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Foreign Legal Research: Primary Law

This guide contains tips and resources for researching the laws of foreign countries.

Finding Primary Sources of Foreign Law


Where and how you search for a country's primary law will depend entirely upon the type of legal system, the language, and how (and if) the country publishes its case law, codes, legislation, and other laws.  It would be impossible to include all of the world's sources of primary law in one research guide.

For help in finding primary laws from your country of interest, you should refer to background sources, such as the Foreign Law Guide and Globalex, and to secondary materials, such as books and journal articles.  The sources listed on this page represent only a small sample of what might be available to you.

Finding Foreign Case Law By Citation

Law Library Databases

Print Resources

The Law Library holds many foreign primary law resources in print, including case reporters, codes, legislation, and official gazettes. The third floor of the library is entirely devoted to housing the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Collection, which consists of over 90,000 volumes and comprises approximately twenty percent of the Law Library’s holdings. The contains materials in English, French, and a variety of other languages.  The collection is especially rich in resources from and about those countries and territories that have had a particular impact on the development of Louisiana law, or whose laws and legal systems are frequently used in comparison with the laws and legal system of Louisiana. Print materials containing primary law can be located using the Law Library catalog.

Primary law materials not available online or in the Law Library's print collections may requested through interlibrary loan.

Please click here for more information on identifying and obtaining print materials.


Open Access Databases

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