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.

Secondary Sources for Comparative Law Research

The column on the right includes a sampling of introductory resources on comparative law theory and practice.  The resources described below will help you to begin comparing the laws governing a particular subject in two or more jurisdictions.

Multinational Sources Compared

Multinational Sources Compared is a HeinOnline database you can use to identify secondary sources that compare the laws governing a particular subject in multiple jurisdictions.  Browse alphabetically by subject or by jurisdiction.  Or search by keyword.  For each secondary source, a description of the content is provided, along with a list of jurisdictions covered. 

To determine if the Georgetown Law Library provides access to a particular secondary source in print or electronic format, search for it by title (not by keyword) in the library's online catalog.  If the library doesn't provide access, you may request a print copy via inter-library loan.

Getting the Deal Through (GTDT)

Getting the Deal Through provides detailed, practitioner-written summaries of national laws that govern dozens of work areas using a question and answer format.  Work areas focus primarily on commercial law and regulatory compliance.  Jurisdictional coverage varies by work area.

To generate a report comparing the laws governing a particular work area in two or more jurisdictions, begin by selecting the work area from the menu.  After the page refreshes, select the desired jurisdictions to generate the report.

International Encyclopaedia of Laws (IEL) Online

IEL Online covers more than two dozen practice areas.  For each practice area, you will find multiple jurisdiction-specific treatises (national monographs), which provide detailed summaries of the laws governing that practice area within the designated jurisdiction, along with citations to primary sources.  Each treatise follows a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws across multiple jurisdictions. 


To begin, select the practice area by scrolling through the alphabetical list.  Then, after the page refreshes, scroll down to select the country report for the desired jurisdiction.  Each chapter may be downloaded as a PDF document.  Note that jurisdictional coverage is selective, not comprehensive, and varies by subject, with most practice areas covering between 25 and 75 jurisdictions.

Introductory Sources on Comparative Law

Find More Resources on Comparative Law

To locate additional resources on comparative law, search the Law Library's online catalog, by keyword or by title.  Or search by subject using one of the following subject headings:

For greater precision, use the Advanced Search template to search for a subject heading in combination with one or more keywords.

Questions? Need Help? Contact the International & Foreign Law Dept.

International & Foreign
Legal Research

(202) 662-4195

Request a Research Consultation