Recueil des Cours de L’Academie de Droit International de la Haye

By | 12 May 2008

Mercifully often abbreviated to RCADI or just RdC, this highly respected series from the Hague Academy of International Law is now available online within the Oxford network or VPN. The President of the Curatorium of the Academy, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, presided over the launch – see photos of the ceremony .

Since the Academy’s foundation in 1923, its teaching has centred on annual summer courses for post graduates – 3 weeks on private international law, followed by 3 weeks on public international law. There is no permanent teaching staff at the Academy, but the Curatorium invites leading practitioners, judges, diplomats and academics to give a series of lectures on a topic in which they have special knowledge or experience. These courses are published in due course – one summer’s teaching usually producing in the region of five to seven volumes – usually in the language (either English or French) in which originally delivered. At present, there are in the region of 300 volumes in the series. The Bodleian Law Library has the printed series at Internat 300 A20. Although there are 5 index volumes to aid paper searching, being able to search these works electronically will be a most definite improvement.

Before moving on to searching the online version, remember you will need a VPN if you want to access this database away from Oxford.


From the front page, it is best to click on the Advanced Search option. (Note there are some instructions on the left hand side of the advanced search page if you need a reminder about BOOLEAN terms.) On the results page, the quickest way to get to pdfs of the text is either to click the + below the title you are interested in, or to click “Expand All” so that you can browse multiple results. See below – the results screen for Brownlie as author/editor/contributor in Advanced Search.

Sometimes, for example if you had simply clicked on the title in the results, you go straight to a page which gives off-putting prominence to the option to “BUY THIS BOOK” – ignore this and click your choice in the column headed Contents on the left of the page.

A browse option is available -from the original web page click the title Collected Courses Online/Receuil des Cours and you are offered Browse in the left column. It is possible to rearrange the order by author, or by title or chronologically but only from a-z in the first 2 instances, and only from most recent year backwards for the latter.

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