This is the "Home" page of the "International Law Guide" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
A library subject guide detailing handy resources for the study of international law.
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Home Print Page

Related Subject Guides


New books in the Library: International Law

Cover Art
International Commercial Litigation - Trevor C. Hartley
Call Number: Law 346.07 89
ISBN: 9781107095892
Publication Date: 2015-07-02

Cover Art
Proportionality and Deference in Investor-State Arbitration - Caroline Henckels
Call Number: Law 346.0922 14
ISBN: 9781107087903
Publication Date: 2015-10-15

Cover Art
Treaty Interpretation - Richard Gardiner
Call Number: Law 341.37 78
ISBN: 9780199669233
Publication Date: 2015-08-18

Cover Art
Jurisdiction in International Law - Cedric Ryngaert
Call Number: Law 347.012 28
ISBN: 9780199688517
Publication Date: 2015-06-16

Cover Art
The Danubia Files - Louise Barrington Napolao Casado Filho; Claudio Finkelstein
Call Number: Law 341.522 153
ISBN: 9781432798833
Publication Date: 2013-03-01

Commercial litigation : international series - Andrew Horrocks & Maurice Phelan (eds)
Call Number: Law 346.07 90
ISBN: 9780414050969
Publication Date: 2015

Cover Art
An Introduction to International Organizations Law - Jan Klabbers
Call Number: Law 341.2 170
ISBN: 9781107439719
Publication Date: 2015-04-23

Cover Art
The Law of Investment Treaties - Jeswald W. Salacuse
Call Number: Law 346.092 57
ISBN: 9780198703976
Publication Date: 2015-07-28

Cover Art
International Cultural Heritage Law - Janet Blake
Call Number: Law 344.094 13
ISBN: 9780198723516
Publication Date: 2015-08-11

Cover Art
Advanced Introduction to International Tax Law - Reuven S. Avi Yonah
Call Number: Law 343.04 49
ISBN: 9781781952313
Publication Date: 2015-04-27

International Law Subject Guide

This guide provides an overview of resources available for the study of international law. See tabs above for more information.

For information related to law resources and the Law Library generally generally, rather than from an international law perspective, please see the Law subject guide.

                  Photo of interior of Law Library Turnbull Foundation Reading Room by John Gollings / 

        Sydney Law School Collection

Looking for your Unit of Study course eReadings? You can access them via the Unit of Study link on the library catalogue.


    Events at the Sydney Law School


          Photo by John Gollings / Sydney Law School Collection


    2015 International Arbitration Lecture:

    Dynamics, discretion and diversity - A recipe for unpredictability in international arbitration?

    25 November 2015

    Hilary Heilbron QC will explore the extent to which unpredictability is inevitable in the process of international commercial arbitration; examine the causes of such unpredictability; enquire why this is a price parties are prepared to pay for a bespoke form of dispute resolution; and consider whether there are ways in which such unpredictability can be addressed or minimised.

    43nd AFIA International Arbitration Symposium

    26 November 2015

    The 43rd AFIA International Arbitration Symposium hosted by the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney (CAPLUS) at the Australian Disputes Centre will feature guest speaker Datuk Sundra Rajoo, Director of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA).


    Seminar:  International Data Protection Rules and Commercial Contracts

    2 December 2015

    The seminar will consider new concepts of data privacy rules that have been developed by Professor Zankl and the Ecenter on a commercial risk basis (thus concerning contractual relations between companies and customers) considering American, European and International (OECD) Standards. 

    About the Speaker
    Professor Wolfgang Zankl is a professor at the departments of Private Law and Comparative Law at the University of Vienna, former Dean of the Law School at the Private University of Liechtenstein and founder/director of the European Center for Ecommerce and Internet Law (


      Subject Guide

      Profile Image
      Grant Wheeler
      Contact Info
      University Library
      Fisher Library | F03
      The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
      T +61 2 9351 0217
      F +61 2 9351 0301
      M 0434 367 472
      Send Email

      Sources of International Law

      What is International Law?

      Unlike domestic law, no single code exists to determine international law. Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice identifies the major sources of international law and two subsidiary sources, directing courts to apply:

      1) International Conventions (treaties), whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognised by the contesting states. See Treaties tab for further information.

      2) International Customs as evidence of a general practice accepted as law. Customary law has evolved from the practice of states and is dependent upon factors such as consistency of practice, generality of practice, and duration of practice. Further, customary law is not formed simply by consistent state practice - state practice must be undertaken in the belief that the practice is an obligation, rather than merely habitual.

      (Source: Martin Dixon, Textbook on International Law7th ed.2013 pp. 32-36)

      3) The general principles of law recognised by civilised nations.The invocation of 'general principles' tends to occur where there are no settled customs or treaties to fall back on to consider the international legal question at hand. General principles can be cited where they are recognised by domestic legal systems around the world, or where they can be taken directly from international legal relations, and legal relations generally.

      (Source: Gideon Boas, Public International Law: Contemporary Principles and Perspectives2012 pp. 105-107)

      4) Judicial decisions - see Courts, Tribunals and Case Law tab for further information. Considered a subsidiary source of international law.

      5) The teachings of the most highly qualified publicists - Considered a subsidiary source of international law and carrying less persuasive weight than the decisions of interntational courts, Article 38(1)(d) allows the ICJ to seek clarification of international law questions through reference to the work of the "most highly qualified publicicsts". As there are limited opportunities to examine specific international court decisions, commentators have carefully examined and analysed such decisions in texts and journal articles and this is useful in the formulation of international law. Although this may play a lesser role than previously, "...Juristic writers continue to influence the formation of international law by distilling the evidence, subjecting it to critical analysis and articulating the principles."

      Source: Gillian Triggs, International Law: Contemporary Principles and Practices2nd ed., 2011, p. 76


        Loading  Loading...