International Environmental Law

Spring 2000

by Katrina Stierholz, Former Access Services/Documents Librarian and Lecturer in Law, Washington University School of Law Library

This guide will focus on locating International Environmental Law. For a guide to research methodology, please see Dorie Bertram's guide for the International and Comparative Competition Law Seminar. This guide is designed to be followed as a research process, i.e., to research most efficiently, start at the top of this guide and work your way down when doing research. I would suggest that you first search the catalog and journal indexes, before going onto the web. There is quite a bit of information on the web, but it can be overwhelming (and perhaps misleading) if you haven't given yourself sufficient background information. This is a work in progress. As students choose their specific topics, I will add to this guide (focussing on those specific subjects). Please contact me for more information about your topic. I am readily available via email or phone.

Lexis has quite a bit available for international law, including EU regulations, treaties, directives and decisions. For foreign law, they have some materials for (Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, EU, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, and the UK). Both Lexis and Westlaw have International Legal Materials.

Books: Search Online Catalogs

Use these sources to find books or journal titles. Two useful subject headings are Environmental Law--International and Economic Development--Environmental Aspects. Because the topics are so varied, keyword searching will probably prove useful. Terms to consider when keyword searching are the type of pollution (e.g., Acid Rain) or the area (Europe) and combine with Environmental. Start at the top of this list and work your way down. For WorldCat, you will need to request the item via Interlibrary Loan (use the online form at /library/pages.aspx?id=1138). Do not use the link in WorldCat. If you cannot find a book with any of these sources, stop by the Reference Desk or visit one of us in our office.

Catalog Web Site Address
Law Library
WU Hilltop Libraries
Missouri Research Libraries
(Univ. of Missouri, Saint Louis University, and Washington University Hilltop libraries combined) You can request books directly from this catalog. Just click on the "request" button, fill in your information, and the book will be shipped to the Law Library.
WorldCat (over 40 million items)

Treatises, Looseleafs, and overview materials for Environmental Law in the United States
Environment Reporter [Reserve KF 3775 .A6 E49]
Environmental Law Reporter : a project of the Environmental Law Institute
[Reserve KF 3775.A6 E5]
These looseleafs are an excellent resource for locating statutes, case law, and administrative rules and regulations on the topic.

Environmental law practice guide : state and federal law. general editor, Michael B. Gerrard
[Law LC Collection KF 3775 .Z95 E58]

Environmental Law [Reserve KF 3812 .R63]
A four-volume set covering air and water, pesticides and toxic substances, and hazardous wastes and substances.

Environmental Law [Reserve KF 3775 .R62 1994]
A West Hornbook on the topic, by the same author as the four-volume set above.

LexisEnvironmental Law [online]
A database of federal and state environmental laws, cases, regulations, and journal articles.

Westlaw Topical Area--Environmental Law [online]
Westlaw Topical Area--Civil Rights [online]
These provide access to the various federal and state materials on the two topics. Searching the Civil Rights area may bring to light useful information not found in the environmental material.

International environment reporter : reference file [Law LC Collection K3585.4 .I57]
Five volume set from BNA.

Seeking Journal Articles
Current law journals are held behind the circulation desk. After they are bound, they are shelved on the 5th floor. There will be many articles in the American law journals, so that's an excellent place to start. Several law journals specialize in the topic, e.g., Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy. If you are searching for a topic, you might want to browse through those journals for ideas. After researching what American law journals have to offer, check the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals and then the non-law databases.

Source Coverage Description
Index to Legal Periodicals 1981-present Wilson Web Index to Legal Periodicals and LegalTrac both index American legal periodicals. LegalTrac has more extensive coverage of legal newspapers.
Index to Legal Periodicals
(Reading Room K 9 .N32)
LegalTrac 1980-present
Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals 1985-present Provides access to legal literature worldwide, covering all forms of foreign (non-Anglo-American) law. This includes comparative law and legal systems, such as Islamic law; socialist law; public and private international law; and transnational commercial law. The data is not limited by country of publication, but rather type of publication. Thus, while publications concerning British and American law are not included, British and American publications concerning foreign law are included.
PAIS: Public Affairs Information Service 1970-present Indexes and abstracts books, periodical articles, and government publications in the fields of public affairs and public policy. Provides social and economic analyses of international, national, and local policies.
World News Connection 1970-present NTIS's World News Connection (WNC) contains full text translations of foreign radio and television broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, books and periodicals. These translations were previously published in the series FBIS Daily Reports.

The library owns several sets of treaties. We have the United Nations Treaty Series (JX 170.U35), as well as copies of all treaties to which the U.S. is a party. We also maintain a set of fiche for all treaties indexed in the Hein databases. The journal, International Legal Materials, is an excellent source of recently released treaty documents (which may not be indexed or published yet in other sources).



HEIN'S US Treaty Index Cumulative index to all treaties of which the United States has been a party. Full text copies of the treaties are available in the Library.
An index of international treaties and agreements published by the United Nations. Current as well as retrospective indexing will be reflected in subsequent releases. Full text of the treaties are available in the Library. See the United Nations Treaty Series on the Fourth Floor at JX 170.U35.
TIARA U.S. Treaties Researcher 
(Database will be listed on the 'Select a Product' pull-down menu of the web page)
Contains U.S. Treaties and International Agreements in force since 1783. This extensive OCEANA database provides the full text of over 10,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory.
United Nations Treaty Database At this site you can search for treaties contained in the printed volumes of the United Nations Treaty Series by various means: by date(s), by party (States or organizations), by subject terms, by registration number, etc, or by using a combination of these. This site is currently being re-worked. The full text of the treaties may not be available at all times.
United Nations Environment Program Treaties Contains UNEP conventions, other conventions, UNEP programmes, and joint activities.
Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators
by Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).
ENTRI is a comprehensive online search service for finding information about environmental treaties and national resource indicators. The ENTRI system is unique in allowing you to construct queries that integrate these different types of data.
Tufts' Database of Multilateral Treaties The Multilaterals Project, begun in 1992, is an ongoing project at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, to make available the texts of international multilateral conventions and other instruments. Although the project was initiated to improve public access to environmental agreements, the collection today also includes treaties in the fields of human rights, commerce and trade, laws of war and arms control, and other areas. Although the vast majority of texts date from the second half of this century, the collection also includes historical texts, from the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia to the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Earth Negotiations Bulletin A site which provides summaries of current and ongoing environment and development negotiations between governments, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and the UN.

Web sites of interest
There are many web sites that offer information on international environmental law and policy. Because most sites are related to an organization, they reflect the mission of that organization and offer only information that supports the mission. In other words, you will find quite a bit of information at most of these sites, but no one site will give you all the information you need for your topic. ASIL's web site (first on the list) is excellent--a great place to start.

General Sources of Information
ASIL International Environmental Law This excellent chapter of the ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law provides links to electronic resources of international environmental law. Also includes commercial sources (many of which we have access to in the library).
United Nations Development Programme An arm of the UN that provides assistance to help countries (particularly LDCs) eradicate poverty and carry out development programs.
United Nations Environment Programme Policy information from the main UN organization devoted to environmental efforts.
Center for International Environmental Law A public interest, not-for-profit environmental law firm with ties to the American University School of Law
Eldis A gateway to online information on development in countries of the South. Coverage includes social, economic, political and environmental issues. A unique and excellent resource.
Pace Virtual Environmental Law Library Sections offered by subject as well as country-specific information.
World Trade Organization Organization that currently oversees many of the battles raging over genetically modified foods.
Indiana University's Environmental Law Largely U.S. in focus, this site has links with annotations. Site is also searchable (and that may be the best way of finding specific information).
Environmental or Development Advocacy Groups
US Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO) Provides access to data and information on global environmental change research, adaptation/mitigation strategies and technologies, and global change related educational resources.
Global environment outlook Published for UNEP. Most current is 1997.
Center for International Earth Science Information Network ( CIESIN) Provides lots of data in several different databases. Has environmental and demographic data available on its site.
EcoNet A progressive organization devoted to protecting the environment worldwide. Has useful links.
Global Environmental Change Report Has information on specific topics as well as country information. Largely information on the developed nations.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

Provides links to country-level information. One of the better places to look for environmental or development links within LDCs.

Pew Center On Global Climate Change

Provides reports on specific issues of global climate change. Recently released a report "International Emissions Trading & Global Climate Change".

Pacific Institute's site on Global Climate Change

A comprehensive site with information on climate change subdivided by subjects--e.g., developing countries, health effects, law and policy, social implications, etc. Also links to Pacific Institute's magazine.

Yearbook of International Co-operation on Environment and Development 1999/2000 Provides what it considers to be the international community's position on specific environment and development problems, the main obstacles to effective international solutions, and how to overcome them. Has a great internet links page.
Multinational sites
Commission for Environmental Cooperation Focusses solely on the NAFTA countries. A mix of development and environmental concerns. Includes a "LawInfobase" that contains country specific information for the three nations on all sorts of environmental and development issues.
European Union Environment Directorate Policy and legislation information for the EU's environmental program.
European Environmental Law

Full text cases, legislation and other materials related to European Environmental Law. Also offers what they call "dossiers", essentially articles and information on an environmental law topic.

European Union - US partnership European Union's page on trade disputes (and other things) with the United States. Contains information about genetically modified foods and the EU position.
Northwestern University's International Governmental Organizations A comprehensive list of IGO web sites. Excellent resource. NU also has a list of links to foreign government web sites.
Governments on the World Wide Web Great site, includes links to multinational sites.
Compilations of Links
Larsgöran Strandberg's web page Organized by subject, with a searchable index.

Last updated August 30, 2004.