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An Introduction to The Bluebook

Foreign Legal Materials

Rule 20 addresses citing to foreign cases, statutes, and other legal materials, including non-English language documents (Rule 20.2). 

Table T2 contains examples of citing to materials from selected foreign jurisdictions. Starting with the 21st edition of The Bluebook, T2 is available online only at For guidance on citing to jurisdictions not included in T2, please refer to Additional Resources.

In foreign law research, it is sometimes difficult to track down original primary law materials. In such cases, The Bluebook permits citing to "works that discuss or quote the primary authority" using phrases such as "noted in," "construed in", "quoted in," "reviewed by," and so on (Rule 1(c)). 

International Legal Materials

Rule 21 covers citing to international materials. Below is a list of Bluebook rules for frequently cited international materials:

Treaties and Other International Agreements                   

Rule 21.4

In Rule 12.4.5, "Treaty Sources", The Bluebook distinguishes between:

  • Agreements to which the U.S. is a party:
    • Bilateral agreements involving the U.S. and one other country: Rule 21.4.5(a)(i)
    • Multilateral agreements involving the U.S. and 2 or more other countries: Rule 21.4.5(a)(ii)
  • Agreements to which the U.S. is not a party: Rule 21.4.5(b)


Table T4, "Treaty Sources", lists official U.S. sources, intergovernmental sources, and unofficial sources, and provides citation templates in each category.

For guidance on treaty research, please consult the Mabie Law Library's guide on Foreign and International Legal Research - Treaty Research. The guide organizes treaty sources in order of Bluebook preference.

International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of International Justice Rule 21.5.1

European Union Courts 

(Including the Court of Justice of the European Union and the courts of EU member states)

Rule 21.5.2


European Court of Human Rights Rule 21.5.3
United Nations Sources Rule 21.7
European Union materials (acts, founding treaties, documents, and more) Rule 21.9
World Trade Organization Rule 21.11

Additional Resources

The Mabie Law Library's Foreign and International Legal Research guide lists research sources and suggestions for finding foreign and international law materials. Parts of the guide emphasize Bluebook-preferred sources.

Because The Bluebook covers only selected foreign jurisdictions, you may need to consult an additional citation guide: