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Laws and Legislation

Laws - Foreign and International

International Law and Foreign Law are two different things.  Foreign Law applies to a single nation, while International Law covers multiple nations and is based on treaties, etc.  Each country in the world has different national government setups.  How they handle making and passing legislation varies.  How much or how little each country publishes also varies.  What is available is frequently in the local language not English.   This page deals primarily with Foreign Law research.  International Law requires researching treaties, accords, agreements, etc.  Check also Treaties for further resources.


Foreign Law

To begin your research:

  • Identify the type of legislation/law.  (Is it a constitution? A specific law? Etc.)
  • Identify the country. 
  • Identify the date(s) for the legislation/law. 
  • Identify sources of the law for the country in question.  (Databases, foreign law guides, etc.)

Use the following to help locate foreign legislation and/or laws:

  • All Guides. (Cornell University. Cornell University Library) Links to resources for doing legal research in selected countries.
  • Country by Country Guide to Foreign Law Research. (Yale. Yale Law School. Lillian Goldman Law Library)  For each country a list of resources including databases, law guides, etc.
  • European Union:  Law and Legislation. (University of Michigan. Clark Library)  Links to resources for researching EU laws and legislation.
  • Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet. (Columbia University. Law School. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library.  Silke Sahl) Links to web sites containing foreign legislation/laws.
  • Foreign & Comparative Law. (Duke University. Goodson Law Library) Tutorial containing listing of resources for conducting foreign and comparative law research.
  • Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide. (Georgetown University. Georgetown Law Library) Tutorial with links to resources for researching foreign law.
  • Foreign and International Law. (Library of Congress) Includes information on overview of legal system, guides, and web resources for each country. Has Law Bibliographies and information on Customary Law.
  • Foreign Law Research.  (University of Washington. Gallagher Law Library) Lists of guides and databases. 
  • International. (Franklin County. Law Library) Links for doing legal research in selected countries.
  • Legal Resources:  Foreign Government Information. (Carleton University. MacOdrum Library)  Provides links to resources for researching foreign laws and legislation.
  • Session Laws Library.  (HeinOnline) Contains links to other countries’ statutes and acts.  Access restricted to OSU student, faculty, and staff.
  • Washington University Manual of International Legal Citation - Countries. (Washington University.  Washington University Law)  Contains information on the legal systems of various countries.  Not all countries are represented, but most of the major ones are.
  • WorldLII. (World Legal Information Institute) Links to legal resources for selected countries, treaties, etc.

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International Law

To begin your research:

  • Identify the subject matter of the law.  (Is it about women’s rights? Child labor? The environment? Etc.)
  • Identify the countries involved. 
  • Identify the date(s) for the law. 
  • Identify the sources for the law in question.  (Databases, guides to treaties, etc.)

Use the following to help locate International laws:

  • European Union Research. (New York University. School of Law) Covers EU law-related sources in print and online.
  • International Law:  Home. (University of Tasmania) LibGuide to International Law, containing search tips, how to information, and resource lists.
  • International Law Commission - Research. (United Nations.  International Law Commission)  Tutorial and resource guide.
  • International Law Research. (New York University School of Law) Lists print and online sources for researching international law and selected topics of international law. 
  • International Law Research Guide:  Home. (University of California. Hastings College of Law. Hastings Law Library) Links to resources for researching International Law including web sites, blogs, etc.
  • International Legal Research Tutorial – Introduction to International Law. (Duke University)  Practical how-to guide including definitions, information on International organizations, and databases.
  • Treaties.
  • WorldLII. World Legal Information Institute) Links to legal resources for selected countries, treaties, etc.

Further Reading

Foreign
International

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