Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) was first published as an online database by Oxford University Press in 2008. It has since become one of the most widely read and quoted reference works in international law. A ten-volume print edition, complemented by an index volume, appeared in 2012.

The Encyclopedia had several noteworthy precursors, starting with Karl Strupp’s Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts und der Diplomatie (1924–1929), Hans Jürgen Schlochauer’s Wörterbuch des Völkerrechts (1960–1962) and Rudolf Bernhardt’s Encyclopedia of Public International Law (EPIL), published in 1981–1990 under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law seeks to continue this renowned series of reference works.

MPEPIL articles are hybrids in character insofar as they combine elements of a reference work with a law journal approach. Authors are requested to cover their topic comprehensively and impartially but also to add a personal assessment. All articles are peer-reviewed. As a contemporary restatement of international law the publication is designed to assist both practitioners and scholars.

So far, more than 800 scholars from 85 countries have contributed to the Encyclopedia. In 2013, the Max Planck Encyclopedia was cross-linked with the OPIL platform, allowing research across a number of OUP databases and full text sources.

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Inquiries about MPEPIL should be directed to mpepil(at)