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Foreign, comparative and international law collections: Central and South America

An overview of print holdings and online resources

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See our detailed research guides for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

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IALS Library's collections for Central and South America are strongest for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. For most other jurisdictions in the region, holdings are generally small. Full descriptions of the Argentinian, Brazilian and Mexican collections are available in the research guides for each of these jurisdictions.

Open-shelf material is on floor L2. Older publications are kept in the basement Reserve (indicated by 'Depository', or 'RES', on the Catalogue).

Regional materials

We have small collections of regional material at the following classmarks:

   GQ1 - Latin America as a whole (and Western Hemisphere generally)

   GR1 - Central America (and non-Commonwealth Caribbean) generally

   GS1 - South America generally

Some relevant material is at classmark SB (Comparative Law). 

Please note that material that is available online but not held in printed format does not have a classmark, but will come up in keyword searches on the Catalogue.

Individual jurisdictions: primary material

Both fairly recent and historical codes are held for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, some in English translation. For other jurisdictions in the region the library only has historical codes.

IALS Library has Digesto juridíco argentino: normas vigentes (La Ley / Thomson Reuters, 2014), a six-volume compilation of Argentinian laws in force.

Session laws are held for a few jurisdictions, such as Argentina and Brazil, but holdings are not current. (Session laws are legislation as passed, published in a chronological series.)

Law reports
IALS has current subscriptions to law reports for Argentina and Brazil and historical holdings for several other jurisdictions.

To find law reports for a particular jurisdiction on the Catalogue, look up its classmark here, add .g, then search the Catalogue by classmark (for example gs4.g to find Brazilian law reports).

Individual jurisdictions: secondary material

The largest collections are for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, but IALS also has books on the law of numerous other jurisdictions in the region: see Catalogue. Some titles are in English, but many are in Spanish or Portuguese.

Numerous journals are available, including a few current titles, notably 
Revista Juridica Argentina "La Ley" and Mexican Law Review (see Catalogue for other titles).

To find both print and electronic journals for a particular jurisdiction, search the Catalogue by keyword like this: Mexico (periodicals or "law reviews") (substitute the name of any other jurisdiction, as required). For print journals you can also search by classmark: for example, gs4.j to find Brazilian journals (jurisdictional classmarks are listed here.)


HeinOnline's Law Journal Library includes several journals from Central or South America.

Lexis®Library has United States-Mexico Law Journal , and Jurisprudencia de la Corte Suprema de Mexico up to 2004; both titles are on Lexis under Sources - International Content - United States.

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

See also multi-jurisdictional databases, such as World Constitutions Illustrated and IBFD Online.

Access to databases is via the IALS Law Databases page.