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German Law Research

German Legal Research: Willkommen!

This guide discusses researching German law. It lists books, other print materials, subscription databases, and free internet resources.  


The primary focus of this guide is on English-language materials. However, German-language materials are also included. 

Where appropriate, languages are designated in the guide by flag icons:

English-language materials:  USA flag

German-language materials:  German flag

Subscription Databases

The law library subscribes to several German law databases, including Beck-Online, Juris, and Makrolog Recht für Deutschland. This guide focuses primarily on our print collection, free internet resources, and Beck-Online, as the library is charged a per-view fee for documents in Juris and Makrolog.  

(Photo Credit: "Two Churches: Cologne, Germany." Michael Rastetter, Creative Commons License,

Getting Started:
Auf die Plätze, Fertig, Los!

German legal research is easier if you read German; however, there are still plenty of English-language resources available.  

Good practices of legal research apply regardless of jurisdiction:

1.  First, learn about the German legal system, including full and abbreviated names of legal bodies and institutions, and the process by which laws are enacted and published.  

2.  Next, review relevant secondary sources. They provide citations to primary law and help you understand the topic.  

3.  Finally, review applicable primary sources, including constitutional provisions, statutes, case law, and regulations.

This guide will help you find those resources in English and in German. 

Helpful Websites