Foreign Legal Systems in the United States
- 1 Foreign Legal Systems in the United States
- 1.1 Foreign Legal Systems in the Context of Foreign Legal Systems
- 1.2 Service of Process in Foreign Legal Systems in International Civil Litigation
- 1.3 Foreign Legal Systems Sources Online
- 1.4 International organizations
- 1.5 International Trade
- 1.6 International Tribunals
- 1.7 Treaties
- 1.8 Human Rights
- 1.9 Foreign
- 1.10 European Union
- 1.11 Assistance for Practitioners
- 1.12 Miscellaneous
- 1.13 Meta-indexes
- 1.14 Foreign Laws Research
- 1.15 Secondary Sources
- 1.16 Primary Materials / Internet Sources:
- 1.17 Primary Materials / Print Sources:
- 1.18 For more information:
- 1.19 Resources
Foreign Legal Systems in the Context of Foreign Legal Systems
Service of Process in Foreign Legal Systems in International Civil Litigation
Analysis of the Service of Process in Foreign Legal Systems.
Foreign Legal Systems Sources Online
The purpose of this entry is to provide links to online sources which complement or index materials available in general in the collection of a Law Library. The links selected are those which have been most helpful in answering foreign and international reference questions. For the researcher who needs to go beyond these links, several of the meta-indexes and search engines with applicability for foreign and international law are included near the end of the entry.
Some of the sources included here will provide the researcher with very recent material, including translations of statutes and decisions. However, the researcher is reminded that coverage for many individual countries is still limited to information about the country and summary descriptions of the legal system.
- International Organizations. This site contains links to comprehensive websites covering many international organizations and direct links to selected international organizations.The following are links to international organizations whose material is frequently requested.
- International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
- International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- United Nations
- World Bank
- International Court of Justice
- International Criminal Court
- International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
- International Military Tribunal – Nuremburg The Avalon Project at Yale Law School maintains a significant searchable collection of documents concerning the Nuremberg trials.
- Permanent Court of International Arbitration
- Guide to International Treaty Research. This is a pathfinder of print and online treaty sources available at the Los Angeles County Law Library.
- U.S. Department of State – Treaties and Legal Issues
- Cultural Property Treaties and Their Enforcement
- Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators
- Selected Texts of Multilateral TreatiesHague Conference. This site includes texts and status information for treaties concluded under the auspices of the Hague Conference.
- European Treaty Series. Contains the text, status information, and reservations and declarations for all treaties concluded under the auspices of the Council of Europe.
- Human Rights and Related Sources. This site includes links to a wide variety of sources on international human rights. It is maintained by the University of Minnesota Law Library.
- Human Rights Internet (HRI). This site is the online version of the print source.
- State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
- Foreign Government Information. A list of country links maintained by the GODORT International Documents Task Force and Northwestern University Library.
- Guide to Law Online. An extensive list of links compiled by the Law Library of Congress for the GLIN Homepage.
- Index to Foreign Countries. These links are maintained by Emory Law School.
- GLIN–Index and Abstracts of Laws in Foreign Official Gazettes. GLIN, maintained by the Law Library of Congress, allows the researcher to search a database of English language abstracts of laws from the official journals of a growing number of countries. Many of the official journals abstracted here can be found in the collection of the Los Angeles Country Law Library. Searching is limited to the “Non-Member” database.
- Supreme Court Decisions Around the World
- Court of Justice. Includes proceedings and judgments for the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance since mid-1996.
- Europa Homepage. This is the principal server of the European Union.
- EUR-LEX. This is the portal for direct free access to European law and its documents.
- European Union Internet Resources. A collection of links to servers, institutions, and documents of the European Union, maintained by the UC Berkeley Library.
Assistance for Practitioners
- Judicial Assistance. Information from the U.S. Department of State concerning such matters as service of process and taking evidence when a foreign jurisdiciton is involved.
- Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts. This publication of the U.S. State Department includes, address, telephone numbers, and contact names for embassies, consulates, and trade missions of the United States. It is now available only online.
- Glossaries by Language. A collection of links to glossaries for many languages. The glossaries are maintained by different sources and their quality varies.
- SOSIG Law Gateway. The SOSIG Law Gateway is a joint product of the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies and the University of Bristol Law Library. It is particularly helpful for its links to legal information for different countries under the heading “Other Jurisdictions.”
- EISIL: Electronic Information System for International Law
This site was developed by the American Society of International Law to offer access to primary law material, authoritative web sites and research guides in all areas of international law.
- World Wide Virtual Library: Foreign and International Law. An eclectic mix of country sites, law firms, programs and international conventions in one alphabet, maintained by Indiana University Law Library.
- HEIROS GAMOS Guide to International Law
- Legal Research on International Law Issues Using the Internet. A comprehensive site compiled and maintained by Lyonette Louis-Jacques of the University of Chicago Law Library
- The subscription-based Foreign Law Guide: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World by Reynolds and Flores explains the legal bibliographies of most foreign countries, including subject-specific treatises in English [formerly published by F. B. Rothman as a looseleaf under the title Foreign Laws].
- The blue pages of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.
- The foreign law research guides on GlobaLex.
- The Foreign and International Legal Research Guides from the Library of Congress.
- A legal encyclopedia explaining the law for a particular country; as discussed in the “Legal” section of the Encyclopedias entry.
- The “Doing Business in …” guides listed in the Doing Business in Foreign Countries entry (for summaries of foreign countries’ corporate, securities, banking, customs, tax, and other business-related laws).
- The volumes in the Getting the Deal Through series (print and online), which explain the laws of foreign countries in dozens of business-related practice areas.
- The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals can help you find articles on particular subjects. The Index is available in print (William S. Hein & Co.; formerly University of California Press) and on HeinOnline (1985-Current).
- Air Laws and Treaties of the World (Hein)
- International Securities Laws Handbooks (Aspen, formerly Bowne)
- Investment Laws of the World (Oxford University Press, formerly Oceana)
- Mergers and Acquisitions in Europe
- Trademarks Throughout the World (West) (Also in Westlaw’s TMWORLD database)
- Choice of Forum Provision
- Choice of Forum Clause Definition
- Choice of Forum Clause Sample
- Forum Selection
- Choice of Law
Foreign Laws Research
See below, in the following sections:
Many researchers often start their foreign law research with secondary sources. Some of the best follow.
Primary Materials / Internet Sources:
To find Internet links to primary legal materials for specific countries, (1) look up the entry for the country by name in this Guide and/or (2) check the links posted by the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) and/or (3) check the links posted in the Guide to Law Online by the Library of Congress.
Primary Materials / Print Sources:
Some publishers publish English translations of the key laws of foreign countries, notably the Central & Eastern European Legal Materials series by Columbia University’s Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. There are also many subject-specific compilations of English translations of foreign laws, such as:
Oxford University Press (formerly Oceana) publishes the definitive multi-volume Constitutions of the Countries of the World and Constitutions of Dependencies and Territories, each providing high quality English translations. Subscribers can access online editions. Alternatively, the subscription-based World Constitutions Illustrated library in HeinOnline includes the current constitution for all countries (with an English translation), “constitutional histories” for selected countries, plus hundreds of books and articles on constitutional law. Great stuff if you have a password.
If you don’t, the constitutions of many foreign countries are available free on the Internet at the University of Richmond’s Constitution Finder. Georgetown Universityposts Constitutions from North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean.Constitute not only posts the constitutions of many countries, it allows you to pick atopic and drill down to the related section in each country’s constitution.
Most countries publish new laws in a Gazette (the equivalent of the U.S.Congressional Record). Many of these Gazettes are posted online; and you can link to most online Gazettes through Government Gazettes Online. If that doesn’t do the trick, see if the Gazette is available on Lexis, Westlaw or at one of the libraries discussed above.
English translations of corporate, commercial, tax and other business-related laws for most countries are included in RIA’s World Wide Tax Law Service, which includesCommercial Laws of the World and Tax Laws of the World. The Service is available by subscription through Checkpoint.
In case of emergency: Guideline (formerly Find/SVP) has offices in 30 countries that do document retrieval of foreign legal materials. See also the separate entry for “Document Retrieval Services.”
For more information:
Foreign laws are further discussed in the entries for specific countries (e.g., “Australia,” “United Kingdom”) and specific subjects (e.g., “Patents,” “Environmental Law”).
For Truly Tough Questions:
Note: We linked the resources to archive.org in an effort to decrease the number of broken links cited.