How to browse documents

To browse the MIRIS database choose among the criteria you are interested in on the left bar and click the Submit button.

Following is a table of the criteria and what documents they select:

criteria selects which documents


International Organisation

Document type

Minority Group

Language of text

documents concerning the given country

documents issued by the given international organisation

documents of the given type, as defined by MIRIS (see below)

documents concerning the given minority group (see below)

documents written in the given language (see below)

You can combine the various search criteria, but be aware of the fact that the more criteria you select the shorter the list of results might be!

We recommend starting a query by just selecting 1 or at most 2 criteria. After submitting, your selection remain active, so you can always refine the query later and narrow the results list.

Not all combinations make sense: for example if you select International Organisation = UN and Document type = Domestic Legislation you won't get any results because the UN does not make domestic legislation.

Note that you can select more than one entry in each select box, for example you might want to look for documents concerning a country from a selection of 3 countries. (With some browsers you need to hold the shift or ctrl key while you click on the items to do a multiple selection.)

Detailed explanation of some search criteria

Document Types

The documents have been sorted into 8 different document types:

  1. International Organisation Documents
  2. International Organisation Documents Info
  3. Bilateral Treaties
  4. Reports
  5. Domestic Legislation/Regulation
  6. Case Laws
  7. Country Information
  8. Minority Information

These categories have been chosen as working definitions and are to be interpreted in a broad sense.

1. International Organisation Documents

This category contains items which have been authored by an International Organisation, for example the UN, Council of Europe, OSCE or EU, for example:


2. International Organisation Documents Information

This category contains such items as:

Explanatory notes
List of signatures
Declarations and Reservations
Working papers
Strategic papers
Conference reports

3. Bilateral and Multilateral Treaties and Declarations

This category contains bilateral and multilateral treaties and declarations existing between two or more states, such as treaties of good neighbourly relations, cultural exchanges and economic co-operation, all of which contain minority-relevant clauses.

4. Domestic Legislation/Regulation

This category contains not only formal laws as approved by national parliaments and legislatives, but also numerous forms of quasi-legislative and legal provisions, whether binding or non-binding in internal legal system, for example:

Laws, statutes and acts, including constitutional acts
Ordinances, orders and decrees
Agreements between public authorities and private entities
Bylaws, statutes
Guidelines, circulars and other internal regulations and policy documents
Governmental programmes
Decisions, resolutions or holdings of executive or legislative bodies

5. Case Law

In this category are included the various forms of judicial and quasi-judicial sources of law, for example, decisions and judgments, opinions, recommendations and dissentions in individual cases brought before courts or tribunals relating to minority issues within a certain jurisdiction. Not only national judicial bodies, but also courts and tribunals of international instance are included, for example the UN Committee for Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.

6. Reports

This category contains comprehensive reports and comments on matters relevant to the overall legal situation of minorities in a certain state or states, for example,

State Reports submitted in accordance with Art. 25 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorties Framework Convention Advisory Committee opinions Reports of NGOs, Minority and other Human Rights organisations on minority issues Recommendations from the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers

7. Country Information

This category includes texts on topics relating to the historical, geographic, political and legal situations of countries so as to provide the user with background information on up to date practical issues relating to minorities.

8. Minority Information

This category contains comprehensive reports, analyses and background information on specific minorities in specific countries

Minority Groups

Please select one or more minorities in order to receive minority-specific data.

Specific minority categories have only been assigned to Domestic Legislation, Case Law documents and Minority Information.


Domestic Legislation and case law are generally stored in both the original language of the document and in English translations.

Other documents are stored in various languages, with the majority of texts in English.