Research Guides United Nations Office at Geneva Library & Archives

Legal Research Guide

Main UN Bodies

Security Council

Some of the action of the Security Council have international law implications, such as those related to peacekeeping missions, ad hoc tribunals, sanctions, and resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter. In accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute, the Security Council can refer certain situations to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), if it appears international crimes (such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, the crime of aggression) have been committed.

For Security Council documentation:

General Assembly

The UN Charter gives the General Assembly the power to initiate studies and make recommendations to promote the development and codification of international law. Many subsidiary bodies of the General Assembly consider specific areas of international law and report to the plenary. Most legal matters are referred the Sixth Committee, which then reports to the plenary. The International Law Commission and the UN Commission on International Trade Law report to the General Assembly. The General Assembly also considers topics related to the institutional law of the United Nations, such as the adoption of the Staff Regulations and the establishment of the system of international justice.

For General Assembly documentation:

General Assembly - Sixth Committee (Legal)

The General Assembly's Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly. All UN Member States are entitled to representation on the Sixth Committee as one of the main committees of the General Assembly.

For Sixth Committee documentation:

Other UN Entities and Ofiices

Specialized Agencies, Subsidiary Organs, and Multilateral Negotiating Bodies

UN Legal Documentation

UN Legal Research Tools

Courts and Tribunals