International/Foreign Law
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International law [1] governs legal relations between countries and other international entities. Foreign law refers to the laws of individual foreign countries. Comparative law compares different foreign law systems.

Treaties are an important part of international law that are covered in a separate Law Library guide: Researching Treaties.

Page Outline:
Selected Sources
Research Guides
Foreign Legal Journals
Selected Catalog Searches and Print Titles


Constitutions of the Countries of the World
Contains the full text for the constitutions of 192 countries. Constitutional scholars who are familiar with the legal system, judicial language and official language of each foreign jurisdiction provide authoritative translations into English.

Constitution Finder
Constitutions available in native languages and English, from the University of Richmond School of Law.

International Constitutional Law
Although it appears to no longer be updated, parts of this site may still be of interest, especially the constitutional background and history provided for most countries.

Selected Sources

BNA International and International Tax Databases  

Electronic Information System for International Law
An "open database of authenticated primary and other materials across the breadth of international law," developed by the American Society of International Law

Foreign and International Law
A collection of links identified by the Washburn University School of Law Library

Foreign and International Law
See right-hand menus for links identified by the J. W. Long Library at the Willamette College of Law

Foreign Government Resources on the Web
A collection of links related to foreign governments from the University of Michigan Library Documents Center

Global Legal Information Network
The Library of Congress maintains this "public database of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other complementary legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations. These GLIN members contribute the official full texts of published documents to the database in their original language. Each document is accompanied by a summary in English and subject terms selected from the multilingual index to GLIN. All summaries are available to the public, and public access to full texts is also available in participating jurisdictions."

Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations, K89 .G84 2009 Reserve and Stacks
"Provides standards for citing country-specific constitutions, legislation, and jurisprudence in the style of the source jurisdiction's own citation system." Also "provides standards for citing treaties and documents from international organizations as well as from regional and hybrid courts." Includes profiles of countries' legal systems and international organizations.

Guide to Law Online: Nations
The Library of Congress maintains links to legal resources for many countries.

Hieros Gamos
Hieros Gamos offers access to information about law firms and law schools around the world. See heading Law Worldwide, which includes links to international organizations and individual countries. 

World Legal Information Institute
Searchable access to primary and secondary law from around the world, as well as direct links to the legal information institutes of specific countries and regions.

Research Guides

The following guides provide additional sources for and information about international, foreign, and comparative law research.

ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law - Prepared by the American Society of International Law

Georgetown Law Library Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide

Georgetown Law Library International Law Research Guide

GlobaLex - Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law. Includes guides to international law research, comparative law research, and foreign law research.

International Legal Research Tutorial - Prepared by Duke University School of Law and University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

LLRX Comparative and Foreign Law Guides offers guides for over 50 countries or regions. (See International Law link for specific country guides.)

United Nations Documentation Research Guide - Prepared by staff at the U.N.

United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law - includes well-organized links to collections of treatises, international tribunals, primary and secondary documents, and international law journals.

Foreign Legal Journals
    Click above to link to separate page on Foreign Legal Journal resources.

    Selected Catalog Searches and Print Titles

    The Drake Libraries catalog provides access to Drake's collections of books on international, foreign, and comparative law. Some suggested searches and titles follow:

    Click on the links below to conduct a search for that subject in the Drake Libraries catalog. Click on the links below to find these items in the Drake Libraries catalog.

    Accidental Tourist on the New Frontier: An Introductory Guide to Global Legal Research
    Reserve K85 .A27 1998

    A Basic Course in Public International Law Research
    KZ1234 .W56 2005

    Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys
    K85 .G47 1991

    International and Foreign Legal Research: A Coursebook
    K85 .H64 2008

    International Legal Research in a Nutshell
    Reserve KZ1234 .H64 2008

    Guide to International Legal Research
    Reserve KZ1234 .G85 2005 

    Modern Dictionary of International Legal Terms
    Reserve JX 1226 .L56 1993

    Political Handbook of the World
    Reserve JF 37 .P6 2005

    Principles of Public International Law
    Reserve KZ3225.B76 A37 2003

    World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations
    Reserve K54 .W67 1991 


    [1] Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (the principal judicial organ of the United Nations) is generally considered the most authoritative enumeration of the sources of international law:

    "The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply:
      1. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
      2. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
      3. the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
      4. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law."
      The complete Statute as well as general information about the Court; judgments, orders and advisory opinions; pleadings and oral arguments; docket; rules of court and other information can be found at the Court's web site:
      Prepared by Karen Wallace, Circulation/Reference Librarian
      Last Revised: July 2009, SL
      Please feel free to e-mail author with suggestions on improving this guide.

      Last Modified: 8/11/2009 8:50:00 AM by Karen Wallace