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Library adds Oxford Reports on International Law

The Library recently added a subscription to Oxford Reports on International Law (ORIL), an important database of international case law. ORIL is organized into four different modules that can be searched independently or all together. The databases include Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts, Reports on International Courts of General Jurisdiction, Reports on International Criminal Law, and Reports on International Human Rights Law. The four databases currently include approximately 2500 decisions, with 750 new cases to be added each year.The landing page provides access to case content via a quick search box, as well as by date or by subject term. There is also a link to an Advanced Search page, which permits the user to search by assigned subject term, assigned keyword, user-supplied search term, case name, jurisdiction, and date/date range.

Editing is to a high standard. All cases are provided with head notes (styled “core issues”), and provide links to decisions in both previous and subsequent stages of proceedings. Non-English language cases are provided with authoritative translations of key passages, but the translations may not be available when cases are first added to ORIL. This is because cases are added within 48 hours of release. In addition, all decisions contained in the Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts include a factual summary and lengthy analysis in English by a named commentator.

All decisions are also included in the Oxford Citator, a separate database that includes records of each document Oxford publishes online. Citator records for each decision contained in one of the ORIL modules includes a record of all primary and secondary sources cited in the decision, i.e. other decisions, instruments, and commentary, as well as a listing of citing cases. There are also references (and links!) to any articles in the Encyclopedia of Public International Law that mention the decision. In fact, the Citator provides links to all secondary and primary material published online by Oxford, or by other databases to which the Library has access, as well as to all open-source documents. The Citator adds a great deal of value both to ORIL and to the Encyclopedia of Public International Law, and provides a useful case-based method of finding international law commentary.

The Library also subscribes to the International Law Reports, which has the same focus as the Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts. The International Law Reports  is an online version of a printed reporter which commenced in 1950 and is currently in 140 volumes. Hence this series includes a much larger selection of national court decisions from around the world interpreting and applying international law, and should be used in conjunction with ORIL.


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