Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
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.
vLex Global Comprehensive case law & legislation for the United States, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Ecuador, Uruguay, Puerto Rico and India. Collections of primary materials for the European Union and other jurisdictions. Secondary materials for up to 100 countries including Federal Register, official gazettes, peer-reviewed law journals, doctrine, magazines and books.
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.
Oxford Constitutions of the World Oxford Constitutions of the World contains regularly updated, fully-translated English-language versions of all of the world's constitutions. The constitutions are accompanied by individual commentaries and supplementary materials, including foundation documents, historical constitutions, and amendment Acts/laws, and a collection of scholarly monographs.
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.
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.
Finding Foreign Laws
Foreign Law Guide Provides access to primary and secondary sources of foreign law from 200 jurisdictions. (Available via wireless and wired connections located within the College of Law building complex)
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.
The following finding tools identify compiled sources by topic.