Finding Primary Foreign Law

Foreign Law

Foreign Law refers to the domestic law of any country other than the United States. When researching the law of a foreign nation, it is helpful to begin with a research guide or overview of the legal system. Use these starting points to find laws, legislative texts, and caselaw of individual countries. Example: Ley de concursos mercantiles, Diario Oficial de la Federacion [D.O.], 12 de Mayo de 2000 (Mex.).

  • Reynolds & Flores Foreign Law Guide, is an excellent starting point for locating the statutes of another country. For each foreign country there is a brief introduction to the legal system, a list of codifications, gazettes and other sources of law and then a section listing sources of law by subject. There are citations to materials both in the original language and English translations where available.
  • LLRX Comparative and the Foreign Law Guides is a collection of research guides for over 50 countries and regions written by law libraries.
  • Inter-America Database is a Latin American law database developed by the National Law Center for InterAmerican Free Trade. InterAm access is limited to USD students, faculty, and staff through the LRC Research Databases page.

Westlaw and Lexis

Both LexisNexis and Westlaw contain legal databases for a variety of countries. Coverage varies widely between the two databases. You should consult the LexisNexis and Westlaw database directories lists for a complete list with detailed descriptions.