Finding Foreign and International Law

United Kingdom and Ireland

Sources of Legislation

  • BAILII – The British and Irish Legal Information Institute
    This free database offers full text of unconsolidated UK statutes from 1988 and Statutory Instruments from 1987.
  • Iris Oifigiúil (Irish State Gazette) – This site features full text PDFs of the Gazette from 2002 to the present.
  • Irish Statute Book – The electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) offers full text of the Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments from 1922 to present as well as a Legislative Directory.
  • The Law Commission– The Law Commission conducts research and consultations in order to make recommendations to Parliament. The website provides access to full text reports and consultations papers. A-Z of Projects contains summaries of current law reform initiatives
  • Legislation.gov.uk – This website is maintained by the National Archives on behalf of HM Government, publishing legislation from the United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This includes Public General Acts 1988-present, Local Acts 1991-present and Explanatory Notes 1999-present with select Public and Local acts available from 1857 onwards. Statutory Instruments are available from 1987-present. The website was formerly maintained by the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).
  • The Gazette – This site offers features to search current as well as historical Gazettes using date or keyword searching. The London & Belfast Gazette are also available.
  • Parliament – Parliament.uk provides access to full text Bills from 2001 to present, along with detailed information about their status; the Weekly Information Bulletin, which provides a complete list of public bills introduced in each session of Parliament from 1995-present, along with their status; and Hansard, where users can browse full text House of Commons Debates from 1988 and House of Lords Debates from 1995-1996. Parliament.uk features links to Historic Hansard, which archives House of Commons debates from 1803-2005, and to additional publications such as standing orders, business papers and committee publications.
  • Parliament Rolls of Medieval England
  • Tynwald (Acts) – This general government website offers many helpful links concerning the Isle of Mann as well as links to full text of legislation from 2001-current.
  • Wales Legislation Online – This site features Welsh translations of acts as well as a topical search engine for legislation.
  • Magna Carta of 1215

Citing UK Legislation

Citing British statues is very similar to citing Canadian statutes with two important exceptions:

  •  If the act came before January 1, 1963, a comma is placed between the name of the act and the year. If the act came after January 1, 1963 then no comma separates the act from the year.
  • The regnal year for legislation before January 1, 1963 must be cited. For legislation enacted after January 1, 1963,s the calendar year must be cited.

Example:

– Official Secrets Act, 1939 (U.K), 2 & 3 Geo 6, c. 121

– Family Law Act 1996 (U.K), 1996, c. 27

United States

Sources for Federal U.S Legislation

  • Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII)
    LII is a not-for-profit organization that provides electronic access to Federal Law, the Constitution of the United States of America, the U.S. Code , Federal Rules , Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) , State Statutes by topic, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), links to Popular Names of Acts in the US Code , along with many other helpful resources.
  • FindLaw
  • GPO Access
    GPO Access is a service provided by the Government Printing Office (GPO) that provides free electronic access to government publications. This site offers full text links to Public and Private Laws from 1996 to the present, the U.S Code from 1994, The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) from 1996, Bill Summaries and Status from 1983 onwards, Statutes at Large from 2003 to current, as well as links to Conference and Congressional Reports and the Federal Registrar.
  • HeinOnline
    Provides access to United States Statutes at Large from 1789-2009 and the Federal Registrar Library allowing access to regulations from 1936-2009.
  • Office of the Law Revision Counsel
    The Office of the Law Revision Counsel prepares and publishes the United States Code, which is a consolidation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States
  • Statutes at Large (1789-1873)
    This collection covers 18 volumes of the Statutes at Large, from 1789-1875.
  • Library of Congress
    This collection contains bills from 1989 to current, activity in Congress and the Congressional Record, session schedules and calendars, committee reports, as well as links to the U.S. Code.
  • United States Senate This site offers current and historical information about the United States Senate, a listing of current Senators as well as links to find legislation introduced by the senate and links to the full text of the Congressional Record, which documents the proceedings of Congress from 1873 to the present.
  • United States House of Representatives
    The House of Representatives site allows the user to search current bills and debates, access Committee Offices and their publications, find voting information, and access the U.S Code.

Sources for State Legislation

  • Cornell Legal Information Institute (LII)
    LII provides options to browse state law by jurisdiction, and state statutes by topic.
  • Dispatch 
    Provides major speeches and congressional testimony from the State Department prior to Jan. 2001.
  • FindLaw
    Statutes arranged by jurisdiction.
  • Law Library of Congress
    The Law Library of Congress offers comprehensive links for each state including links to State Codes, government and court websites, legislative information such as bills and debates, and legal research guides.
  • Uniform Law Commission
    The Uniform Law Commission is a non-partisan organization comprised of members of the bar. The Commission researches, drafts and promotes enactment of uniform state laws.

Additional resources

Additional Foreign Law Resources

Treaties

International Law

  • American Society of International Law (ASIL)
    ASIL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational membership organization founded in 1906 and chartered by Congress in 1950.
  • CIAO- Columbia International Affairs Online
    Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
    The mandate of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations and to encourage the country’s international trade.
  • EUR-Lex
    European Union Law
  • European Journal of International Law
    This website forms an integral part of the EJIL and full-text articles of all but the most recent issues are available here in the archive.
  • European Parliament
    This is the official website of the European Union. It is a good starting point if you are looking for information and services provided by the EU but you don’t know your way around our sites.
  • Globalex International Law Guides
    GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication dedicated to international and foreign law research.
  • International Court of Justice
    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
  • International Law Commission
    The International Law Commission was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 for the promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification. It holds an annual session at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
  • LawCite
    A free legal citator service provided by the South African Legal Information Institute.
  • Natlex
    Database of national laws on labor, social security and related human rights
  • World Courts
    The World Courts project was established in May 1999 to provide a comprehensive database of decisions rendered by international judicial and quasi-judicial bodies. It currently consists of over 4000 decisions and covers 18 institutions in English and 2 in Russian.

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