Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


International Documents

The first citation to an international treaty in this report gives the full name of the document; the date on which it was opened for signature, approved, or adopted; the abbreviation for the official compilation, or reporter series, in which it is published, usually the United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S.), preceded by the volume number and followed by the page number on which the treaty begins; and the date on which the agreement entered into force. If the treaty has not been published in a bound reporter series, the citation gives the U.N. or other organizational document number. For example, the first reference to the ICCPR reads: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), opened for signature December 19, 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force March 23, 1976).

Decisions of the International Court of Justice are published in Report of Judgements, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.). The decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights appear in Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Series A: Judgments and Opinions and Series C: Decisions and Judgments (Inter-Am. Ct. H.R.); those of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are found in the Annual Report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Inter-Am. C.H.R.). Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights appear in European Court of Human Rights (Eur. Ct. H.R.) or in the Yearbook of the European Convention on Human Rights (Y.B. Eur. Conv. on H.R.); and the decisions of the European Commission of Human Rights are published in Collections of Decisions of the European Commission of Human Rights (Eur. Comm'n H.R. Dec. and Rep.) or in European Human Rights Reports (Eur. H.R. Rep.).

Cases decided by the International Court of Justice and other international tribunals are identified by the case name, usually the names of the parties; the volume and abbreviated name of the source in which the case is published; the page on which the case begins; and the date of decision, if it is not given in the case name or volume number:

Advisory Opinion on Namibia, 1971 I.C.J. 16, 47.

The Handyside Case, 24 Eur. Ct. H.R. (ser. A) (1971).

As in the citation to the Namibia advisory opinion, the initial page number may be followed by another page number or numbers giving the exact location of the material cited.

Citations to documents issued by the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and other U.N. bodies give the document name; the treaty body, committee, or agency that issued the document; the session number (occasionally indicating the session part or meeting number); page number; U.N. document number; and year:

Views of the Human Rights Committee under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning Communication No. 488/1992: Australia, Human Rights Committee, 50th sess., U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/50/D/488/1992, para. 8.7 (April 4, 1994).

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Japan, Committee on the Rights of the Child, 18th sess., U.N. Doc. CRC/C/15/Add.90 (1998).

General Recommendation No. 19, Violence against Women, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 11th sess., U.N. Doc. CEDAW/C/1992/L.1/Add.15 (1992).

U.S. Documents

U.S. federal laws are published after their enactment in United States Statutes at Large (Stat.) and are subsequently compiled in the United States Code (U.S.C.). Administrative regulations, executive orders, and presidential proclamations are published in the Federal Register (Fed. Reg.) and then compiled in the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.).

Each U.S. state publishes its laws in its own official statutory compilation. Most states have a single statutory code that is divided into chapters, sections, or titles-the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (Ga. Code Ann.), Kansas Statutes Annotated (Kan. Stat. Ann.), and the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Mass. Gen. L.), for example. California, New York, and Texas codify their laws by subject, such as the California Education Code (Cal. Educ. Code), the New York Civil Rights Law (N.Y. Civ. Rts. Law), or the Texas Labor Code (Tex. Lab. Code Ann.). For a comprehensive list of state law sources, see Columbia Law Review editors et al., compilers, The Bluebook: A Uniform Systemof Citation,15th ed. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Law Review Association, 1991), pp. 165-218.

U.S. federal court cases are identified by case name, the volume and page of the source in which it is published, the court that issued the decision, and the decision date. Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court are published in the United States Reporter (U.S.). Cases decided by the U.S. courts of appeals are found in the first, second, and third series of the Federal Reporter (F., F.2d, and F.3d), and the decisions of U.S. district courts are published in the first and second series of the Federal Supplement (F. Supp. and F. Supp. 2d). For example, the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, found in volume 347 of the United States Reports at page 483, is cited as Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). The citation Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446, 458-59 (7th Cir. 1996), refers to the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Nabozny v. Podlesny, found in volume 92 of the Federal Reporter, Third Series, beginning on page 446, with the specific material cited located at pages 458 and 459.

State court cases are published in six regional reporters: Atlantic Reporter (A., A.2d), North Eastern Reporter (N.E., N.E. 2d), North Western Reporter (N.W., N.W. 2d), Pacific Reporter (P., P.2d), South Eastern Reporter (S.E., S.E. 2d), South Western Reporter (S.W., S.W. 2d), Southern Reporter (So., So. 2d). Citations to state court cases published in these reporters indicate the state and court that issued the decision. For instance, the decision that invalidated Georgia's sodomy statute, Powell v. State, 510 S.E.2d 18, 26 (Ga. 1998), was issued by the Supreme Court of Georgia. In Tennessee, the state court of appeals reached a similar decision in Campbell v. Sundquist, 926 S.W.2d 250 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996).

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


What You Can Do

Table of Contents


Order this report

Contribute to HRW

HRW Press Release

Dylan N., Nevada
Matt P., New Hampshire
Erin B., Georgia
Anika P., Texas
Dahlia P., Texas
Eric C., California
Wendy Weaver, Teacher, Utah
Nikki L., California
Alix M., Midwestern United States