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.

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.
  • Beginning Your Foreign Legal Research (Columbia Law Library)
    Particularly useful for tips on identifying the type of legal system in place in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • 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 Law: Subject Law Collections on the Web (GlobaLex)
    Provides a comprehensive listing of subject-specific collections of foreign law that are accessible online.
  • An Introduction to African Legal Resources (Columbia Law Library)
    Focuses on regional resources, both in print and online, for researching law in multiple African jurisdictions.
  • Islamic Law (Columbia Law Library)
    Provides a basic introduction to researching Islamic law, including both primary and secondary sources.

Update History

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