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Databases: Databases for foreign law

An introduction to IALS Library's electronic resources.


Commonwealth - Europe - United States - Other - Multi-jurisdictional sources

All the databases mentioned can be found in the Electronic Law Library.

For foreign law material 
on Lexis®Library, open Sources tab (top-right), click on Browse Sources and select country. On Westlaw UK, click on Services and select International Materials.

Multi-jurisdictional sources

Subscription databases

Justis has cases from Singapore, Bermuda, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. Justis will acquire the content of Carilaw - cases from almost twenty Caribbean jurisdictions and from Caribbean regional courts - in November 2017.

SCC Online has cases from twenty Commonwealth jurisdictions, mainly in Asia and Africa; a few non-Commonwealth jurisdictions; and the West African Court of Appeal (see details on SCC website). 

The Foreign Law Guide database lists sources of foreign legislation, in the vernacular and in translation. It gives citations and links, not the legislation itself. It also provides some information about foreign cases, as well as an overview of each jurisdiction's legal system.

HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated module provides current and historical constitutions, commentary and bibliographies. 

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, part of HeinOnline, indexes journals from many non-common law jurisdictions; also covers comparative law.

IBFD Online has surveys and analysis of tax regimes worldwide, plus tax cases from various jurisdictions.

Free websites
WorldLII: a large collection of legislation, cases and related materials from all over the world

Eagle-i: a gateway to high-quality legal information on the web, covering many different jurisdictions.

N-Lex:  a search facility covering the national legislation websites of 27 EU member states.


HeinOnline has journals from several Commonwealth African jurisdictions, including about twenty South African titles; it also has journals focusing on Africa in general (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).

Lexis®Library has Butterworths Statutes of South Africa and Butterworths South African Constitutional Law Reports.

Sabinet has a small collection of South African journals, including the South African Law Journal. 

SCC Online has cases from the following African jurisdictions:-

South Africa

(Details of SCC Online coverage.)

Westlaw International Materials has the encyclopedia, Constitutional Law of South Africa.

HeinOnline has 16 Indian law journals (some historical) and several Singapore law journals.

Justis has the Singapore Law Reports.

Lexis®Library has the Indian journal, Jindal Global Law Review.

LLMC Digital has the All India Reporter from 1914 to 1947.

SCC Online has Indian cases from the late C18th to the present; Indian primary and secondary legislation, as amended; articles from about twenty Indian law journals. SCC Online also includes case collections (of varying sizes) from Bangladesh, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (details).

Lexis®Library has Malayan Law Journal, which includes cases as well as articles.

Westlaw International Materials has the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.

Lexis®Library has Australian case law and more than ten Australian journals.

Westlaw International has Australian case law and a few Australian journals (not the same ones as Lexis).

HeinOnline has more than 90 Australian journals (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).

CaseBase indexes Australian cases and journal articles.

Westlaw International Materials has Canadian cases and legislation (federal and provincial), about 60 Canadian journals/newsletters and more than 60 books, including the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest.

Lexis®Library has Canadian federal cases, federal legislation, provincial cases, some provincial legislation, and 21 journals.

HeinOnline has more than 100 Canadian journals (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).


Justis has a large collection of cases from the Caribbean, covering eighteen individual jurisdictions, the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Lexis®Library has the West Indian Reports.

New Zealand

Lexis®Library has New Zealand cases and legislation, New Zealand Law Journal, and Laws of New Zealand (an encyclopedia).

Westlaw International Materials has a few New Zealand journals.

HeinOnline has thirteen New Zealand journals (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).

CaseBase indexes New Zealand cases and some New Zealand journals. 

Index to Legal Periodicals covers some New Zealand journals.

See alsoMulti-jurisdictional sources.

Need more help with foreign law research?

IALS has written research guides covering more than twenty-five different foreign jurisdictions.


LexisNexis JurisClasseur (soon to become 'Lexis 360'), has French legislation, cases, encyclopedias, journals, parliamentary material and other publications, as well as a French journals index ('Bibliographies').

Le Doctrinal indexes more than 350 law journals, mainly French.

HeinOnline has a collection of old French law journals (volumes published in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century).


Beck-Online: IALS Library's subscription to this service covers legislation (annotated) and some journals and cases. (J. von Staudingers Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch, a multi-volume commentary on the German Civil Code that used to be on Beck-Online, has moved to the Juris platform - see IALS Library Catalogue).

Westlaw International Materials has Business Laws of Germany. 

Lexis®Library has Irish cases, including the Irish Reports, and two Irish journals.

HeinOnline has twenty-six Irish journals, some current, some historical (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).

Westlaw UK has two full-text Irish journals and indexes more than thirty.

HeinOnline includes law journals from about twenty different European jurisdictions, including many from Eastern Europe (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).

Westlaw International Materials has Corporate Counsel's Guide to Doing Business in Russia.

United States

Lexis®Library and Westlaw International Materials are the main US law databases. Both have vast US content, including federal and state legislation, federal and state cases, and very large collections of journals and books. Our Westlaw Guide and Lexis Library Guide have further details of US content - both guides are available here (under 'Quick Guides to Key Databases'.

HeinOnline is another leading US database, with almost 2,000 journals, federal legislation, US Supreme Court cases, presidential materials, classic books and more.

Index to Legal Periodicals searches across about 900 different journals, most of them published in the US.

NELLCO Legal Scholarship Repository is an open-access (free) database of working papers, reports, lectures, workshop presentations and other scholarship by US academics.

For interdisciplinary research, see the following databases, which cover many US journals (some full-text, others not):

  • EBSCO Academic
  • EBSCO Business
  • Index to Periodical Articles Related to Law (part of HeinOnline)

Other jurisdictions

Non-Commonwealth Asia


Westlaw International Materials has books on Chinese law (in English), Hong Kong Law Journal and cases/legislation from Hong Kong

            Lexis®Library has Hong Kong legislation and cases.

            HeinOnline has about 20 Chinese/HK journals (Law Journal Library - Browse by Country).


Westlaw International Materials has Korean cases.

           HeinOnline has several Korean law journals (see Law Journal Library).

Thailand: SCC Online has Thai cases (details).

Other:  HeinOnline and Westlaw International Materials have a few titles from elsewhere in non-Commonwealth Asia (HeinOnline Law Journal Library - Browse by Country; Westlaw International Materials - Other International Jurisdictions).

Non-Commonwealth Africa
Ethiopia: HeinOnline has several Ethiopian law journals: see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country.

Zimbabwe: SCC Online has a small collection of cases (details).

Latin America
HeinOnline has a few Latin American law journals: see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country.

Westlaw International Materials has United States-Mexico Law Journal and U.S.-Mexico Legal Review.

Lexis®Library has Mexican codes/laws, guides to business law in Peru and Chile and some other Latin American content (see Sources directory – Browse Sources – select jurisdiction).

Middle East
Israel:  HeinOnline has nine Israeli journals - see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country; Lexis®Library has Israel Law Review.

Westlaw International Materials has several Middle Eastern business law titles -  see ‘Other International Jurisdictions’, on Westlaw IM homepage.

 See also: Multi-jurisdictional sources.