Foreign Law Collections at HLSL
Before begining a search for foreign laws, it's a good idea to check the Foreign Law Guide
Here you will get an idea of the codifications, names of collections of session laws and official gazettes for a country. You can look up the titles in Hollis or go into the ILS building to browse the collections.
Our foreign collections are located in the International Legal Studies stacks. You can look at our guide on Foreign and International Books at HLSL to determine the location of materials for a specific jurisdiction or call number.
If you don't see something on the shelf, it doesn't mean that we don't have it. Currently only about 30% of our materials are on the open shelves. Older materials will usually be in the Depository but they can be recalled and are usually available the next business day.
Guides to Foreign Law Research
Introductions to legal systems. Most of the major jurisdictions have introductory treatises written in the vernacular of the country and in English. For the most part these are located in the Reference area of the Library.
- Foreign Law Guide (Reynolds and Flores)An excellent online source for information about foreign jurisdictions and citations to laws from these jurisdictions.
- GlobalexHosts many guides to foreign law research. These are usually written by practitioners from the jurisdiction.
- Modern Legal Sysytems Cyclopaedia [Reference K583 .M62x 1984]Provides a thorough overview of a jurisdiction and how the legal systems works. As a looseleaf service it is quickly updated.
Topical Areas of Law
There are many sources that treat an area of law and will have very complete chapters on that area of law in a particular country. Often they include translations of laws as well. One example is the International Encyclopaedia of Laws series. In this series, there are several volume sets dealing with everything from Civil Procedure to Cyber Law. Many more such sets exist.
Family Law is another area. There are many specialized sources that deal with this topic in Islamic and Middle Eastern Law. There is an entire guide devoted to Islamic Law and Islamic Family Law.