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 by Jurisdiction

Listed below are electronic resources that provide access to foreign case law from a single jurisdiction.  Many are free databases maintained by legal information institutes and other non-profit entities dedicated to providing open access to legal information in their respective jurisdictions.  Others are maintained by foreign governments.

Also included are subscription legal research platforms provided by the Georgetown Law Library that focus on jurisdictions outside the U.S. and jurisdiction-specific foreign case law databases available to academic users of Lexis and Westlaw.  Note that not all of the foreign case law databases offered by Lexis and Westlaw are included in the Law Library's academic subscriptions.

Australia Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
AustLII provides free online access to Australian case law from commonwealth (Cth), state, and territorial courts.  To search or browse for decisions issued by a particular court, begin by selecting the desired jurisdiction from the menu.  After the page refreshes, select the desired court from the list on the left side of the screen.  To search more broadly across all available case law databases, use the Advanced Search and check the appropriate box below the date filters.  Consult the User Guide for additional information.

All Australian Cases
Lexis's coverage of Australian case law includes separate databases of reported judgments issued by commonwealth (federal), state, and territorial courts, as well as many unreported decisions.  Lexis also provides access to decisions published in more than half a dozen subject-specific case law reporters.  Dates of coverage vary.  By default, searches are run across all available case law databases.  To limit searches to a particular database, click on the name of the desired database and wait for the page to refresh.

Australia Cases
Westlaw's coverage of Australian case law includes reported and unreported judgments issued by commonwealth (federal), state, and territorial courts, as well as subject-specific compilations of case law.  Dates of coverage vary by database.  By default, searches are run across all available case law databases.  To limit searches to a particular database, click on the name of the database and wait for the page to refresh.
Botswana Botswana Law Reports
The Juta Law research platform provides online access to this case law reporter series, which selectively publishes judgments issued by the High Court and the Court of Appeal of Botswana.  Search by keyword or use the menu on the left side of the screen to browse chronologically by year.  A consolidated Subject Index also is available for browsing.  Dates of coverage are from 1964-2016.
Canada Canadian Legal Information Instutite (CanLII)
CanLII provides free online access to federal, provincial, and territorial case law, as well as decisions issued by many federal and provincial boards and tribunals.  Use the search boxes at the top of the homepage to search for case law across all Canadian jurisdictions.  Alternatively, you may select a jurisdiction from the menu below the search boxes to browse or search for case law from a specific jurisdiction.

All Canada Cases
Lexis maintains separate databases of judgments issued by federal, provincial, and territorial courts.  It also provides access to to decisions published in subject-specific case law reporters.  Dates of coverage vary by database.  By default, searches are run across all available case law databases.  To limit searches to a particular database, click on the name of the desired database and wait for the page to refresh.

Canada Cases & Decisions
Westlaw's coverage of Canadian case law includes separate databases of judmgments issued by different types of federal courts and by courts in each Canadian province and territory.  More than two dozen topical compilations of case law also are available.  Dates of coverage vary by database.
China (People's Republic of) LawInfoChina
This subscription database provides full-text English translations or English language summaries more than 2,000 judicial decisions issued by national, provincial, and municipal courts.  Translations are displayed side-by-side next to the original Chinese text.  Begin by selecting "Judicial Cases" from the menu below the search box.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the left side of the screen to browse.  Or search by keyword. 
France Légifrance
Decisions issued by the Constitutional Council (Conseil Constitutionnel), the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation, the final court of appeal in civil and criminal matters), and the Council of State (Conseil d'Etat, the final court of appeal in administrative law matters) are available on this free platform, which is maintained by the French government.  The content and navigation are entirely in French.

Foreign Law Translations
The Institute for Transnational Law at the University of Texas maintains this free resource, which includes English translations of selected decisions issued by high-level French courts in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, contract law, and tort law. 
Germany German Law Archive
This free resource, hosted by Oxford University, provides English translations of selected judgments issued by the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), and the Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht).  A few judgments issued by higher regional courts also are included.

Foreign Law Translations
The Institute for Transnational Law at the University of Texas maintains this free resource, which includes English translations of selected decisions issued by high-level German courts in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, contract law, tort law, and restitution law.
Hong Kong Hong Kong Legal Information Institute (HKLII)
HKLII provides free online access to appellate case law, as well as decisions issued by the Court of First Instance and several specialized tribunals.  To browse, begin by clicking on Cases.  Then select either English Cases or Chinese Cases and the desired court.  Use the Advanced Search template to retrieve a known case by citation and for greater precision when searching by keyword.

All Hong Kong Cases
Lexis provides online access to Hong Kong Cases, a bilingual reporter that selectively publishes the most significant decisions issued by the courts of Hong Kong (1946-present); Hong Kong Cases Unreported, which publishes unreported judgments issued by the Court of Final Appeal, the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance (High Court), the District Court, the Lands Tribunal, and other specialist tribunals (1905-present); and CaseBase Hong Kong, a digest/citator that publishes summaries of decisions issued by the courts of Hong Kong, as well as summaries of foreign court decisions that have been cited by Hong Kong courts.

Hong Kong Cases
Westlaw's coverage includes the full texts (1905-present) and summaries (1985-present) of judgments published in The Hong Kong Law Reports & Digest;  the full texts of judgments issued by the Court of Final Appeal for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1997-present); and summaries of selected unreported cases (1999-present).  Some topical compilations of case law also are available. 
India

Indian Kanoon
This free resource provides access to judgments issued by federal and state courts, decisions issued by various specialized tribunals, as well as a more limited selection of federal statutes and parliamentary debates.  Dates and comprehensiveness of coverage vary by type of content and by jurisdiction.  Browse by court/tribunal name or search by keyword.  For greater precision, use the Advanced Search.

SCC Online
This subscription database includes case law from both federal and state courts, as well as legislation, regulations, and secondary sources.  Multiple search options are supported.  It is also possible to retrieve cases by citation and by party name.  Note:  First time users must register and create and account using a GULC email address.  Returning users should enter a GULC email address to log in.  No password is required.

Ireland British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
BAILII provides free online access to judgments of the Supreme Court of Ireland, the Court of Appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the High Court.  The search template supports both keyword and Boolean searching.  To limit searches to Irish courts, scroll down and check the appropriate boxes.  It is also possible to retrieve cases by citation and by party name and to browse Irish cases by court.

All Ireland Cases
Lexis provides online access to decisions of the Supreme Court of Ireland, the Court of Appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeal, and the High Court published in The Irish Reports, Ireland's official case law reporter.  Lexis also provides access to Irish Approved Judgments, a separate databases of unreported cases; a digest (summary) of unreported cases (no longer updated); and a specialized reporter for Irish tax cases (no longer updated).
Israel Israel Law Reports
This HeinOnline database provides online access to English translations of selected judgments of the Supreme Court of Israel, as published in the Israel Law Reports (title varies).  The coverage is from 1948 to 2016, at which point the print reporter ceased publication.  For English translations of more recent cases, consult the VERSA database, which is described below.

VERSA
This free resource, hosted by the Cardozo School of Law, provides online access to more than 300 full-text English translations of judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Israel.  Coverage is selective, not comprehensive, and covers the period from 1948-present.
Japan Supreme Court of Japan
Selected judgments issued by the Supreme Court are available in English translation from this searchable database, which is maintained by the court.  Decisions may be searched by keyword, by case number, and by date of judgment.  Translations are unofficial. 
Kenya Kenya Law Online
This free resource, which includes both case law and statutory law, is provided by the National Council for Law Reporting.  To search for case law by keyword, use the default Google Custom Search.  To retrieve a known case by party name, case number, date or other criteria, use the Advanced Search.  Consult the Help page for additional guidance.
Malaysia All Malaysia Cases
Lexis provides online access to the Malayan Law Journal Reports, which publishes all reported judgments issued by the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Malaysian High Court, along with headnotes and other editorial enhancements (1932-present).  Lexis also provides access to the Malayan Law Journal Unreporteds, a supplemental database of unreported judgments issued by the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Malaysian High Court; as well as subject-specific reporters covering contract law, the law of evidence, and industrial relations cases.      
Mexico Jurisprudencia de la Corte Suprema de México
Academic subscribers to Lexis may access this searchable database of judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Mexico.  Judgments are only available in Spanish.  No English translations are provided.  Search terms must be entered in Spanish.
New Zealand New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII)
NZLII provides free online access to decisions of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court, as well as many magistrate courts and specialized tribunals.  To retrieve a known case by party name and year, use the Browsing Menu and begin by selecting the relevant court or tribunal.  To search by keyword, use the Advanced Search and select "All Case Law Databases" to limit the search to case law.

All New Zealand Cases
Lexis provides online access to decisions issued by the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Court, as published in The New Zealand Law Reports; and to decisions issued by the District Court of New Zealand, as published in The District Court Reports.  Decisions published in more than half a dozen specialized and subject-specific case law reporters also are available.  Dates of coverage vary.
Singapore Singapore Law Reports Online
The JUSTIS legal research platform provides online access to this reporter series, which selectively publishes decisions issued by the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the Constitutional Tribunal of Singapore.  Coverage is from 1965-present.  To limit searches to cases published in the Singapore Law Reports, be sure that only the Singapore Law Reports is selected in the Report Series menu on the right side of the page.
South Africa

Butterworth's South African Constitutional Law Reports
U.S. academic subscribers to Lexis may access this reporter, which selectively publishes judicial decisions that interpret South Africa's post-apartheid constitution.  Most decisions are in English, but some are in Afrikaans.  The reporter also publishes key constitutional law decisions from neighboring countries, including Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.

Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII)
This free resource provides access to both federal and provincial case law from South Africa.  To browse chronologically by year of decision or alphabetically by party name, select the desired court from the menus.  (Click on the icons in the shape of downward pointing arrows to expand the menu.)  To search by keyword, open the Advanced Search form.  Then select the type of search from the "Find" menu.  Use the database menu on the right to limit searches to case law from a particular court or courts.

South Korea (Republic of Korea) Korea Cases
This Westlaw database includes English translations of decisions issued by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court of South Korea, as well as selected decisions from intermediate appellate courts.  Coverage is from 2000-present.
United Kingdom

ICLR Online
This subscription database provides access to all cases published in the quasi-official reporters known as The Law Reports (1865-present) and The Weekly Law Reports (1953-present), as well as cases published in several topical reporters.  Select the Full Search option to retrieve a known case by citation or by party name or to limit searches to a particular court, judge or date range.  The database also includes a citator to help you determine if a case is still good law.

vlexJustis
This subscription database allows you search the full texts of judgments issued by the UK Supreme Court and by the courts of England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.  Use the filters, located below the guided search boxes, to search by citation or by case name (party name), and to limit searches by category (subject), by court, by judge, by reporter series or by date. 

British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII)
BAILII provides free online access to judgments of the Supreme Court and other UK-wide tribunals, decisions of courts in the UK's component nations (England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland), as well as case law from the Republic of Ireland.  The search template supports both keyword and Boolean searching.  Scroll down and check the appropriate boxes to limit searches to specific courts or to specify a date range.  It is also possible to search for known cases by citation and by party name.

Find Case Law
This free database, maintained by the UK National Archives, enables you to search by keyword across the full texts of judgments issued by the UK Supreme Court, the higher courts of England and Wales, and by selected subject-specific tribunals (immigration & asylum, tax, etc.).  There is no coverage of case law from Scotland or Northern Ireland, which have their own court systems.  Use the structured search interface to search by neutral case citation, by party name or by judge.  Visit this page for more information, including dates of coverage by court..

All United Kingdom Cases
Lexis provides access to dozens of UK case law reporters and databases, some of which are jurisdiction-based (the All England Law Reports, the Scottish Civil Law Reports, the Northern Ireland Law Reports, etc.) and some of which are subject-specific (company law, family law, etc.).  To search broadly across all available cases, use the default All United Kingdom Cases.

United Kingdom Cases
Westlaw's UK case law database includes cases published in dozens of subject-specific case reporters (dates of coverage vary).  Westlaw also has a separate database of historical cases published in The English Reports (covering the period from 1220 to 1865).  In addition, Westlaw offers a UK Case Law Locator (citator) that will help you to determine if a particular case is still good law.