by Robert Hegadorn
“International Law” is not just a buzz-phrase heard on the news, or exclusively the province of the scholars of legal history, poring over dusty documents from the Nuremburg Tribunal. “International law” issues can find their way into the most domestic, work-a-day legal practice, simply by a client pursing an opportunity to do some business with parties “overseas,” (for example, in Canada, or in Mexico, or in Burkina Faso), or in handing a divorce case, when an angry spouse takes the children and “goes home to Mother” in France or Russia. A matter of “International law” may entail “public international law,” perhaps dealing with great questions of war and peace; or “private international law,” addressing matters of international child custody and marital status; or, issues of “foreign law,” such as when an multilateral international convention allows for the serving of process in a foreign court, but the filing permitted by treaty must be carried out in accord with the foreign court’s local procedures.
For Villanova Law students interested in International Law, the Law Library provides a number of resources. The Library maintains a “Foreign, Comparative, & International Law” research guide to help students get started into researching these fields. Featured within this guide are several popular and valuable research resources, such as Globalex, maintained by NYU School of Law (and featuring a recently updated article by Professor Vicenc Feliu on International Trademark Law); the Foreign Law Guide, recommended as the go-to source to begin research on the legal systems of foreign nations; and the American Society of International Law’s Electronic Resource Guide (e-RG), among many others. Print material on international legal studies may also be found in the Law Library using the Library’s OPAC (catalog), ARTHUR. Classes and special programs dealing with international law are also available to Villanova Law students. As always, for more information on these opportunities at Villanova, and for research assistance in international law, remember to consult your friendly and helpful law librarians.