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Luxembourg: IALS Library Guides

An introduction to legal research in the jurisdiction of Luxembourg

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Last updated:

Hester Swift, July 2017

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Introduction

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state. It was a founder member of the European Union and is a party to the Benelux Economic Union.

Luxembourgish is the national language, but French is used for legislation and there are three administrative and judicial languages: German, French and Luxembourgish.

IALS holds both primary and secondary legal material for Luxembourg.

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Constitution

The supreme source of law is the Constitution of October 17th 1868, as amended. A recent consolidated version is available on the official Légilux website, in French. There are current and historical English translations in HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated collection and WorldLII has an English version updated to 1998.

IALS Library has print editions of the Constitution amended to various dates, including the following:

  • Constitutions of Europe: texts collected by the Council of Europe Venice Commission. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff. Includes an English translation of the Luxembourg Constitution updated to 2000.
  • Schmit, Paul, Précis de droit constitutionnel: commentaire de la constitution luxembourgeoise. Luxembourg: Editions Saint Paul, 2009. Includes the text of the Constitution as at 31 March 2009, in French.

A major recasting of the constitution has been in progress since 2005. Details of the progress of these reforms, including a draft text of the proposed new constitution, can be found on the website of the Chamber of Deputies (in French). IALS Library holds a collection of conference papers concerning the reforms: La refonte de la constitution luxembourgeoise en débat, Jörg Gerkrath, Étienne Cerexhe and others (ed.s), (Larcier, 2010).

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Legislation

Codes
The main codes are the Code Civil, (Civil Code); Code de Commerce, (Commercial Code); Code Pénal, (Penal Code); Code d'Instruction Criminelle,(Criminal Procedure Code); and Code de Procédure Civile, (Civil Procedure Code). 

Current versions of all of the Luxembourg codes are available on the official Légilux website. The latest codes held at IALS are:-

  • Code civil en vigueur dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Ministère de Justice, 2007)
  • Nouveau Code de procédure civile; Code de commerce (Ministère de Justice, c.2005)
  • Code pénal et Code d'instruction criminelle en vigueur dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Ministère de Justice, 2008)
  • Code administratif (Service Central de Législation, 2007)

Legislation as passed
Legislation is published in the official gazette, Mémorial: journal officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg /Amtsblatt des Grossherzogtums Luxemburg (Service Central de Législation,1832 - ). The Mémorial is divided into three series: Series A contains laws and regulations, Series B contains administrative documents and C series documents relating to companies. IALS does not hold the Mémorial, but it is on Légilux, with an extensive archive.

Laws and regulations can also be found in Pasinomie luxembourgeoise: recueil des lois, décrets, arrêtés... This publication started in 1830 and IALS has it from vol. 26 (1950-51) to vol. 65 (1993).       

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Law reports

The major series of law reports is Pasicrisie luxembourgeoise (Buck, 1881 - ); IALS holds the entire series. It publishes selected court decisions as well as doctrinal articles. 

Cases from the higher courts are also available on the internet:

  • The Conseil d'Etat's rulings are available on its website from 2007 onwards
     
  • Decisions of the Cour Constitutionelle are published in the Mémorial, Series A 
     
  • Luxembourg's official judicial website, www.justice.public.lu/, provides recent cases:-

Cour de Cassation 2007 onwards, arranged by subject

Administrative Court and Administrative Tribunal: cases from the last four weeks may be browsed

Cour Constitutionnelle 1998 onwards, arranged by date

There is an Advanced Search facility but it covers the whole website - to limit a search to cases, select 'Jurisprudence' from the drop-down menu. The date range options only go back to 2010 but you can find older cases by selecting 'Sans restriction de date' ('No date restriction').

For information about the court system in Luxembourg (in English), see the Courts and Tribunals section of the government's official portal, www.luxembourg.lu.

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Books

IALS has a small collection of books on the law of Luxembourg. Recent titles include the following:

  • Ancel, Pascal, Contrats et obligations conventionnelles en droit luxembourgeois: approche comparative. Éditions Larcier, 2015

  • La refonte de la constitution luxembourgeoise en débat, Jörg Gerkrath et al (ed.s). Larcier, 2010

  • Putz, Jean-Luc, Le droit d'auteur au Luxembourg. Editions Saint Paul, 2009

For details of our other holdings, see the Library Catalogue.  

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Journals

IALS Library holds one journal for this jurisdiction: Annales du Droit Luxembourgeois, vol.1, 1991 -  (Bruylant, 1992 - ). 

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Research guides

Useful starting points for researching the law of Luxembourg include:

Henckes, Nicolas, Luxembourg – Description of the Legal System and Legal Research (updated by Laurence Raphael, 2015), on New York University's Globalex website.

Grossman, A., Finding the law: the micro-states and small jurisdictions of Europe (2015), also on Globalex.

LERIS (Lëtzeburger Rechts Informations System) - online law bibliography compiled at the University of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg section of the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) website: gives links to key websites.

Verbeke, C.F., 'Luxembourg',  in Winterton, J., et al, Information Sources in Law (2nd ed.). Bowker Saur, 1997. Held at IALS.

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