Guide to print and online resources for comparative criminal procedure research.
Last Updated: Dec 1, 2011
For those who are not fluent in the language of the jurisdiction which is the subject of their study, one of the challenges in doing a comparative study of laws from foreign jurisdictions is finding the relevant codes and cases in translation. This guide includes links to finding aids for foreign domestic law, as well links to relevant comparative law treatises in the Pace Law Library collection.
Increasingly, countries are making statues, and in some instances, cases, available to the public via the Internet. A good finding aid for locating the foreign domestic law of a particular country will provide an overview of the organization of law in that country, as well as links to online sources of foreign domestic law, and citations to print sources of foreign domestic law for that country. Here are some websites which feature finding aids for the location of foreign domestic law.
- Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Legislation
Available on campus from the Pace Law Library Database page. Foreign Law provides an overview of the law of each jurisdiction it covers, and lists available sources of current foreign domestic law, including criminal law, and criminal procedure.
Globalex is a website from NYU that is dedicated to international law, comparative law, and foreign law research. The Foreign Law Research part of the Globalex website has numerous online guides for use in researching foreign domestic law.
- LLRX.com's Foreign and Comparative Law Guide
LLRX.com's Foreign and Comparative Law Guide has links to many online guides to doing foreign and comparative legal research.
LexisNexis and Westlaw have limited availablity of foreign domestic legal materials. Some government and non-profit organizations are making foreign domestic law freely available online. You may find that the best approach is to use a combination of resources. For example, if you were researching Australian law, you could search Australian cases on LexisNexis or Westlaw, but you would have to use another source, such as the Australian Legal Institute to find relevant statutes.
- Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)
GLIN is a Library of Congress database that contains the official text of laws, regulations, and cases for various jurisdictions. GLIN includes materials from many Latin American countries, as well as other countries, so it is worth checking to see if the materials you need can be found here. The full text of documents are supplied in their original language. In addition, a summary is supplied, which is sometimes available in multiple languages, including English.
LexisNexis does not have a lot of foreign domestic law in translation. There are no tabs for international law or laws of foreign countries in LexisNexis, but from the Legal tab, you can link to a list of covered jurisdictions. Also, note that some sources are marked as "archival" which means they are no longer being kept up to date.
Westlaw does not have a lot of foreign domestic law in translation. Search via the Directory link and you will see the availability of materials, which varies from country to country.
- World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)
WorldLII provides access to cases, statutes and regulations for many countries. It also provides access to law reform materials from various countries, and a selection of law journals.