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BLAW 280: International Business Law



Prepared by: Shikha Sharma
Last revised: Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This excellent guide by the American Society of International Law contains chapters on international environmental, economic and criminal law, private international law, human rights, intellectual property law, treaties, international organizations, international commercial arbitration, and the United Nations. The guide provides a researcher some basic strategies to finding international legal materials on these topics.

Prepared by Stefanie Weigmann, this guide focuses on researching multilateral and bilateral treaties to which the United States (U.S.) is not a signatory. It provides information on the treaty making process and includes extensive links to web-based treaty collections.

Prepared by the staff of Georgetown Law Center, this tutorial covers many topics. Lesson 8 focuses on researching international trade.


  • ABI/Inform

    Contains abstracts and full text of articles from approximately 2500 international journals covering business and management and related functional areas.
  • Factiva

    Provides global news, business information, and company profiles for U.S. and non-U.S. companies. It provides full-text access to thousands of publications, including daily newspapers, magazines, journals, newswires, and trade publications from around the world.

  • LexisNexis Business;go

A useful database for finding reports on business opportunities, risk briefings, and economic and polical news for countries worldwide. It also includes company profiles, market research reports, and industry news publications for various countries.

A web-based database produced by the Dept. of Commerce. Provides access to: (1) National Trade Data Bank which focuses on international trade and covers basic export information, marketing research on a wide range of industries, products and services, financial assistance trade opportunities and contacts, U.S. exports and imports. The Market Research Repository includes Best Market Reports, Country Commercial Guides, International Market Insight Reports, Industry Sector Analysis Reports, and Multilateral Development Bank Reports.)
(2) State of the Nation for U.S. current and historical economic and financial releases and economic data.

  • Investext Plus

    Used for monitoring industry trends, tracking company financials, and researching merger and acquisition opportunities, the Investext Plus database contains company and industry research reports written by analysts at leading investment banks, brokerage firms and research organizations worldwide. The database also provides reports relating to the economic situations in various countries and some general guidelines for investing in emerging markets. Search Tips: Use the Easy Search Mode to search by industry or company name. You can also perfom a keyword search to combine your nation or economic union with a product or product line.


EISIL is a database created by the American Society of International Law. It provides access to primary documents, web sites, and research guides on many international topics. EISIL provides value added information, such as legal citations, a description of the document or web site, and relevant dates.

This is an excellent web site maintained by NYU Law Library. It offers a good starting point for finding links to major international organizations, foreign laws, and international laws on topics such as intellectual property, trade, investment, and human rights.

Maintained by the Cornell Law Library, this is a selective guide to web sites providing links to texts of laws and court decisions, research guides and commentary on laws, international documents, directories, trade information, and/or statistics. The guide can be browsed by topics such as foreign law sites, U.S. government sources for foreign and international law, topical guides, and supranational organizations. All sites are briefly annotated.

This page, from the Law Library of Congress Global Legal Information Network, provides an alphabetical list of links to countries of the world. At each country link are a series of well-organized, "standardized" links to the following sources of law for each country: constitution, executive, judicial, legislative, legal guides and miscellaneous, and general sources.

The World Legal Information Institute is a free, independent, and non-profit organization that provides access to both primary sources of law (legislation and cases) and other background material for over 123 countries, where available.

The Institute of International Economic Law situated at the Georgetown University Law Center focuses on research concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO), trade laws at various levels of government, financial institutions, and numerous regulatory subjects such as taxation, competition policy, corporate activity, securities laws, intellectual property, various services sectors such as banking and brokerage, linkages to human rights and cultural problems, etc. Go to Links Collections to find an extensive list of web sites for countries, international organizations, think tanks, and statistical data related to international economic law.


  • International Agencies and Information on the Web

    This guide prepared by the University of Michigan is one of the most comprehensive directories on international agencies.
  • International Organizations and Government Bodies Organizations

    This page from the American Society of International Law offers an extensive list of web-sites that are arranged neatly under international organizations and government bodies, international courts and tribunals, and national governments and courts.


Intellectual Property:

Collection of National Copyright Laws

This database maintained by UNESCO provides access to national copyright and related rights legislation of UNESCO Member States. The collection currently comprises about 100 laws and is constantly being updated and completed. To access this database, first click on Copyright link from the menu on the left and then click on Collection of National Copyright Laws link on the right side of the screen. To access the laws of a particular State, first click on the geographical zone you are interested in, then click on the country name.

Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEA)

The Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEA) is a unique electronic database providing easy access to intellectual property legislation from a wide range of countries and regions as well as to treaties on intellectual property. It is an invaluable information resource made available by WIPO

WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

This gateway maintained by WTO provides a wealth of information related to the TRIPS agreement including news, specific TRIPS issues, interpretation and application of TRIPS, decisions of the WTO bodies relating to the TRIPS and full-text of the actual agreement.


  • Database of Conditions of Work and Employment Laws

    This database from International Labor Organization includes comprehensive legal information from countries around the world. Covers maternity protection, minimum wages and working time.

    Database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation maintained by the ILO's International Labour Standards Department. Records in NATLEX provide abstracts of legislation and relevant citation information, and they are indexed by keywords and by subject classifications.


The sites listed below provide the complete text of many international trade and related agreements plus links to a variety of other useful trade-related sites on the web. Most of these web sites are good places to begin one's research.

This web site has many international agreements and documents in trade and related areas (contracts, sales, arbitration, etc.). Organized by major categories, this site offers a subject index, a search mechanism, and links to other sites. While this site now contains many advertisements for books and materials published by Cameron May, it is still a useful resource.

This site maintained by the Trade Compliance Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce provides links to binding agreements between the United States and its trading partners covering manufactured products and services, country market reports, anti-bribery reports, and links to many other trade sites and government agencies.

A good site for finding some basic trade related agreements. It also includes links to some other important treaty collections and sources that are arranged by subject. This site also provides for keyword searching.

This database contains over 50,000 bilateral and multilateral treaties from the United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS), a collection of treaties and international agreements registered or filed with and published by the Secretariat since 1946. You can also access "The Status of Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General", a publication that provides information on the status of over 500 major multilateral instruments deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (as of 20 May 2003) and covers a range of subject matter such as Human Rights, Disarmament, Commodities, Refugees, the Environment and the Law of the Sea. The texts of recently deposited multilateral treaties are also available. Students and researchers can subscribe to these databases for free by sending an email request.


  • Asia Now

The U.S. Commercial Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, assists U.S. exporters with a variety of services and information on doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Background Notes provide preliminary information on geography, people, government, economy, foreign affairs, history, and human rights of the world’s countries.

BISNIS is the site to go to when considering trading with or investing in a Newly Independent State. The Department of Commerce supplies country reports, industry reports, customs information, current U.S. Exports to NIS countries, and sources of finance for business ventures in a NIS country.

  • Deloitte International Tax and Business Guides

    These country guides prepared by Deloitte provide information on: investment climate, business and regulatory environment, choice of business entity, Corporate and individual taxation, employment law, and entry requirements. The Guides are supplemented by the Snapshot series, at–a–glance summaries of vital information, including tax rates, key economic indicators, and the business and financing climate for more than 50 countries is included.

  • Doing Business Guide from World Bank

The Doing Business Guide from World Bank provides rankings for 175 countries on ease of doing business including data on specific topics such as bureaucratic and legal hurdles an entrepreneur must overcome to incorporate and register a new firm. It also includes the full-text of business laws and regulations in these countries, and some regional and national reports.

The Doing Business in…..” booklets have been prepared by HLB International, a world-wide organization of professional accounting firms and business advisers. They are designed to give some general information to those contemplating doing business in other countries. To access these guides, point your mouse to publications and select "doing business".

  • World Factbook (CIA)

    It is arranged by country and provides a description and statistics for the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation,, military and transnational issues.


This page is a gateway to material on disputes in general, and how they are handled in the WTO and its Dispute Settlement Body. You can browse the disputes chronologically and by subject and country.

Formerly known as the U.S. Customs Court, this Court has authority to decide any civil action against the United States, its officers, or its agencies arising out of any law pertaining to international trade. The Court's site provides rules and forms (including the new draft rules), information about the court and the judges, and slip opinions from 1999 to present.

This federal appellate court’s jurisdiction includes customs and international trade law appeals from the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. International Trade Commission. At this site, you can obtain copies of the CAFC's opinions and decisions, court rules, information on recent disposition of cases, and a list of pending cases.


There are many web sites that focus on trade and trade-related issues. Listed below is a sampling of some of the sites available.

The aim of this Center is to increase the public’s understanding of the benefits of free trade. The site offers commentary, policy briefings, information about its publications, and free trade FAQs. The Key Trade Issues section provides research, articles, and speeches on selected topics.

This is an international think tank with a network of more than 650 policy nalysts and advocates. This site offers some critical analysis of trade, the WTO, globalization, international financial institutions, and the like. You can browse the site by topics and regions.

The GTN Site is an excellent academic resource for those interested in learning about and further researching issues in international trade today. It is maintained by a group of Harvard affiliates at Harvard University's Center for International Development. Click on resources to find links to research papers, international organizations, NGOs, country summaries, trade issues, and trade data.

IIE is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. The site offers country and regional studies, working papers, policy briefs, speeches and testimony, and hot topic information.