According to Black's Law Dictionary, Humanitarian Law is defined as:

"The laws dealing with such matters as the permissible use of weapons and other means of warefare, the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war, civilian populations in armed conflicts, and generally the direct impact of war on human life and liberty. "


If you wish to browse for resources on International Humanitarian Law in the UW catalog, I suggest starting with a subject search.  Subject headings on humanitarian law include:  humanitarian law, war - moral and ethical aspects, international humanitarian law, protection of civilians, children in war, and the Geneva Convention.

Law Journals 

If you are looking for scholarly articles on humanitarian law, you can search for articles using a legal periodicals database. 

The law library has two legal periodical databases available in our Top Law Databases tab:

HeinOnline - Full-text legal periodicals, historical texts, foreign & international materials, and primary legal materials in PDF, including the Federal Register, U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Reports & attorney general opinions, state session laws, and more.

Index to Legal Periodicals -Index to legal periodicals, court decisions, legislation and more. Full text coverage for selected periodicals is also available. Law books are indexed beginning in 1993. Covers all areas of law from the United States and Commonwealth countries. Searches both Index to Legal Periodicals & Books Full Text and Index to Legal Periodicals Retrospective: 1908-1981.

Journals available in the UW campus catalog

Yearbook of Humanitarian Law

Asia-Pacific yearbook of international humanitarian law

The Asian yearbook of human rights and humanitarian law

ISIL year book of international humanitarian and refugee law

International Law

Most existing rules composing humanitarian law are codified in the Geneva Conventions and their protocols.

Geneva Conventions & their Additional Protocols

Law Library Research Guides

The law library does not have a guide specific to International Humanitarian Law, but it does have guides that provide resources on international public law and on human rights law.  Both these guides provides resources on International Humanitarian Law. 

Human Rights Law

Public International Law

Upcoming Events

There will be a presentation in Lubar Commons on Nov. 7th at 4:00 pm, hosted by the Global Legal Studies Center and Human Rights Program, International Law and Humanitarianism in the Isreal/Gaza Conflict.

Submitted by Jenny Zook, Reference Librarian on November 6, 2023

This article appears in the categories: Law Library