 


  • Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders, Call No. INTL KZ214 .I58; also on HeinOnline
    Official reporter series published by the ICJ in both English and French from 1947-present.
  • Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents, Call No. INTL KZ218 .P54
    Official compilations published by the ICJ in both English and French from 1947-present.
  • International Law Reports, Call No. INTL KZ199 .I58 
    This series publishes the full texts of decisions issued by the ICJ and other tribunals on matters related to public international law.    Also provides detailed summaries of the facts and holdings and other editorial enhancements.


  • ICJ Digest of Judgments & Advisory Opinions, 1946-2012, Call No. INTL KZ213 .I58 2012
    This two-volume set offers condensed summaries of each of the ICJ's judgments and advisory opinions.
  • International Court of Justice Yearbook, Call No. INTL KZ6273 .I58; also on HeinOnline 
    Each volume includes brief summaries of judgments, advisory opinions, and orders issued by the ICJ from 1947-present.
  • World Court Digest, Call No. INTL KZ213 .W57
    Each volume covers a specific date range and is organized by subject.  Use the Table of Contents to view the subject outline.  For each subject, you will find excerpts from relevant ICJ decisions issued during the specified time period.
  • World Court Reference Guide and Case-Law Digest, Call No. INTL KZ 213 .W68 2014
    The first section provides detailed summaries of the procedural histories, issues raised, key holdings, and sources of law cited in decisions issued by the ICJ from 2001-2010.  The second section is a case law digest organized by subject that covers decisions issued by the ICJ from 1992-2010.



From 1922 until 1946, the Permanent Court of International Justice functioned in tandem with the League of Nations. We have collections of documents from this court available in print and electronic formats though much it is is available on the PCIJ website.

Decisions and documents from other international courts (under the authority of the UN) are included at the following sites. See also the United Nations Documentation Research Guide on International Law for guidance on researching these tribunals. You may also wish to consult our War Crimes research guide for more detailed information on some of these courts.