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Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet

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ARTHUR W. DIAMOND LAW LIBRARY
Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet

Written by Silke Sahl
Last Updated February 22, 2008
 

 

Foreign law is often available on the Internet. Many governments, universities and non-governmental organizations include full-text laws on their websites. Finding these sites can be difficult. While search engines such as Google can be helpful—the search results can be overwhelming in number. Also, no search engine searches the entire Internet. In particular, foreign materials and deep databases are often missed by computer searches.

The following "mega" web sites or "portals" provide foreign legislation or links to web sites that include foreign legislation for most countries. Using these web sites can help you find foreign databases more efficiently. These mega sites have often evaluated the foreign law websites, so users are guided directly to high quality databases.

For research guides on foreign jurisdictions, see our guide, A Selective List of Guides to Foreign Legal Research .

This is a selective list of internet resources. For additional assistance finding foreign law databases, please see the Reference Librarians.

 

All Areas of Law * Banking LawConstitutional Law * Criminal Law * Electoral Law * Environmental Law * Human Rights Law * Intellectual Property Law * Labor Law

 

ALL AREAS OF LAW

Catalaw 
A catalog of catalogs of worldwide law on the Internet.

Cornell Law School—Legal Information Institute 
Internet-accessible sources of the constitutions, statutes, judicial opinions, and related legal material from around the globe. 
 

 

FindLaw 
Links to international and foreign law resources.

Global Courts—Supreme Court Decisions 
A guide for researchers seeking information on Supreme Court decisions from around the World.

Global Information Legal Network (GLIN) 
An excellent database of laws contributed by GLIN members. Some laws are available in full-text for free, while others are available to members only. All documents have an English-language summary and subject terms from the GLIN index.

Globalex--Foreign Law: Subject Law Collections on the Web
A research guide for finding foreign law on the Internet.

Government Gazettes Online 
This website attempts to list all online government gazettes and their characteristics to aid researchers. A description of the contents and coverage are included for each gazette.

Harvard Law School Library—Foreign and International Law Resources 
Links to resources around the world from Harvard's International Legal Studies Library.

Internet Legal Resource Group
Template for searching for legal web sites around the world. Powered by Google.

Inute (formerly SOSIG)) 
From Intute's social sciences section, the law search provides links to and descriptions of legal web sites by country.

Jurist—World Law
Links to legal resources by country.

Library of Congress—Guide to Law Online
Go to the "Nations of the World" section for excellent links to laws and legal groups by country.

NYU Law School—Foreign Collections by Jurisdiction
An excellent resource for information on foreign and international electronic databases.

University of Houston Law Center—Foreign Primary Law on the Web 
Links to primary law by country.

Washburn University—Foreign and International Law
Links to primary foreign and international legal resources, research aids, and other sites from Washburn University School of Law.

World Law Guide
Links to legislation, court decisions and law schools around the world from Lexadin in the Netherlands.

World Legal Information Institute (WORLDLII) 
A global research facility for finding legal databases developed collaboratively by the Australasian Legal Information Institute (
AustLII); the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII); the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII); the Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII); the Legal Information Institute (Cornell) (LII (Cornell)); the Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute (PacLII); and Wits University School of Law (Wits Law School).

 

BANKING LAW

NYU Law School—Banking Law
Provides the text of banking laws for many countries.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Columbia Law School—Human and Constitutional Rights 
Links to constitutions, government agencies and human rights resources around the world. Also includes a "hot topics" section.

Constitution Finder
Links to constitutions, charters, amendments and other related documents around the world.

International Constitutional Law
Constitutional documents and country information. Formerly at Wuerzburg University, Berne University is now the home of the ICL site.

 

CRIMINAL LAW

Buffalo Criminal Law Center—Criminal Law Resources on the Internet
Provides online access to criminal law materials from around the world, including criminal codes, criminal procedure codes and enforcement codes.

Legislation of Interpol Member States on Sexual Offences Against Children
Information on rape, sex abuse, child prostitution and child pornography laws.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime—Legal Library
Legal library of legislation adopted by over 150 countries to implement international drug control conventions. Click on 'Country Pages' on the left.

 

ELECTORAL LAW

ACE Project—Election Law Resources
Information about election laws in many countries based on topic areas, including voter registration, election integrity, legislative framework and more.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

ECOLEX: A Gateway to Environmental Law
Access to treaties, national legislation, court decisions and literature on environmental law.

United Nations Food and Drug Organization: FAOLEX
One of the world's largest electronic collections of national law and regulations on food, agriculture and renewable natural resources. Includes subjects such as land and soil; air and atmosphere; and sea.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS AND HUMANITARIAN LAW

Annual Review of Populaiton Law
A database of summaries and excerpts of legislation, constitutions, court decisions and other official government documents from every country in the world relating to population policies, reproductive rights and health, women's status and rights, children and adolescents, HIV/AIDS and realted topics.

DADEL--Database on Anti-Discrimination and Equality Law
Information on anti-discrimination law and policy in Europe. Includes information from the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE, the UN and NGOs.

Columbia Law School—Human and Constitutional Rights
Links to constitutions and other documents by country and region. Includes hot topics, a comparative constitutional rights chart and a comparative Bills of Rights database.

International Committee of the Red Cross--National Implementation of International Humanitarian Law 
Provides access to national legislation and decisions by state and keyword.

International Lesbian and Gay Association--World Legal Survey
A world survey of laws on subjects such as employment, transgender, partnership and marriage, and more.

Legislation of Interpol Member States on Sexual Offences Against Children
Information on rape, sex abuse, child prostitution and child pornography laws.

Prevent Genocide International—Laws Against Genocide 
Go to the 'domestic laws' section for laws and penal codes relating to genocide from around the world.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW

UNESCO—National Copyright Legislation
Access to national copyright and related rights legislation of UNESCO Member States.

World Intellectual Property Organization — Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEA) 
Intellectual property legislation from a wide range of countries and regions as well as to treaties on intellectual property.

 

 

 

LABOR LAW 

International Labour Organization—NatLex
Database of national labour, social security and related human rights legislation from around the world.

 

 

 

 

 
Please send comments or suggestions regarding this list to Silke Sahl, International, Foreign and Comparative Law Librarian, Columbia University, Arthur W. Diamond Law Library at ssahl@law.columbia.edu.