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Introduction to Foreign and International Legal Research

Country Legal Research Guides

Country legal research guides typically compile print and online sources for a particular jurisdiction's legal materials. Some might also provide background information on a country's legal history and government structure or suggest sources for English translations. Below is a selected list of sources for online foreign legal research guides. 

Books and Treatises

The Mabie Law Library print collection contains a number of books and treatises for many non-U.S. jurisdictions. These secondary sources are useful for locating background and discussion on a foreign jurisdiction's laws and legal system, and can also point you toward relevant primary sources of law.

To get started, visit the Law Library catalog. A subject search that includes the name of the country of interest is recommended. For example:

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law have limited secondary materials for selected non-U.S. jurisdictions, such as law journals, treatises, and news sources.

Journal Articles

Scholarly articles can be a good source for discussion of and citation to relevant foreign legal materials for your topic.

To locate articles published in non-U.S. law journals, or law review articles on foreign & international law topics, try the following resources:

Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg Law

Westlaw has some primary and secondary legal sources from selected foreign jurisdictions, including: Australia, Canada, the EU, Hong Kong, Korea, and the UK, among others. However, be aware that the level of content coverage for the listed jurisdictions varies widely. 

To access these sources, select International Materials under the All Content tab, then browse materials by jurisdiction or content type. 

Lexis+ also has foreign legal materials from select jurisdictions. The list of countries covered in Lexis is more extensive than in Westlaw, but the scope of materials included for each country still varies widely.

To begin accessing foreign legal sources in Lexis+, visit the Lexis homepage and click on the International tab. Select a country from the initial list provided, or click on "View All Countries" for more.

Bloomberg Law contains legal materials from Canada, the EU, the UK, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and several other jurisdictions. Foreign and international materials in Bloomberg mainly include court filings or decisions, corporate filings, and international intellectual property materials.

To begin locating foreign & international materials in Bloomberg Law, log in with your Bloomberg Law username and password. In the menu to the left, under Browse All Content, click on All Legal Content Search. Then, click on Select Sources by Global Jurisdiction. From here you can enter keywords to search across all global content, or filter by jurisdiction and then content type.

*Access to Bloomberg Law requires a unique login, available to current UC Davis Law students, faculty, and staff. For registration help, please email lawlibref@ucdavis.edu.

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