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Pritzker Legal Research Center


International Law: Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Overview

This section provides a very brief overview of how to find laws and cases from countries other than the United States. For more detailed guidance on how to find foreign legal materials, please see the Foreign Legal Research Guide

Research Process

Begin all foreign law research projects by consulting secondary sources (e.g., journal articles, books, NGO reports, etc.) to familiarize yourself with the topic and to identify citations to relevant national laws, cases, or other legal materials. Then use the following process to locate the foreign legal materials.

Step 1: Identify and understand the legal system of the country you intend to research to understand significant sources of law. 

  • JuriGlobe World Legal Systems: provides access to an alphabetical list of countries around the world and their corresponding legal systems as well as lists of the various legal systems and all of those countries that have that system.
  • CIA Factbook: provides a description of each legal system for countries around the world. 

Step 2: Consult a country-specific research guide (see below) to understand the sources of law for the country of interest and to identify resources you should use to retrieve legal materials from that country.  

Step 3: Find the sources of law using the databases, websites, or print materials recommended by the research guide(s). 

Research Guides

The following research guides are recommended starting points for conducting legal research in a particular country. Use these research guides to help you identify reputable databases and websites where you can find foreign legal materials.

Constitutions

Constitutions are one of the most important texts to consult when conducting foreign legal research because they set out the fundamental principles and laws of a nation. 

Subject Law Collections

Most of the databases and resources recommended in the research guides will be country-specific, such as government websites. Subject-specific collections of laws, which collect laws and/or cases from various countries pertaining to a particular subject, can also be useful resources to incorporate into your research process. These resources often have great search capabilities and the ability to navigate the database in English. For a much more comprehensive guide to subject law collections than the selected databases listed below, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law - Subject Law Collections on the Web research guide