So far, there is no universal search tool that would provide you with all the possible materials available on your topic – books or dissertations, government or agency reports, journal articles or conference proceedings, just to name a few. Internet browsing in combination with searching specialized library databases will equip you with well-balanced results.
There is nothing wrong with going to the internet first, especially when choosing search tools that are aimed at research such as Google Scholar, for example. These search engines will provide you with an option to link the search results to databases and full-text resources of the libraries you are affiliated with. For this, you have to explore the setup preferences of these sites. But still many search engines won’t have this link option and will only give you partial information and request a fee for full-text content.
Note of caution: follow HTML links from one web page to another by opening documents in a new tab or window; this way you can always trace your search back for verification and clarification purposes.
The major drawback of the popular internet search engines is that they will only ‘scratch the surface’ and will not go into the deep content of many specialized databases, i.e. invisible web, or find the materials in print that were created before online was invented.
Before you start surfing the web, it is a good idea to check the website of academic libraries in the schools that have established programs in international law as well as comparative law or criminal justice.
The library of the Law School of the New York University has a wonderful collection of links to international materials.
The Rutgers University library maintains the collection called the World Criminal Justice Library Electronic Network (WCJLN).
Here is the list of some useful websites and homepages of criminal justice research and policy agencies which can guide you to a range of international resources as well as hard to find statistical data.
Amnesty International - an international non-governmental human rights organization with offices all over the world.
Anti-Slavery International - the oldest human rights organization.
Art Loss Register - computerized international database which captures information about lost and stolen art, antiques and collectables.
BJS, Bureau of Justice Statistics – the major source of criminal justice statistics for the USA.
Child Rights Information Network - an international network that supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and child rights.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - a non-governmental organization that promotes women's human rights and works internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms, especially prostitution and trafficking in women and children, in particular girls.
Eurojust - is a judicial cooperation body created to help provide safety within an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union. The Useful Links tab on the menu bar will link you to such important resources as Eur-Lex, a free database of the EU law; European Law Enforcement Agency EUROPOL and POLIS (Policing On-Line Information System), the free database of documents created by police specialists.
EUROPOL - the European Union law enforcement agency that handles criminal intelligence.
European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics – has criminal justice data for the European Union from 1993 up to 2007.
FATF (Financial Action Task Force) - an inter-governmental body whose purpose is the development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
FBI - an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency (counterintelligence). The FBI website has a speciali page with Resources for Researchers that inlcludes crime statistics on national and some international level. The FBI publishes the Uniform Crime Reports, UCR.
FRONTEX - the EU agency based in Warsaw, was created as a specialised and independent body tasked to coordinate the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border security. The activities of Frontex are intelligence driven.
HEUNI – official website for the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control. Access to the specialized studies, reports, and statistics.
Home Office, United Kingdom – provides crime statistics from the United Kingdom.
Homeland Security, U.S. Department - a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters.
Human Rights Watch – reports about the violations of human rights in individual countries and an annual world status report.
IMoLIN, United Nations International Money Laundering Information Network - an Internet-based network assisting governments, organizations and individuals in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Has links to leading world ani-money laundering organizations.
International Association of Chiefs of Police - the world's oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization of police executives with members in 89 countries.
International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy - provides advice, information, research and proposals for policy development and legislation.
International Center for the Prevention of Crime – promotes research-based policies and practices that work to prevent crime and build community safety.
International Centre for Prison Studies – statistics on prison systems and conditions as well as incarceration rates in over 200 countries.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) - the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
International Criminal Court (ICC) - governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The ICC is an independent international organization, and is not part of the United Nations system.
International Labour Organization - is a United Nations agency that develops and oversees international labor standards.
International Maritime Organization - the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) - is the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions.
International Organization for Migration - an inter-governmental organization that promotes humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It provides services and advice to governments and migrants.
International Victimology Website – INTERVICT provides information about current victimology research and encourages international exchange of expertise and experience.
INTERPOL – international police organization that facilitates cross-border criminal police cooperation; links to the departments of Justice throughout the world.
InSight Crime - an organization that researches and analyzes criminal justice issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.
NCJRS - the National Criminal Justice Reference Service database/website covers all aspects of law enforcement and criminal justice; its topic coverage ranges from preliminary research to detailed descriptions of successful programs internationally.
OSCE - organization for security and cooperation in Europe.
Penal Reform International - a NGO that promotes alternatives to imprisonment and justice for children and vulnerable groups of prisoners.
Small Arms Survey - the principal international source of public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence and as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists.
TraCC - Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center; the first center in the United States devoted to understanding the links among terrorism, transnational crime and corruption, and to teach, research, train and help formulate policy on these critical issues.
TRAFFIC - the wildlife trade monitoring network.
Transparency International - a politically non-partisan organization that raises awareness about corruption on a global level.
U4 Anti-Corruption Resouce Center - a web-based resource centre for development practitioners who wish to effectively address corruption challenges in their work.
UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute) - assists intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations in formulating and implementing improved policies in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) - - this site's map of serves as the major gateway to information and UN publications on international efforts to reduce money laundering and organized crime, terrorism and corruption, trafficking in illegal drugs and humans, spread of HIV and AIDS, and piracy.
International crime statistics (United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, CTS) is available under Resources --> Data and Analysis link from the site's menu.
UNICRI and UNODC are part of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI). Other members of PNI are either UN affiliated or leading national criminal justice institutions from all over the world. The links to these institutions can be found on the PNI website.
U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons - leads the United States' global engagement against human trafficking