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.

Other Research Guides

Foreign Jurisdiction Guides

The Georgetown Law Library offers legal research guides for the following foreign jurisdictions:  Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

This free resource, maintained by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU, includes English language guides to legal research for more than 150 jurisdictions.  Each guide is written by a law librarian or legal practitioner who is familiar with the jurisdiction and typically includes background information about the legal system, print sources for primary law, and links to online sources (where available).  Begin by clicking on the link labeled "Foreign Law."  Then select the desired jurisdiction.  Be sure to click on the link labeled "UPDATE," to the right of the jurisdiction's name, to access the most current information.

Additional Guides to Foreign & Comparative Law Research

Consult the following resources for additional guidance on researching foreign and comparative law:

  • Basic Guide to Researching Foreign Law (GlobaLex)
    This guide offers helpful advice and useful starting points for those new to foreign law research.
  • China (People's Republic of) Legal Research (Harvard Law Library)
    Provides helpful background information about the Chinese legal system, as well as overviews of free and subscription-based resources for legal research.
  • Comparative Law (GlobaLex)
    Provides an overview of comparative law concepts and methodology, as well as a selection of print and online resources.
  • Foreign & International Law Gateways (Harvard Law Library)
    Provides links to to foreign and international law content by subject, by country, and by region.
  • Foreign Jurisdiction Research Guides (Institute for Advanced Legal Studies Library, London)
    The law library at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London maintains research guides for more than two dozen foreign jurisdictions, all of which can be accessed from this gateway page.
  • Foreign Law: Subject Law Collections on the Web (GlobaLex)
    Provides a comprehensive listing of subject-specific collections of foreign law that are accessible online.
  • India Law Research (Harvard Law Library)
    Focuses on the law of India since its independence in 1947.
  • Islamic Law (Harvard Law Library)
    Provides a basic introduction to researching Islamic law, including both primary and secondary sources.
  • Korean Law (University of Iowa Law Library)
    Provides a helpful overview of the Korean legal system and its historical evolution, along with tips for locating both primary and secondary sources.


Update History

Updated 08/2022 (chb)
Revised 12/2017 (chb)
Updated 11/2013 (mms)
Revised 10/2012 (ajs)
Content added 06/2010 (mms)