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LAW Foreign Legislation

Foreign law is the domestic, national or internal law of a country or jurisdiction.This guide is intended to help researchers locate the legislation of foreign jurisdictions.

Foreign Legislation

Foreign law is the domestic, national or internal law of a country or jurisdiction.This guide is intended to help researchers locate the legislation of foreign jurisdictions. The tabs found above will open pages that have links to some relevant key sources. Legal databases may be restricted to University of Calgary users or to Faculty of Law users.It does not include international law and treaties. If that is your topic, there is an International Law guide you may wish to use in your research. Legislative materials on paper are located on the 1st floor of the law library.

Conducting foreign legal research:

  • Look at research guides for a specific country to determine what information is available. Foreign Law Guide - is a database that describes legal systems and references sources of law. It may also provide information about English translations.
  • Look for a LII (Legal Information Institute) website, or something similar, for that particular country. See what legal materials are available at WorldLII.
  • Generally, the steps are the same as for Canadian legal research:
  1. Start with secondary sources which include encyclopedias, books and journal articles. They provide an overview of the law and background information and give references (citations) to relevant legislation.
  2. Use the library catalogue or the big search box on the main library page to locate books. Search the online catalogue under "subject" with terms "law" and the country's name.
  3. Continue with primary materials including legislation, regulations and cases.
  4. Ensure the law is current.

Secondary Sources for Foreign Law

  • The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals is available on the database HeinOnline. If a journal is there, it may be available in fulltext.
  • LegalTrac indexes U.S., U.K., and Australian legal periodicals, from 1980 to present.

Foreign Law Research Guides

Links to Internet sources useful for background information on legal systems of various countries:

Bilingual/Multilingual Law Dictionaries

Bennett Jones Law Library

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Bennett Jones Law Library
Contact:
2nd Floor, Murray Fraser Hall
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
403-220-7274
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Subjects:Law

Availability of Foreign Materials

  • Many countries put their statutes on the Internet free of charge. Some governments may provide websites with bills, statutes and regulations.
  • The amount available will depend on the country.
  • Not everything is on the Internet.
  • Not everything is written in English. Translations may not be official.

How to find Country Information

Information about countries and regions may be found in a number of resources.  The How to Find Country Information guide will provide an overview of the resources that are available at the University of Calgary Library.  The guide provides tips on how to use the various Discovery Tools available as well a selection of websites.

Legislative synonyms

When dealing with legislative materials, you may find an item is also known by a different name:

  • Hansard = Debates
  • Statutes = Acts = Laws
  • Regulations = Statutory Instruments = Rules = subordinate legislation

Different jurisdictions may have their own legal terminology.

Government materials are also organized by authoring agencies, so think about where a document may have originated when doing your search.