Disputes are inextricably linked to international relations. International dispute settlement is concerned with the techniques and institutions which are used to solve international disputes between States and/or international organizations. Increasingly these disputes are no longer just primarily between states but also between states and other parties like international organizations and other non-state actors, and between these actors mutually. In this context the Charter of the United Nations (UN) plays a major role, in particular, regarding disputes between states. Article 2(3) of the UN Charter states that all Member States have to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. This view was again confirmed in 1982 in a resolution (Res. 37/10) of the UN General Assembly, the so-called Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.

As the UN Charter does not prescribe in which way or by what means disputes need to be resolved, the parties are free to choose their international dispute settlement mechanism. In the framework of international peace and security Article 33 of the UN Charter provides a number of alternatives to choose from in resolving disputes, e.g., negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and judicial settlement. Notwithstanding the free choice of means the Manila Declaration underlines the legal obligation of parties to find a peaceful solution to their dispute and refrain from action that might aggravate the situation. The methods and procedures of international dispute settlement also largely apply to non-state actors. These various forms of peaceful dispute settlement are the subject of this general research guide. In addition, there are research guides available on International (Commercial) Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the International Court of Justice. Information and resources on disputes concerning foreign investment and investment arbitration can be found in the research guide on Foreign Direct Investment.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the Settlement of International Disputes. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject headings (keywords) International Dispute SettlementJudicial Settlement of International Disputes and Pacific Settlement of International Disputes are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.


Sources of international law



Reference works

Selected books and articles

For all peer-reviewed articles in the PPL Catalogue, click here.

Periodicals, serial publications


Ridderhof, R. (ed.), “Books and Articles in the Field of the Prevention and Peaceful Settlement of Disputes : Compiled Exclusively from Materials Available in the Peace Palace Library”, Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 33 (2020), No. 3, pp. 809-810.