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Foreign Law Research: Legislation

Starting points to either collect foreign law sources or conduct in-depth foreign law research.

Source Collection

There are two main ways to locate foreign legislation, by jurisdiction and by subject. If one method doesn't work for you, try the other method, or try the Jurisdiction & Subject options. If you still aren't able to find a copy of the legislation, look for country-specific guidance in T2 of the Bluebook or use the resources in Where to Begin to find a guide that will provide more specifics on locating legislation in your jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction

Most countries publish their legislation chronologically in a government gazette. This is most analogous to, but not the same as, the Federal Register in the U.S. Many countries do not organize their laws by subject, so those countries do not have something similar to the United States Code (U.S.C.). A country-specific guide will generally indicate where you can expect to find a country's laws published.

Having the name and/or number assigned to the law, and date of enactment and/or date of publication in the government gazette, will generally allow you to locate the law in the relevant gazette once you locate the gazette through the first couple resources below.

Subject

Choose the resource(s) below that most closely match the subject of the law you're trying to find, then navigate to legislation from your jurisdiction within that resource. Most resources include English translations for selected laws.

Jurisdiction & Subject

Both resources allow browsing or searching by jurisdiction, subject, and other options to locate resources reprinting or discussing laws around the world. You'll then need to use the citation information provided to locate the resource electronically or find it in print through a UCI library catalog.

Researching Legislation

Similar to U.S. legal research, it can be challenging to find relevant laws through keyword searches of a country's legislation. Instead, start with guides and secondary sources that will point you to relevant legislation, which you can then locate using the Source Collection guidance as needed. 

Here are some multi-jurisdictional resources to begin. Use country-specific guides found through Where to Begin for tips on finding additional secondary sources specific to your jurisdiction.