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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides


Foreign and Comparative Law

Foreign and Comparative Law

This page of the Law Subject Guide provides information about Foreign and Comparative Law.

Foreign legislation

Foreign laws will often be available in translation in English, especially in areas of corporate, commercial, trade and business law. For other areas of the law it may be difficult to find English translations. When searching for legislation you can adopt either a subject or a jurisdiction based approach.


US law


Case law

Foreign case law can be difficult to locate. Most courts will have an online presence, but coverage, dates and text availability will vary, with some countries only issuing decisions from the highest court.

Comparative law journals

Reference resources

When researching a foreign jurisdiction you may want to find some general statistics and background information to contextualise your study, for example, population size, conviction rate, religious beliefs etc. Statistical evidence can inform the conclusions you draw regarding economic, social and political conditions in the past and present. For sources of data and news, see the News and Social Data page.


Government gazettes

Government Gazettes will often provide the text of primary laws, as well as policies and decisions. Most countries will publish a gazette, but the content will vary widely.


There may be times when you cannot find an English translation of a foreign law, the Library has a collection of bilingual dictionaries in the Languages Hub on the first floor of the Harry Fairhurst Building which may be useful in these instances. You can search YorSearch to find out which language dictionaries are available.

Subject guides

Subject guides provide a good starting point for foreign legal research. They provide links to useful resources, may of which are freely available online. The following list includes some of the most useful subject guides and portals: