Austrian Legal Research
This guide provides information about how to use Harvard Law School Library's collection for researching Austrian law. It includes references to books, other print materials, subscription databases, and free internet resources.
Both English- and German language resources are discussed, although its primary focus is on English-language materials. Languages are designated throughout the guide by flag icons:
The most important online source for Austrian law is the federal government's Rechtsinformationssystem (RIS), which is an extensive database of current and historical legal primary sources. RIS is discussed multiple times in this guide, and Austrian legal research is, for all intents and purposes, impossible without it. The excellent English-language introduction to RIS should be read before using the database.
If you are affiliated with the HLS community and need assistance with Austrian law research, or if you have questions or feedback about this guide, please contact FCIL Librarian Jennifer Allison.
Getting Started with Your Research
Austrian legal research is easier if you read German; however, there are still plenty of English-language resources available.
- First, learn about the Austrian legal system, including the full and abbreviated names of the relevant legal bodies and institutions, as well as the process by which laws are created and published.
- Next, review relevant secondary sources, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, digests, treatises, legal periodicals, and legal news publications. In addition to providing citations to primary law, these will help you understand the principles of the topic you are researching.
- Finally, review applicable primary sources, including constitutional provisions, statutes, case law, and regulations.
This guide will aid you in finding those resources in English and in German.
Review the sources below for more in-depth information about Austria, the Austrian legal system, and Austrian legal research.
Getting Help from a Librarian
For help, visit the HLSL Ask a Librarian website: http://asklib.law.harvard.edu.
This site includes links to all of our research guides, contact information for HLSL research librarians (phone, text, email, chat), and a schedule of our training classes.
German-Language Research Elsewhere at Harvard
Harvard Libraries' excellent Germanic Research Guide provides information about German-language research resources at the Widener Library and elsewhere on the Harvard campus.
If your research needs to extend to German-language non-legal materials, this guide will be very helpful to you.