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Foreign and International Law Guide

The Americas

This section provides links to sources for researching the laws of North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Both Westlaw (covers Canada, Barbados and Cayman Islands), and Lexis have some foreign and international law content. Lexis covers more jurisdictions in the Americas, although some of the coverage are for secondary sources.  

In addition to these three main sources, the following are some authoritative sources for law in this region.

  • CanLii (Canadian Legal Information Institute) Provides access to primary law for all the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as commentary and news. The CanLii Blog also is a useful link for the current state of Canadian law, and emerging legal issues.
  • Caribbean Law Project. This is done in collaboration with CommonLii (see below).
  • CommonLii (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute) Covers the laws of countries of the Commonwealth. Many Caribbean territories are members of the Commonwealth, so there is access to the laws of those countries through this site.
  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.
  • Globalex - This is a free resource provided by New York University, covering foreign, comparative and international law research. The research guides, which are updated regularly, are written by legal practitioners, law librarians and faculty, with specialized knowledge of the countries covered. For the laws of individual countries, click on the "Foreign Law" tab for links to each country's guide.
  • HeinOnline has good coverage of Canadian law, including Canadian Supreme Court Reports, but limited resources for other parts of the Americas.There is, however, access to many international law journals. 
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) The IAHCR is an independent arm of the Organization of American States (OAS). Its mission is to promote and protect human rghts in the Americas. From its website, there is access to hearings, cases in the courts, decisions, and reports, among other documents.
  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world.
  • Organization of American States (OAS) Most of the countries in the Americas are members of the OAS. It is a good source for policy docments and current issues affecting the region.

 Courts in the Americas:

General Sources:

Africa

Here, you will find resources for researching the laws of countries in Africa.

  • AfricanLii  African Legal Information Institute. Based at the University of Cape Town, this resource provides access to African caselaw, gazettes, regional law, commentary and legal news across the African continent. It allows for filtering by court name, site, content type, or date. This resource is also a gateway to the other individual legal information institutes in countries in Africa (scroll to the bottom of the website page for links to the other AfricanLIIs).
  • African Union The African Union is a political and economic union, similar to the European Union. It is a useful site for researching economic, political and legal issues affecting the African continent. It is also helpful for researching treaties entered into by member states.
  • CommonLii (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute) Covers the laws of countries of the Commonwealth. Many African states are members of the Commonwealth, so there is access to the laws of those countries through this site.
  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)    Under the ECOWAS Law tab, there is information on treaties, acts, decisions, regulations, protocols and final communiques.
  • Gazettes Africa Provides free access to approximately 20,190 gazettes.
  • HeinOnline This is a link to non-US law journals and world constitutions. There is no coverage for case law and statutes.
  • Laws.Africa  This is a non-profit that curates African legislation.
  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world.
  • Lexis Most of the international coverage is for newspapers and journals, and it varies from country to country. 
  • SAFLII South African Legal Information Institute. Provides free access to case law from South Africa.
  • Westlaw Coverage of African states is limited. Rwanda and South Africa are the only two countres currently listed under International section

Courts in Africa

General Sources

Asia

Below are links for researching the laws of countries in Asia.

  • AsianLii (Asian Legal Information Institute). Has links to appeal courts, decisions, constitutions, treaties, reporters and law journals.
  • CommonLii (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute) Covers the laws of countries of the Commonwealth. Some Asian nations, such as India, are members of the Commonwealth, so this database is a useful resource.
  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.
  • Globalex This is a free resource provided by New York University, covering foreign, comparative and international law research. The research guides, which are updated regularly, are written by legal practitioners, law librarians and faculty, with specialized knowledge of the countries covered. For the laws of individual countries, click on the "Foreign Law" tab for links to each country's guide.
  • HeinOnline Has links to world constitutions and international and non-US law journals.
  • HKLII Hong Kong Legal Information Institute. Includes Hong Kong Treaty Series, United Kingdom Privy Council decisions, constitutional instruments and historical laws, ordinances, regulations, among other resources.
  • LawInfoChina.com  Covers cases,, laws and regulations, law review articles and legal news (In English and Chinese).
  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world. The Law Library of Congress has also prepared a number of Foreign and International Law Research Guides for several countries.
  • Lexis Coverage varies from country to country. 
  • Westlaw Covers China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan

General Sources

 

Australia, New Zealand & The Pacific

Here, you will find resources for researching Australian and New Zealand laws and that of its dependent territories.

  • AustLii  (Australian Legal Information Institute)
  • NZLii (New Zealand Legal Information Institute)
  • CommonLii (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute) Covers the laws of countries of the Commonwealth. Australia and New Zealand are members of the Commonwealth.
  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.
  • Globalex This is a free resource provided by New York University, covering foreign, comparative and international law research. The research guides, which are updated regularly, are written by legal practitioners, law librarians and faculty, with specialized knowledge of the countries covered. For the laws of individual countries, click on the "Foreign Law" tab for links to each country's guide.
  • HeinOnline This is a link to non-US law journals and world constitutions. There is no coverage for case law and statutes
  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world.
  • Lexis Content and coverage vary from country to country. 
  • Westlaw 

Courts in Australia and New Zealand:

General Sources

Europe

This section covers the laws of the 28-member European Union, as well as the laws of non-EU states. The resources below have very good coverage of European law.

  • Bailii.org - British and Irish Legal Information Institute
  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.
  • EUR-Lex Through this database, there is access to European Union law, case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), as well as other important EU resources.
  • Globalex This is a free resource provided by New York University, covering foreign, comparative and international law research. The research guides, which are updated regularly, are written by legal practitioners, law librarians and faculty, with specialized knowledge of the countries covered. For the laws of individual countries, click on the "Foreign Law" tab for links to each country's guide.
  • HeinOnline
  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world. The Law Library of Congress has also prepared a number of Foreign and International Law Research Guides for several countries.
  • Legifrance. Provides free access to French Law. Options for English and other translations can be found on the left side of the webpage.
  • Lexis  There is substantal coverage of European law available.
  • Westlaw. In addition to the general coverage provided for some European countries, Westlaw also has the European Union database, which has cases, legislation, treaties, and other legal materials.

European Courts

  • The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)   Based in Strasbourg, France, this is an international court established in 1959, but has operated as a full-time court since 1998. This Court makes rulings on individual or State applications that allege violations of the civil and political rights that are set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Decisions of the Court can be found here. The ECtHR is a separate court that is not to be confused with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) described below.
  • The Court of Justice of the European Union Established in 1952, and headquartered in Luxembourg, the CJEU is comprised of 2 judges from each EU member state as well as 11 Advocates General. Its role is to ensure that EU law is interpreted and applied uniformly across the EU. Here is a link to caselaw from the CJEU. Coverage is from 1953 to the present. This link is for numerical searching and it is comprehensive. 

General Sources

  • European Union Law in a Nutshell. Ralph H. Folsom. KJE949.F55 2008
  • Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe. Alec Stone Sweet. 2000. KJC 5456.S757 2000.
  • Human Rights in Europe: Commentary on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Edited by William B.T. Mock. 2010. KJE5132.A432.H86 2010
  • Legal Research Methods in a Modern World: A Coursebook. J. Paul Lomio, et. al. 2011. K85.L657 2011 (Has extensive coverage on researching European law).
  • Nordic and Other European Constitutional Traditions. Edited by Joakim Nergelius. KJE4445.N67 2006
  • The European Union and Its Court of Justice. Anthony Arnull. 2006. KJE5461.A97 2006

Middle East

In this section, you will find online resources, and limited print materials from the library's collection relating to researching the laws of Middle Eastern countries. The following countries are generally included in the transcontinental Middle East: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

  • Constitute Provides links to the world's constitutions. Updated regularly.

  • Globalex This is a free resource provided by New York University, covering foreign, comparative and international law research. The research guides, which are updated regularly, are written by legal practitioners, law librarians and faculty, with specialized knowledge of the countries covered. For the laws of individual countries, click on the "Foreign Law" tab for links to each country's guide.

  • Law Library of Congress. Guide to Law Online From this link, you will be able to select the specific country you are interested in researching. There is also a link to the Global Legal Monitor, which provides updates on legal developments around the world. The Law Library of Congress has also prepared a number of Foreign and International Law Research Guides for several countries.

  • Lexis  There is substantial Middle East coverage.

  • Westlaw has limited coverage of Middle East law, with only materials for Iran and Israel as of publication of this guide. 

General Sources

  • Islamic Law, Epistemology, and Modernity: Legal Philosophy in Contemporary Iran. Ashk P. Dahlen. 2003. KMH440.D34 2003.
  • Muslim Women in Law and Society. Ronak Husni & Daniel L. Newman. 2007 KBP526.32H33 A34613 2007
  • Standing Trial: Law and the Person in the Modern Middle East. Edited by Baudouin Dupret. KMC140.S836 2004
  • The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhammad Baqera S-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi i International.Chibli Mallat. 2004. KBP60.M34 2004
  • The Sacred Law of Islam: A Case Study of Women's Treatment in the Islamic Republic of Iran's Criminal Justice System. Hamid R. Kusha. KMH1572.K87 2002