Foreign & Comparative Law - University of Miami | School of Law

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FOREIGN & COMPARATIVE
LAW RESEARCH TRAINING
University of Miami Law Library
Foreign & Comparative Law
Spring, 2012
Foreign Law
The domestic law of a
non U.S. jurisdiction.
2012
Comparative Law
The study and evaluation
of the differences and
similarities between two or
more legal systems.
2012
Challenges
2012
Language
Foreign law is usually only
published in the language
of the country.
2012
Availability
Even if you read the
appropriate foreign
language, it can be difficult to
find the primary materials.
2012
Translations
Translations are rarely official.
Unofficial translations are
secondary sources.
2012
Reliability
Is the translation reliable?
2012
Secondary Sources
Secondary sources are
especially important, since it can
be difficult to find primary
materials.
2012
Abbreviations
Prince’s Bieber’s Dictionary of
Legal Abbreviations – 2009 –
book
World Dictionary of Legal
Abbreviations – 2001- book

2012
Abbreviations
Cardiff Index to Legal
Abbreviations – electronic

2012
Citations

The Bluebook
Rule 20: Foreign Materials
(page 179)
T2 – Jurisdiction Specific
citation
Example - Chile
2012
Citations
Guide to Foreign and
International Legal Citations,
Wolters Kluwer, 2009 (NYU) –
book
First edition on web – 2006

2012
Citations

Oxford Standard for Citation of
Legal Authorities – electronic
[OSCOLA]
2012
Foreign Dictionary
Example –
English/Spanish and
Spanish/English legal
dictionary

2012
Books to Get You Started



Mary Ann Glendon, et al. Comparative Legal
Traditions: text , materials and cases on Western Law,
3d
Mary Ann Glendon, Comparative Legal Traditions in
a Nutshell, 3d ed
Claire Germain, Germain’s Transnational Law
Research: a guide for attorneys - 2006
2012
More Books



Marci Hoffman and Mary Rumsey International and
Foreign Legal Research: a coursebook – 2008
Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia – 2005
John Henry Merryman, The Civil Law Tradition: an
introduction to the legal systems of Europe and
Latin America, 2007
2012
CALI Lessons to Get You Started
CALI Lessons
Examples of Lessons: Introduction to
Foreign Legal Research, Introduction to
Human Rights Research, and
Researching Canadian Law: Case
Approach.
2012
Research Guides to Get You
Started

Institute of Advanced Legal
Studies, University of London

LLRX.com

GlobaLex
2012
Research Guides to Get You
Started

BerkeleyLaw Library
Duke Law – Library &
Technology

2012
TIP 1
Learn about the legal system before
looking for the law
Learn how its legal resources are
structured:
what codes or statutes exist,
what role case law plays,
etc.
2012
TIP 2
Use secondary resources
This will hopefully lead
you to citations to the
proper statute, code or
case, etc
2012
TIP 3
Now look for the law
Depending on your Topic
You can use (if one exists) a subject
compilation of laws
or
You can look for the law by country
2012
TIP 4
Remember that unofficial
translations are secondary
sources
Is the translation a summary or a
full translation?
2012
Legal Systems
Civil
Common
Customary
Muslim
Mixed

2012
2012
JuriGlobe–World Legal Systems –
Research Group
JuriGlobe is a research group formed by professors
from the Faculty of Law of the University of
Ottawa, which focuses on the development of a
multilingual information data bank, accessible to all
on the internet, containing general information
relating to the different legal systems in the world,
to the different official languages and to some of
the most important international commercial
conventions, as well as other multilateral commercial
tools.
2012
Country Reports/Studies
Lexis.com
News & Business / Country &
Region (excluding U.S.)
 Library of Congress
 CIA World Factbook

2012
Sites
2012
Law Library of Congress – Guide to
Law Online
International and Multinational
 Nations of the World
 U.S. Federal - includes U.S. Code and
Constitution
 U.S. States and Territories
 Guide Index – by Country

2012
Country-by-Country Guides to
Foreign Legal Research
Lillian Goldman Law
Library (Yale)

2012
Foreign Law Sites
Cornell Law Library
 Country-by-country listing of
information on web. Also
includes international and
regional information

2012
Foreign Law Guide

Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation
in Jurisdictions of the World Reynolds and
Flores
 Access – Baron
 http://baron.law.miami.edu/search/t?SEARC
H=foreign+law+guide
 Subscription Databases http://www.law.miami.edu/library/databas
es.php
 Internet Resources - Foreign
2012
World Legal Information Institute
Access: Internet Resources - Foreign
 Voluntary Site
 List of countries with links to legal material
available on the internet
 1230 databases from 123 jurisdictions via
14 Legal Information Institutes

2012
Digests
2012
Martindale-Hubbell International Law
Digests
Martindale.com –
Search the Legal Library –
Advanced Search
Country Name

2012
Martindale-Hubbell International Law
Digests

Lexis – Print & Electronic [Lexis.com]
More advanced searching than with
Martindale.com
Legal – find “Laws by Country or
Region”- “Foreign Laws & Legal
Sources” - International Law Digests
2012
Treatises


Baron
“doing business”
Brazil
International business transactions
with Brazil
2012
Deskbooks
Access – Baron
 Example
China Law deskbook: a legal
guide for foreign-invested
enterprises. ABA 2010

2012
Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals,
produced by The American Association of Law
Libraries, provides access to legal literature
worldwide, covering all forms of foreign (nonAnglo-American) law.
 This includes comparative law and legal
systems, such as Islamic law; socialist law;
public and private international law; and
transnational commercial law. 1985 –
 HeinOnline

2012
HeinOnline







Subscription Databases
Law Journals
 Separate listing for International & Non-US law journals
Yearbooks
Browse through different Journals for current awareness –
comparative topics – “I”
Search also – do a field search – words in title or years
Table of Contents
pdf
2012
Political Database of the
Americas
Access: Internet Resources - Foreign
 Georgetown
 Links to executive, judicial and
legislative information for 35
countries – including constitutions

2012
GLIN – Global Legal Information
Network




Public database of official texts of laws, regulations,
judicial decisions, and other complementary legal
sources contributed by governmental agencies and
international organizations.
These GLIN members contribute the full texts of their
published documents to the database in their original
languages.
Each document is accompanied by a summary in
English
All summaries are available to the public, and public
access to full texts is also available for most
jurisdictions.
2012
Constitution of the Countries of the
World
Access: Internet Resources - Foreign
 Oceana
 Provides English translations in full-text of
almost 200 country constitutions.
 Only one user may access this service at
one time.

2012
Constitution Finder

University of Richmond
2012
Government Gazettes Online
University of Michigan
Access: Internet Resources – Foreign
 Attempts to list all online government
gazettes and their characteristics.
 A description of the contents and
coverage are included for each
gazette

2012
Lexis - Foreign


Legal
Find Laws by Country or Region
2012
Westlaw - Foreign
Add
a Tab
2012
Current Awareness


Library of Congress – Global Legal Monitor
The Global Legal Monitor is an online
publication from the Law Library of
Congress covering legal news and
developments worldwide. It is updated
frequently and draws on information from
the Global Legal Information Network,
official national legal publications, and
reliable press sources.
2012
Research Approaches and
Strategy
Secondary Sources
 Use Indexes, Table of Contents


Call an Expert – Librarians, the embassy,
etc.
2012
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