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Foreign, comparative and international law collections: Non-Commonwealth Asia

An overview of print holdings and online resources

We'd love to hear your comments about this Research Guide.



IALS has limited holdings for Asian jurisdictions which are not members of the Commonwealth; the strongest collection in this category is for Hong Kong (see Hong Kong research guide). Within the University of London, SOAS Library has primary responsibility for collecting Asian law.

Regional materials

The library has a few general books on the law of Asia, or particular regions of Asia: see Catalogue for details.

Some journals are held, notably:

  • Arab Law Quarterly  (several online versions also available - see links on Catalogue record) 

  • Columbia Journal of Asian Law, formerly Journal of Chinese Law  (various online versions also available - see links on Catalogue) 

  • Lawasia Journal  (also on HeinOnline, with two-volume embargo - see link on Catalogue)

Individual jurisdictions: primary material

Some legislation is held, almost all in English translation, including the following:

  • Laws of Hong Kong (looseleaf; also on Lexis®Library)

  • Basic Japanese Laws (Oxford University Press, 1997)

  • Statutes and regulations of the People's Republic of China,1950 to 1990 only

Law reports
The library has the Hong Kong Law Reports and Digest (formerly Hong Kong Law Reports,) 1905 to 2006, plus a few other Hong Kong series, none current (see Hong Kong research guide for details).

Individual jurisdictions: secondary material

English-language books are held for several non-Commonwealth Asian jurisdictions, notably China, Japan and Hong Kong (see Catalogue). The library also has the encyclopedia Halsbury's Laws of Hong Kong.

The library has several English-language journals covering individual jurisdictions in non-Commonwealth Asia, including the following titles:

  • Journal of Chinese Law (now Columbia Journal of Asian Law; print and e-journal)

  • Hong Kong Law Journal  (print and e-journal)

Bibliographies and indexes
Bibliographies and indexes covering jurisdictions in this category are also held (see Catalogue).


China: HeinOnline has a number of Chinese journals (see Law Journal Library - Browse by Country) and Westlaw International Materials has a few books, in English.

Hong Kong legislation, cases and journals are available on Lexis®Library, and Westlaw International Materials and HeinOnline.

Korean cases and journals are available on Westlaw International Materials.

Thai Constitutional Court cases are available on SCC Online, 1998-2011.

Several of the databases on the IALS Law Databases page cover all jurisdictions, for example World Constitutions Illustrated: see Databases guide, under 'Multi-jurisdictional Sources'.