Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide

Introduction

  • 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 underInternational 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    • There may not be published sources of law for a particular country.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 a password; passwords can be found on your Inside home page under your Research Sites

  • 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, 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 (Yale subscription; must be connected to Yale network to access) (See also WorldCat’s open-access version)

Primary Sources

  • Constitutions of the Countries of the World - English and vernacular
  • Laws / Statutes
    • Country-by-Country Research Guide – portal to research guides and major databases for every country; these research guides vary from explanatory legal system guides to lists of legal resource links.
      • Foreign Law Guide – subscription database covering approximately 190 jurisdictions; information on sources of foreign law (statutes, codes, gazettes, judicial decisions), citations to legislation, existence of English translations. 
      • GlobaLex – open access electronic publication dedicated to international, foreign, and comparative law research. Articles are written by a body of global experts. Include information on legal systems, sources of law (codes, statutes, gazettes, judicial decisions), with links to sources and bodies.
      • LLRX – in-depth legal research guides with links to legislation and legislative bodies.
      • WorldLII – open access portal with links to electronic sources of legislation and legislative bodies.
      • Nations of the World – Law Library of Congress’ lists of web links to legislation and legislative bodies. 
      • GLIN - Global Legal Information Network - International legal database with official full texts of published documents in the original languages. 
      • Foreign Law in English - a guide to finding translations of foreign laws
    • Country Gazettes
    • Catalogs – Quicksearch, Orbis, Worldcat, Harvard Hollis, Library of Congress Guide to Law Online
      • Title search (codigo civil)
      • Keyword search (code and spain) or (codigo and spain)
      • Subject Heading search (civil law – spain)
    • Practical Guides such as the series “Doing Business in…
    • Yearbooks for each country - landmark cases and statutes: Keyword search in Morris: ex) yearbook and Spain.


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
    • LegalTrac – 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: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2018