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International, Foreign & Comparative Disability Law Research  

This guide presents some tips and sources for students conducting research in the area of international, foreign and comparative legal research.
Last Updated: Oct 4, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page

Find Books

A great place to begin any research project is with the Library Catalog.  Our catalog searches all SU Libraries: Law, Bird, MLK, Science and Math, so results will show all books available to you on campus.

For best results, try the classic catalog search.

A sample keyword search might be:
disability and Europe

Or, you may have a particular title to search:
"Assessing Disability in Europe"

Once you find a title that is on your issue, take a look at the assigned “Subject Headings” in the record. These can be used to find additional sources that deal with the same subject – much like a West Key Number in a headnote can be used to find cases on the same legal issue. A general subject heading that may be of interest is "People with Disabilities," from which you can further narrow your search.



This guide will direct you to useful sources to get you started with your international, foreign & comparative disability law research.  The Syracuse College of Law Library purchases many print materials that you may find helpful in your research, as well as access to many online databases that contain useful information.  Explore the tabs above to uncover books, websites and tips that will help you find the information you need.

If you have any questions on accessing any materials in the Syracuse College of Law Library, please come in and speak with one of our Reference Librarians, or contact us at or (315) 443-9572.


Research Strategy

While the sources of researching international, foreign and comparative law vary from the domestic ones you may be more familiar with, the process is very similar. Every research project should begin with a clear plan. Usually, researchers begin with secondary sources, especially if they are unfamiliar with an area of law. This will help you develop search terms, and give you a solid basic understanding of the area of law. Be sure to document all of the information you find, where you found it and when. That information is important to the decision on when to stop researching and for citation purposes.

Sources of International Law 
It is worth noting that "scholarly writings" (or secondary sources) are cited as evidence of law and carry much more weight in international law than they do in the domestic law of the United States. In fact, "scholarly writings" are listed as a source of international law in Article 38 of the Statute for the International Court of Justice. The sources listed in Article 38 are:

  1. International Conventions or Treaties - explicit agreements between 2 or more states
  2. International Custom - general practices consistently adhered to over a period of time
  3. Decisions and Resolutions of International Bodies
  4. General Principles of Law - Principles held in common by legal system. The seven fundamental principles are: sovereignty, recognition, consent, good faith, freedom of the seas, interntional responsibility and self defense
  5. Judicial Decisions and Scholarly Teachings - decisions provide evidence of international law and contribute to custom, scholarly writings are also evidence of international law

Subject Guide

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Christine Demetros
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Assistant Dir. for Student Learning
Law Library
Syracuse Univ. College of Law
Dineen Hall
950 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244-6070
office: 315.443.9531
fax: 315.443.9567
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Don't forget Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great way to limit your web searches to those of a more scholarly nature.


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