Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide


  • Foreign law is the domestic law of a country other than the United States. Comparative law is the study of domestic law between or among individual countries. (Treaties and other international agreements fall under International Law). 
  • Know what type of legal system(s) pertains to your country (civil law, common law, mixed jurisdiction, etc). See,World Legal Systems or Legal Traditions of the World: Sustainable Diversity in Law (Morris Call Number: K559 .G545X 2014 - there are also 2000, 2004, 2007, and 2010 editions of this book available). You may also consult GlobaLex to familiarize yourself with the legal system of a jurisdiction.
  • Caveats:
    • There may not be published sources of law for a particular country.
    • If there are, the sources may not be in English.
    • If sources are available in English, Yale Law Library may not have them (but we probably do!).
    • If they exist in our collection, they may not be current, or the translations may not be accurate.
  • Several databases require specialized login credentials; please inquire at when you need login information.
  • People who can help you:
  • Law Library of Congress classification system – help you know how our collection is organized.  All Law is classified under the letter “K.” For example,
    • United States law - KF
    • European Union law - KJE
    • Kenyan law - KSK
  • When searching Morris or QuickSearch, utilize the assigned subject headings (SH) ro locate additional related materials: browse subject headings starting with an item or search subject headings.
  • Inter-library Loan & Borrow DirectEliExpress – when we don’t have what you need!
  • WorldCat - to find books in non-Yale libraries around the world 

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Secondary resources (research guides, treatises, books, law review articles) can lead you to primary sources (constitution, statutes, cases); it is always good to begin your research using secondary resources, such as those listed below
  • Research Guides
  • Encyclopedias and other reference materials give an overview of jurisdiction and/or subject matter often annotated and with bibliography – Begin with Keyword searches in Quicksearch and Orbis (e.g. encyclopedia and environment*)
  • Scholarly articles (all are Yale subscriptions except open-access SSRN and Google Scholar)
    • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) – index of foreign law review articles with links to Yale full-text resources
    • EBSCO Legal Source – some full-text
    • Kluwer Law International Journals – business concentration
    • Hein Online – great when you know the citation
      • English Reports (1220 - 1865)
      • European Center for Minority Issues
      • Foreign and International Law Resources
      • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP)
      • International and foreign law journals
      • Israel Law Reports
      • Kluwer Law International Journal Library
      • Law in Eastern Europe
      • Philippine Law Collection
      • Revised Statutes of Canada
      • World Treaty Library
      • World Trials Library
    • Westlaw and Lexis – full-text searching; not much non-English material 
    • SSRN – full-text working papers; great for cutting-edge research 
    • Google Scholar – Yale links to full-text subscription-based journals and open-access scholarship
    • JSTOR – interdisciplinary, full-text, mostly US/UK; includes some Foriegn/International journals
  • Monographs
    • We have over 200,000 foreign and international law monographs
    • Begin with Keyword searches in QuicksearchMorris
    • When you find a relevant book, if you want to find more like it
      • click on the Call No. (KKT246 .B46 - for example) to see what books are grouped with it – or go to the stacks
      • click on the Subject Heading (Civil Law – Spain) to find other books
    • Older monographs are held in the off-campus Library Shelving Facility (LSF) and can be requested from the catalog.
  • Dictionaries
Updated Date: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2022