Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

Foreign and Comparative Law Research Guide

Foreign law is the national (also referred to as domestic or internal) law of any country other than the United States and research methods will vary depending on the country you are researching. This guide provides starting points.

Foreign Case Law

Introduction

The availability of foreign case law varies widely by jurisdiction, depending on the type of legal system in place therein.  Generally speaking, it is much easier to find judgments issued by courts in common law jurisdictions, and in mixed jurisdictions of common law, than it is to find judgments issued by courts in non-common law jurisdictions. 

Where you look for a foreign court decision will be dictated, in large part, by the type of legal system in the relevant jurisdiction.  For decisions issued by courts in non-English speaking jurisdictions, English language summaries are more common than full-text English translations.

The following pages offer advice on research strategy and provide links to multi-jurisdictional resources, jurisdiction-specific case law databases, and compilations of foreign case law by subject.  Don't hesitate to contact a reference librarian if you need help.