Foreign law is the internal or domestic law of another country (e.g., laws of France, Australia, South Africa, etc.). This term should not be confused with international law, which is the body of rules governing the relationships between and among States (public international law) or the body of law regulating whether to apply the law of one country or another when there are conflicts in the domestic laws that relate to private transactions between individual parties (private international law). For guidance on conducting international legal research, please see our International Legal Research guide.
This research guide is intended to assist you with finding legal materials from any country outside of the United States.
Example: To provide an example of how this research process works, say you need to find the laws governing copyright in France and read in a secondary source that the two most important laws are the Law of 11 March 1957 and the Law of 3 July 1985, both of which are codified in the French Intellectual Property Code (arts. L 111-1 to L 343-7).
This guide was last updated and revised on 1/31/21.