Securities Law (U.S. and International) Research Guide

This guide is a starting point for research in securities law, covering U.S. federal, U.S. state, international, and foreign securities law.

International Securities Law

This Research Guide covers only the major sources for researching international securities law. If you need more information for your international research question, please feel free to consult an international and comparative law librarian for further assistance. You may reach the International Reference Desk by phone, by email, or through Live Help online chat during Reference Desk hours.

Treaties & Other International Agreements

1. Major Agreements

  • International Organization of Securities Commissions' Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (May 2002) ("MMOU"). Signatories to the MMOU (who are securities regulatory agencies from 27 countries) agree to provide information related to bank and brokerage records, records identifying the beneficial owners of non-natural persons, and other critical information; to permit use of that information in enforcement and regulatory matters; and to otherwise keep that information confidential. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has signed the MMOU.
  • Convention on Insider Trading, opened for signature Apr. 20, 1989, entered into force Oct. 1, 1991, Council of Europe. The Convention "is intended to create mutual assistance by exchanges of information between Contracting Parties, to enable supervision of securities markets to be carried out effectively and to establish whether persons carrying out certain financial transactions on the stock markets are or are not insiders." (Quote from the introduction to the Explanatory Report.) The United States is not a signatory of the Convention on Insider Trading.
  • Convention on the Law Applicable to Certain Rights in Respect of Securities Held with an Intermediary ("Hague Securities Convention"), opened for signature Dec. 13, 2002 . The purpose of the Convention is to reduce uncertainty about the law applicable to cross-border securities transactions where securities are held by an intermediary. So far, the Convention has no signatories.

2. Sources of Additional Agreements


Foreign Laws & Regulators

Foreign Regulators

Countries other than the U.S. have their own agencies, similar to the SEC, that administer securities laws. Below are links to the web sites of selected foreign securities regulators:

Foreign Laws