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Finding the Law
After getting your bearings in the legal system and the subject area, a finding tool can help you locate the sources of law on your topic or country. The Foreign Law Guide is an excellent first step, as it provides both an overview of the legal system and its sources of legal information, and an index of major laws by subject. If you do not have access to this subscription database, the Law Library of Congress is a great, free second choice.
For even more specific coverage of your topic, locate a treatise, handbook for practicing attorneys, or other secondary source in Biddle or your nearest law library.
Foreign Law Guide
Provides background information on the legal systems for the countries or jurisdictions and where to locate official legal materials.
Law Library of Congress Global Resources
LLOC has many excellent tools for foreign law research: Guide to Law Online aggregates primary law websites (chiefly governmental sites, but some free databases too), Global Legal Monitor offers alerts on important recent developments by country (with links to primary law), and Global Legal Information Catalog lets you quickly figure out which multi-volume treatises cover a specific country and topic. Sadly, GLIN appears to be down for the foreseeable future.
Sources of State Practice in International Law by
Call Number: Foreign Reference KZ64 .S67 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-06
The best source for determining the right places to look for evidence of many (but not all) countries' participation in and compliance with international law and international relations.
Potential Sources for Translations
Finding a relatively recent, reliable translation of a foreign law is going to be a challenge in most cases. Some types of law are more likely to be available than others (constitutions are most likely, business statutes are the next most likely), and some countries are better than others (Germany's Ministry of Justice is a generous global citizen, as is Japan's).
Start with the Foreign Law Guide, and also check the Law Library of Congress's helpful guide to translations for certain jurisdictions. Beyond that, here are a few sources that may prove most fruitful:
World Constitutions Illustrated - HeinOnline
Includes the current constitution for every country in its original language format and an English translation, as well as substantial constitutional histories for countries such as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and many more. It also includes constitutional periodicals, thousands of classic books, other related works such as the World Fact Book, links to scholarly articles and online resources, and bibliographic references.
Israel Law Reports - HeinOnline
Includes the complete run of the Israel Law Reports, which provides access to more than 220 cases in an online digital format. Also includes access to the Israel Law Review.
NatLaw World (formerly InterAm)
Collection of laws, regulations, case law, and secondary source materials for countries in the Americas. This collection provides the original Spanish or Portuguese-language material, but includes an increasing number of English translations. It is updated daily and divided into 25 topical areas related to trade and investment.
RIA Worldwide Tax Law
Provides access to the updated English translation text of major worldwide tax and commercial laws, including income and corporate tax law, VAT, corporation law, trust law, commercial codes, environmental law, money laundering and other regulations affecting financial transactions, labor law, and bankruptcy.
WIPO Lex is a one-stop search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property (IP) of WIPO, WTO and UN Members. It also features related information which elaborates, analyzes and interprets these laws and treaties.