The Library of the International Court of Justice succeeded the Library of the Permanent Court of International Justice. Until January 1931, when it created its own library, the Permanent Court only had access to the collection of the Peace Palace Library. Since then, the two libraries have enjoyed a privileged relationship, based on rules established in 1931 and confirmed by a modus vivendi dating from 1946.
After starting its collection with limited resources, the Library received a major donation in 1937 from Judge Henri Fromageot (France), a Member of the Permanent Court of International Justice from 1929 to 1945, who bequeathed his private library containing many rare and valuable works.
Since its creation, the Library’s collection has expanded considerably and now contains some 60,000 volumes (more than 30,000 titles).
The Library’s main role is to assist the Members of the Court and staff of the various departments of the Registry - in particular the Legal and Linguistic Departments - with their research.
The Court’s Library is not open to the public.
Other libraries wishing to contact the Court’s Library may use the following address: [email protected]
The Library’s collection is primarily composed of works on public international law, international relations and the philosophy of law. The Library also has a collection of various treaty series and holds a wide range of specialized dictionaries. It is also the depository for a collection of documents from the League of Nations and the United Nations, and receives numerous donations.
The Library draws up the annual bibliographies of the Court, listing the works or journal articles that make reference to the International Court of Justice or the Permanent Court of International Justice.
The Library’s collection also includes the archives of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, which were entrusted to the International Court of Justice by a decision of the Tribunal of 1 October 1946. The archives were transported to the Peace Palace, where representatives of the Tribunal and the staff of the Court took delivery of them on 14 March 1950.
The archives of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal consist of film footage, written documents, metal disk recordings of the hearings and a number of exhibits. In order to facilitate the long-term conservation of the intellectual content, the paper and audio-visual components of the archives have been digitized. An information booklet, prepared by the Registry in 2018 to mark the final stage of the digitization project, provides an overview of the archives.
All questions regarding consultation of these archives should be addressed in writing to the Registrar of the Court.