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Foreign and International Legal Materials: A Practical Guide

Looking for a Foreign Legal Resource with a Citation

If you have a citation to a foreign legal resource already, look it up in Table 2 of the Bluebook and find the full name of the publication. You can then plug the name of the publication into BC Law Library's Catalog to see if it is in the Law Library collection; you may also Google and see if the publication is freely available online.

Strategies for More Open-Ended Foreign Legal Research Questions

If it Is a more open-ended question, you probably need to do some investigation into the foreign legal system first and try to find answers to the following questions:

  • What are the sources of law?
  • How are they related to each other? 
  • Where are they published?

The following sources will help you with your initial investigation. Each of the sources below include profiles for foreign jurisdictions around the globe. For each country profile, it often begins with a brief introduction of the legal system, illuminates the sources of law for that country and tells you where those sources are published, either in print or online:

Therefore, if you do not have a citation and are looking for an online database to search with specific terms or keywords, check the country profile in the sources above----they often identify the best databases for you to run the searches.

More Foreign Legal Research Databases

If you are looking for foreign constitutions, BC Law Library subscribes to: 

For Chinese legal research databases, BC Law Library subscribes to:

For United Kingdom legal research databases, BC Law Library subscribes to:

For foreign cases and legislation in multiple jurisdictions, you may try: