Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Human Rights

Cases: Key Resources

Gavel

Cases concerning human rights may be heard at national, regional or international level. As a result, there isn't a single portal that allow you to access all the human rights related cases in one go.

Finding a particular case

If you are looking for a particular case, you may find it in a law report or on a website of a relevant institution. If you have a citation, you need to locate the source, which may be available online or in print. If you are unfamiliar with the citation, you need to decode it (for example, use Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations). If you don't have a citation, it is a good starting point to identify the relevant institution.  

Searching across multiple institutions/ jurisdictions

The library subscribes to some law report series, which allow you to find decisions from multiple jurisdictions and multiple institutions. Commercially produced law reports include additional contents such as summaries, headnotes and commentaries, which help readers to understand the importance of decisions quickly. 

Selected sources of case law

In addition, the following resources may also be useful to locate decisions issued by UN Treaty Bodies 

.

International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice is the main judicial body of the United Nations. The main publication for ICJ case law is called:

The print version is the authorised version but it is a number of years in arrears due to the lengthy publishing process. Electronic versions of recent judgements are 'uncorrected' (electronic versions of older judgements will vary between being an electronic copy of the print 'authorised' text and the 'uncorrected' version).

Other Sources:

International Criminal Court

In July 1998 in Rome, Member States of the United Nations adopted a treaty to establish a permanent international criminal court. The Court has a mandate to try individuals and to hold them accountable for crimes of concern to the international community i.e. genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and, eventually, the crime of aggression. The Court only has jurisdiction over crimes committed after 1 July 2002, when the Statute entered into force.

General

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia 

The ICTY is a body of the United Nations (UN) established to prosecute serious crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Created in 1994 by United Nations Security Council for the prosecution of offenses committed in Rwanda.

Other Tribunals

Africa

African Court of Human and People's Rights

African Commission on Human and People's Rights

Communications (or cases) from the Inter-American Commission are reported in the annual report. The annual report can be found at the following sites:

Other sources:

European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights is the judicial institution that supports the European Convention on Human Rights and is part of the Council of Europe

Databases

The official printed version of reports:

The above titles have merged to form: 

European Human Rights Reports (EHRR)

The European Human Rights Reports are a commercial version of reports of the European Court of Human Rights and are published by Sweet & Maxwell. The reports are available in The Library in print or electronic format (see links above). The electronic version is available on the database Westlaw, for a direct link to the EHRR file on Westlaw, click the 'Online journal' link above, and then click 'view the full text on ...'.

European Committee of Social Rights

The mission of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is to with the provisions of the European Social Charter.

To find national/ domestic cases related to human rights, a good starting point is

You may also want to look at Foreign Domestic Law Guide. Please bear in mind that English translation is not always available. 

Websites & web directories