The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars in various regions of the world and to provide a platform for dialogue between member nations.The UN contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions. It is an international organization that strives to facilitate cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace.
UN is not a law enforcement agency but it formulates and promolgates international standards and norms in criminal law and criminal justice that are adopted by many countries.
UN has a complex system. The Official Website locator for the United Nations system of organizations has an alphabetical listing of various organizations associated with the United Nations, their websites and further links to the specific organization’s publications.
One of the library legal databases Hein Online has many collections that are international in scope: International Law, International Treaties and Agreements, International and Non-U.S.Law Journals just to name a few.
United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library has created a useful guide on researching UN Documenation.
The list of all International Courts and Tribunals and UN bodies pertaining to internationl law can be found here.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) - the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The ICJ settles disputes between the States (not individuals). Background information on the court and its difference from other international judicial bodies can be found in the FAQ section.
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.The Court cooperates with the UN in many different areas, including the exchange of information and logistical support and provides an annual report to the UN.
HEUNI – official website for the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, a United Nations affiliated institution.
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 has a list of Topics of activity ranging from corruption and drugs related crimes to maritime and wildlife crimes. Each topic area will have a link to either Resources and/or Publications, and Statistics.
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 network has been developed to assist the international community in strengthening co-operation in the crucial area of crime prevention and criminal justice. Its components provide a variety of services, including exchange of information, research, training and public education.
United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (CTS) is a tool to collect data on the incidence of reported crime and the operations of criminal justice systems with a view to improving the analysis and dissemination of that information globally. Using the menus is sometimes more efficient than using the search option of the screen.
UNdata are official statistics produced by countries and compiled by United Nations data system, as well as estimates and projections. The domains covered are agriculture, crime, education, energy, industry, labour, national accounts, population and tourism. Click on More on the menu to read about UN Data and get to the Advanced Search for guided search options.