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A Basic Guide to International Environmental Legal Research

An overview of resources for researching international environmental law.

Treaty Research

Essential Indexes and Finding Aids for Treaty Research

There are numerous treaty indexes for historical U.S. treaties, as well as world treaty series for international environmental legal research.  In some instances, these treaty indexes are available in print and online.  For international environmental law, it is most helpful to consult indexes containing world treaties, such as the United Nations Treaty Series or the European Treaty Series, and other unique online collections of world treaties like WorldLII.  In the United States and depending on other jurisdictions for research, a researcher would also need to consult Treaties in Force, Treaty Actions, and the Department of State’s website for international agreements including those reported under the Case-Zablocki Act.  The following list of indexes and helpful online collections is not exhaustive, but the list includes comprehensive portals for international environmental legal research:

Subtopics for International Environmental Law

Because of the many possible sub-topics available for international environmental law, it is helpful to have a selection of categories and correlating agreements.  The following is an outline of agreements and websites for research based on the sub-topics of hazardous waste, nuclear waste, ocean and marine sources, ozone and protection of the atmosphere, pollution, protection of species and wildlife, sustainable development, and trade and the environment.

Hazardous Waste

Nuclear Waste

Ocean and Marine Resources

Ozone and Protection of the Atmosphere


Protection of Species and Wildlife & Sustainable Development

Trade and the Environment

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