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Public International Law

A Current Bibliography of Books and Articles

Laufende Bibliographie
Droit international public
Derecho international público

Zur Online-Aufsatzdokumentation

Armin von Bogdandy and Anne Peters 


Purpose of the Bibliography

The Bibliography has, since 1975, made available to scholars and practitioners current information on articles published on all aspects of public international law which are contained in journals, yearbooks, and commemorative compilations, e.g. Festschriften. Starting with Vol. 16 (1990), Public International Law, now subtitled A Current Bibliography of Books and Articles, has also listed recently published monographs and collections of essays in addition to commemorative compilations. The Bibliography references the individual contributions found in such collections as well, thus striving to provide a comprehensive source of information on the entire current literature in its field.  

Mode of Publication

Each volume of the Bibliography consists of two issues. Individual issues are published semi-annually. Entries are derived from books acquired and journals subscribed to and received by the Max Planck Institute's library during the year covered by the volume concerned.  


In order to list as far as possible all books and articles primarily dealing with public international law, the Bibliography draws upon a wide range of sources. Over 1400 journals, yearbooks and commemorative compilations are regularly evaluated for this purpose. References regarding books are compiled on the basis of the MPI library's monthly acquisition lists.  

Selection of Entries

Entries are chosen for the Bibliography according to a broad conception of public international law. As a result, works such as those relating to the provisions of constitutional law on foreign relations power, to the law of nationality or to the rights of aliens may arguably fall outside the field of public international law but have so close a connection to the subject that their inclusion in the Bibliography is advisable. On the other hand, literature which focuses on such areas as private international law, political science, economics or history is excluded. Case notes and book reviews are listed only if they go beyond mere reporting and description. Generally, the Bibliography does not reference documents, reports, or judicial determinations published without commentary. Books containing a collection of important source materials are nevertheless also listed.  

Classification of Entries

The Bibliography accords clarity of presentation and ease of access the same importance as completeness. The System of the Bibliography, which appears in English, German, French, and Spanish, therefore aims to be succinct and straightforward rather than detailed and subtle, in order to facilitate memorization. As far as possible, every entry appears under all relevant classifications; moreover, cross-references are provided to other headings under which the same entry can be found. Entries arranged under heading 1.General of the system are usually excepted from the cross-referencing, inasmuch as these concern the whole of international law or issues too numerous to justify listing.  


As a rule, no additions are made to titles. Only when a publication lacks a title, or when the title is unclear, is an English description appended in square brackets. Case notes and book reviews are always distinguished in this manner. Entries referring to books and articles in languages of which most users are unlikely to possess a reading knowledge, e.g. the Slavonic languages, are supplemented by English translations of their titles. In addition, the titles of works published in non-roman type appear in transliteration.  


Use of the Bibliography is enhanced by an Index of Persons which is cumulative for the whole year in the second issue of each volume. The index indicates the author or editor of an entry, under which classification in the System of the Bibliography an entry is referenced or cross-referenced, whether an entry is a book (B) or an article (A), and the issue ({I} or {II}) in which an entry appears.