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Public international law can be generally defined as "the law of nations." It encapsulates a variety of different legal subjects, including diplomatic relations, treaties, international organizations, and customary international law. It largely governs and structures the interactions between nation states and international organizations. In certain instances, public international law can also govern the legal interactions between nation states and individual citizens. It should not be confused with private international law, which is concerned with the conflicts between national laws and determining which national law to apply to specific situations.
This guide provides an overview of the major topics in international law and highlights important resources and research strategies that can be used when researching in this area of the law. This Research Guide is organized into the following sections, each with multiple subsections:
The UNC Law Library also provides more in-depth treatment of the following international law topics: