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International and Foreign Law Research: Foreign Law

This guide is intended to assist students in the International & Foreign Legal Research class at Florida State University locate important resources.
   

WHAT IS FOREIGN LAW? 

Foreign laws are the domestic or national laws of a country other than the U.S. Foreign laws deal with constitutions, statutes, codes, jurisprudence, and regulations of a given country.

   

Best Databases

Finding Foreign Constitutional Texts

The two major publishers of translated constitutions are Oxford and HeinOnline.  Both of these databases contain not only the texts of the constitutions but commentary and analysis as well. 

Finding Foreign Case Law

All of the following materials allow you to search for case law using a digest, a tool that that lets you search by specific legal issue or topic. A digest is extremely helpful because, when you scan the structure of the digest, you learn about how legal structure is organized. With these very special digests, you learn how international  or human rights legal structure is arranged. Each of these digests will cover a variety of jurisdictions.

Need Help with Abbreviations?

Both sources below help to decipher abbreviations of publications publishing primary foreign and international law. Start with the Cardiff Index below.  

Gazettes

Official gazettes are government publications that contain the official publication of session laws, acts, bills, decrees, resolutions, and regulations.  Most countries, not including the United States, publish gazettes.
Internet Sites
Databases

Finding Foreign Laws

Finding Foreign Laws by Topic

The following resources provide the actual text of legislation (summaries or full text) of foreign countries by topic. Most are in English but for some countries it may be difficult, if not impossible, to access the legislation in English. Some of these are in print or electronic versions. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. 

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.