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Nordic countries: IALS Library Guides

An introduction to legal research in the Nordic jurisdictions

Nordic Countries

Guide last updated by Hester Swift, November 2019

About the author HS

This guide was created by Hester Swift, Foreign & International Law Librarian at the IALS Library.


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This research guide covers Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, five countries with close cultural, historical and administrative links.

The Nordic region has a somewhat complicated political history, with Denmark and Sweden dominating for many centuries. Norway in its modern form gained independence in 1905 (it had previously been independent in the Middle Ages, until 1380). Finland declared independence in 1917 and Iceland attained full independence in 1944. Denmark, Sweden and Norway are constitutional monarchies, while Iceland and Finland are republics. Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish.

The Nordic legal systems can be classed as a branch of the civil law family, although some scholars put them in their own category, distinct from civil law, common law and other types of legal system. Roman law has had less influence in the region than in Continental Europe, and the Nordic states do not have systematic codes comparable to those of jurisdictions such as France and Germany.

There has been a tradition of legislative unification or cooperation in the Nordic region since the latter part of the nineteenth century. Norway, Denmark and Sweden began the process and Finland became involved later; Iceland has participated to a lesser extent in the drafting of uniform laws, but has often enacted the laws agreed on by the other four states. The work continues under the aegis of the Nordic Council, which was established in 1952. 

Three of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, are members of the European Union. Both Norway and Iceland apply a large proportion of EU laws, since they are members of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library collects both primary and secondary legal material for Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A few books on Icelandic law are held, but almost no Icelandic primary material.


HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated provides English translations of the current and past constitutions of all the Nordic countries, together with associated laws, scholarly commentary and other documents. 

Denmark's constitution was adopted in 1953 (law number 169 of 05/06/1953). There is an annotated English version on the website of the Danish Parliament (Folketing) and the Danish text is on the Retsinformation site. At IALS Library, the Danish text can be found in Karnovs Lovsamling.

Finland enacted a new constitution in 1999, (act number 731/1999); previously, it had several constitutional laws. Translations of the constitution into English, French, German, Russian and Spanish are available on FinLex. The official Swedish and Finnish versions of the constitution are also on Finlex; the Finnish text is included in Suomen Laki, which is held at IALS.

Iceland's constitution dates from 1944 (act number 33, 17 June 1944). An English translation is available on the  Icelandic government website. draft reformed constitution was presented to the Icelandic Parliament (Althing) by the Constitutional Council in 2011, but never adopted. In January 2018, a new constitutional review was launched, which is expected to take until 2025.

Norway's constitution was adopted in 1814. An English version is available on the website of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting. The Norwegian text is on the same site. A printed Norwegian version can be found in Norges Lover, a collection of Norwegian laws held at IALS Library.

Sweden's constitution is made up of four fundamental laws: the Instrument of Government (1974), the Act of Succession (1810), the Freedom of the Press Act (1949) and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (1991). These are accompanied by the Parliament Act (2014), which is not classed as a fundamental law but has superior status to ordinary laws. All are available in English on the website of the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag, under 'Laws'. The Swedish versions are also on the Riksdag site; in IALS Library they can be found in Sveriges Rikes Lag, a collection of Swedish laws.

Legislation - Denmark

Danish statutes (love) are usually called 'acts' in English. Delegated legislation takes the form of government orders (bekendtgoerelser, also translated as 'executive orders' or 'regulations').

Acts and orders are cited by number, date and title, for example:

Lov nr. 1003 af 8.10.2008 om finansiel stabilitet

Bekendtgoerelse nr. 232 af 23.11. 1933 om udledning af kulbrinte 

Bkg. nr. 980 af 27.08.2015 om forretningsorden for Konkurrencerådet  ('bkg' stands for 'bekendtgoerelse'

Abbreviations are often used for major acts: 'Kbl' for Koebeloven (Sale of Goods Act), 'Aftl' for Aftaleloven (Contracts Act) and so on. The Themis website has a glossary of Danish legal abbreviations (forkortelser).

Denmark has a criminal code (Straffeloven); there is also a procedural code, Retsplejeloven, covering both civil and criminal proceedings. These codes and their annual consolidations are published in the legal gazette, Lovtidende. IALS has an English translation of the criminal code and other criminal legislation: Malene Frese Jensen's The Principal Danish Criminal Acts (3rd edn, DJØF 2006).

Online sources
The official Retsinformation website provides Danish legislation free of charge. It includes acts, orders and other instruments, in current and historical versions (Indhold [Contents] information, in Danish; see also N-Lex overview, in English). Users can search for legislation by title, number and/or year and there is an index of popular names.

New acts and government orders are published in Lovtidende (Danish Law Gazette). Print publication of this series ceased in 2008 and it is available free online from this point onwards. The online version can be searched by title, number and/or year; to browse by year, click on 'Årgange'. Most legislation appears in Afdeling A (part A); fiscal and some other instruments are published in Afdeling B; there is also an Afdeling C, containing treaties. Frequent official consolidations of legislation, called 'lovbekendtgørelser', appear in Lovtidende, as well as the original texts. 

Ministerialtidende, which publishes administrative circulars and guidance, is also free online from 2008 (when it too ceased print publication) onwards. 

Selected unofficial translations of Danish acts are available via the University of Copenhagen's Danish Law in English webpage.

Printed sources
IALS Library's main source of Danish legislation is Karnovs lovsamling, an exhaustive compilation of acts and orders in force, with annotations. It is published annually by Thomson Reuters.  

The Danish legal gazette, Lovtidende, publishes both acts and orders. IALS has it from 1939 to 1959 only; since 2008 it has only been published online (see below).

Administrative circulars and official guidance are published in the series Ministerialtidende, which IALS holds from 1965 to 1974. Ministerialtidende, like Lovtidende, is no longer published in hard copy.

Legislation - Finland

Finnish acts and decrees are cited by number and year, for example: 

503/2008 Laki rahanpesun ja terrorismin rahoittamisen estämisestä ja selvittämisestä 
(Act on Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism Prevention and Investigation)

Online sources
FINLEX, a free service provided by the Ministry of Justice and Edita Publishing, provides Finnish acts and decrees both in their original form and as amended, as well as secondary legislation and treaties. FINLEX includes Electronic Statutes of Finland (Elektronisk författningssamling in Swedish, Sähköinen säädöskokoelma in Finnish), the official source of legislation since January 2011 (Sami Sarvilinna, 'Finnish Law on the Internet', Globalex research guide).

English (and other) translations of many acts and decrees are also available on FINLEX.

Edilex, a subscription service produced by Edita Publishing, includes legislation as amended. IALS does not subscribe.

Suomen laki, a compilation of legislation as amended, is available online (IALS only has the printed version only).

Printed sources
IALS Library's source of Finnish legislation is Suomen laki, published annually by Talentum. A collection of Finnish legislation as amended, it is very widely used by Finnish lawyers, though it is not an official publication. Suomen laki started in 1955 and is held at IALS from 1995 onwards (with some gaps); we also have two old copies of the Swedish-language version, Finlands lag

Finnish primary and secondary legislation is published by the Ministry of Justice in the legal gazette, Suomen säädöskokoelma (Statutes of Finland) / Finlands författningssamling (Swedish-language edition). Neither edition is held at IALS. Statutes of Finland was the official source of Finnish legislation until the end of 2010, then the online version, Electronic Statutes of Finland (on FINLEX - see above) was given official status.

Notices, circulars and similar documents are published in the official gazette, Virallinen lehti / Officiella tidningen (not held at IALS).

Legislation - Iceland

Icelandic acts are cited by number and year, for example:  Lög nr. 44/2005 (Act no. 44/2005).

Iceland has a criminal code, the General Penal Code, Lög nr.19/1940.  

Online sources
Acts are available on the website of the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi

Legislation is published in the Icelandic Official Gazette, Stjórnartídindi, which is on the internet from 2001 onwards. Acts of parliament appear in Part A and delegated legislation (regulations and decrees) in Part B. (There is also a Part C, for treaties, which is online from 1995 onwards). Since 2005 the Gazette has been an online-only publication.

English translations of many Icelandic acts can be found on the websites of government departments: see the Government Offices of Iceland portal.

Printed sources
Icelandic legislation is not held at IALS. For details of print holdings in other UK libraries, see the FLAG Foreign Law Guide.

New legislation is published in the Icelandic official gazette, Stjórnartídindi. It has three sections: A for acts of parliament, B for delegated legislation (regulations and decrees) and C for treaties. Since 2005 the Gazette has been an online publication (see above).

A consolidated set of legislation used to be published every few years under the title Lagasafn: íslensk lög [date], by the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs (Dóms- og kirkjumálaráduneytid).

Legislation - Norway

Norway produces both national and local statutes and regulations. Norwegian acts may be referred to using abbreviations, such as 'al' for arveloven (Inheritance Act). The meanings of legal abbreviations can be looked up in Knophs oversikt over Norges rett, or in Norges lover, both held at IALS; some Norwegian abbreviations are also included in the online list provided by Scandinavian Studies in Law.

Some Norwegian statutes are described as codes, for example lov om straff, the Penal Code (Act 2005-05-20-28).

Online sources
The Lovdata website provides acts (lover) and regulations (forskrifter) as amended.This online version of Norwegian legislation has had official status since 2001 ('Om Lovdata'  / 'About Lovdata'; Kelly Buchanan, 'Researching Norwegian Law Online', In Custodia Legis, 30 September 2014). Lovdata is a private foundation which was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo.

English translations of many Norwegian statutes and regulations are available on Lovdata.

Lovdata also provides the official gazette, Norsk lovtidende, from 2001 onwards.Norsk lovtidende publishes new acts and regulations

Norsk lovkommentar, a collection of Norwegian legislation with commentary, is available online via Gyldendal's Rettsdata service, for a fee, but IALS does not subscribe.

Printed sources
IALS Library has the one-volume compilation of revised Norwegian statutes, Norges lover, which is produced by the University of Oslo's Law Faculty and published annually by Fagbokforlaget. We hold the current edition and selected previous editions going back to 1963.

IALS does not have current Norwegian regulations, but they are available on Lovdata.

Limited runs of two official statutory publications are available at IALS:

  • Norsk lovtidend, the Norwegian official gazette, print edition published 1877-2017 but held at IALS 1949–1962; now online only only. National statutes, ordinances and regulations are in avd. I (part 1) of Norsk lovtidend and local statutes, ordinances and regulations in avd.2 (from 1974 onwards: before 1974, part 1 had statutes, ordinances and regulations arranged by subject and part 2 had the same legislation in chronological order).
  • Lover vedtatt på det ordentlige storting. Published annually until 2009 at the end of each parliamentary session, containing the text of each new law, plus amendments to old laws. Held at IALS 1970/1971 - 1980/1981 only (with gaps). Sessional legislative information from October 2009 onwards is available on the parliamentary website

IALS also has a five-volume set of ancient Norwegian laws, Norges gamle love indtil 1387 (published by C. Gröndahl, 1846-95).

Legislation - Sweden

Swedish statutes and regulations are published in the series Svensk författningssamling (SFS), or Swedish Code of Statutes. They are cited by year and number, for example:  Lag om Diskrimineringsombudsmannen SFS 2008: 568.  

Online sources
Svensk författningssamling (Swedish Code of Statutes) is available free on the official Swedish law website, Lagrummet. Laws as originally published are under '(SFS) i tryckt format' and laws as amended are under '(SFS) i fulltext'. 

Preparatory legislative material is available in the Swedish Parliament's Documents and Laws database. This includes the series Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) and Departementsserien (Ds); to limit a search to one of these series, use the 'Dokumentyp' filters.

Karnov Open is a free collection of Swedish laws and regulations. This resource was formerly a Notisum service.

English translations of some Swedish statutes can be found on official websites:

Riksdag (Parliament): the fundamental laws and the Riksdag Act

Ministry of Justice: laws on migration and criminal law and the judicial system

Ministry of Employment:  labour legislation

IALS does not subscribe to any Swedish law databases, but the databases in existence include Infotorg Juridik and Karnov-Plus.

Printed sources
IALS Library's main source of Swedish legislation is the one-volume compilation of laws in force, Sveriges Rikes Lag. It is published annually by Norstedts / Wolters Kluwer Scandinavia and IALS has it from 1948 onwards (with some gaps).

IALS also holds some translated Swedish legislation, in the looseleaf collection, Swedish Commercial Legislation (Norstedts / Wolters Kluwer).

The library has Svensk författningssamling from 1955 to 1990 only, plus an index going up to 2004.

Revised legislation with commentary is found in the three-volume work Karnov...svensk lagsamling med kommentarer, published by Thomson, but this is not held at IALS

The concise way in which Swedish legislation is drafted means that the travaux préparatoires (preparatory documents) are an important tool for interpretation. They are published in one of two series: either Statens offentliga utredningar (SOU) or Departementsserien (Ds). IALS has a few issues of SOU but none of Ds, but they are available online as part of the Swedish Parliament's Documents and Laws database, as mentioned above. Summaries of the travaux for selected laws can be found in part II of the series Nytt juridiskt arkiv, which is in IALS Library up to 1990.

Law reports - Nordic region

There are two series of law reports covering cases from all five Nordic countries:

  • Nordisk domssamling (Nordic Court Reports), published in Oslo by Universitetsforlaget; whole series in IALS (1958 onwards).
  • Nordiske domme i sjøfartsanliggender (Nordic Decisions on Maritime Matters), published in Oslo by Nordisk Skibsrederforening; not held at IALS.

Law reports - Denmark

English-language information about the judicial system can be found on the Danish Courts website.

Online sources
Danish Supreme Court cases from September 2009 onwards are available on the Court's website.

The Maritime and Commercial Court website has cases from 2002 onwards. 

The official legal information website Retsinformation includes a database of administrative decisions (select afgørelser before searching).

The leading law report, Ugeskrift for retsvæsen, and several other series are on Karnov Online, by subscription (IALS does not subscribe).

Printed sources
The main source of Danish cases is the series Ugeskrift for retsvæsen, cited with the abbreviation 'UfR' (or 'U'). Originally published by Gad, it is now a Karnov title. UfR publishes decisions of the Supreme Court (Højesteret), the two high courts (Østre Landsret and Vestre Landsret) and the Maritime and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten). IALS Library has it from 1874 onwards (with some 1920s-1940s issues missing).

Specialist law reports include the tax series Tidsskrift for skatter og afgifter (TfS), and the employment series Arbejdsretligt tidsskrift. Neither title is held at IALS. Print publication of TfS ceased at the end of 2016.

Law reports - Finland

An English-language introduction to Finland's judicial system is available on the Finnish courts website. 

Online sources
The free, official FINLEX website provides cases from the Finnish Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, appeal courts, regional administrative courts, Market Court, Labour Court and Insurance Court, in Swedish and Finnish. FINLEX is owned by the Ministry of Justice and produced by Edita Publishing, 

English-language summaries of selected cases are available on the websites of the Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court.

FINLEX provides a database of references to cases in secondary legal literature, Rättspraxis i litteraturen (English version available here).

Edita Publishing's law database, Edilex, includes case law (IALS does not subscribe).

Printed sources
Finnish court decisions may be found at IALS Library in the journals Defensor legis and Lakimies.

The Supreme Court (Korkein oikeus in Finnish, Högsta domstolen in Swedish) publishes selected decisions in its yearbook, Korkeimman Oikeuden ratkaisuja (Avgöranden av Högsta domstolen in Swedish). The yearbook is not held at IALS, but cases from it are available on FINLEX (see above). Supreme Court cases are cited by the yearbook's abbreviation, KKO (or HD), the year and the case number, for example:

KKO:1977-II-76.  (citation style used till the mid-1980s, including the part number of the yearbook)

The Supreme Administrative Court has its own yearbook: Korkeimman hallinto-oikeuden vuosikirja (KHO) (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolens årsbok). This is not held at IALS, but cases from it are on FINLEX (see above). Supreme Administrative Court cases are cited by date and case number, for example, 29.12.2006/3616, or by yearbook citation, for example, KHO: 2005:87.

Law reports - Iceland

Information in English about the Supreme Court of Iceland (Hæstiréttur Íslands), including its composition and procedures, can be found on the Court's website.

Online sources
Supreme Court decisions from January 1999 onwards can be found on the Court's website. 

District court decisions are available on the district court website. 

Printed sources
All decisions of the Supreme Court are published in the series Hœstaréttardómar, together with the first instance cases. Please note that IALS does not hold this title.

Law reports - Norway

An English-language description of the Norwegian judicial system can be found on the Norwegian courts website. 

Online sources
The website of the Norwegian Supreme Court (Norges Høyesterettprovides its decisions from 2008 onwards (see link at end of summary) and summaries from 2000 to 2007, all in Norwegian. Selected Supreme Court cases are available in English from 2001 onwards.

Lovdata's free content includes the decisions of the Supreme Court and appeal courts (lagmannsrettane) from the last 12 months, in Norwegian. A handful of cases are available in English. Lovdata's subscription service covers cases from 1945 onwards, in Norwegian, including the series Norsk Retstidende. IALS does not subscribe to Lovdata.

Gyldendal Rettsdata, another commercial database, also has Norwegian cases. (IALS does not subscribe.)

Printed sources
Almost all decisions of the Norwegian Supreme Court are published in the series Norsk Retstidende. This title is held at IALS from vol.115 (1950) to vol.130 (1965), with some gaps, and from 1999 to 2015; it ceased print publication at the end of 2015. 

Cases published in the print edition are cited by the abbreviation 'Rt', the year of publication and the page number: for example, Rt 2007 s. 4145. Cases in the online-only edition are cited by the case number, for example 'HR-2016-106-A'.

Selected decisions of the lower courts were published in Rettens Gang (RG) from 1933 until the end of 2013, when the series ceased publication. RG is not held at IALS Library.

There are also Norwegian reports focusing on particular areas of law, for example Dommer, uttalelser m.v. i skattesaker og skattespørsmål ('Decisions and Rulings etc. on Tax Matters'; not in IALS).

Law reports - Sweden

An English-language introduction to the Swedish judicial system is available on the old version of the Swedish courts website.

Online sources
The official Lagrummet portal includes a database of guiding cases (vägledande avgöranden) by the Supreme Court, appeal courts, Supreme Administrative Court, special courts, other higher courts and official boards. 

The Supreme Court's guiding cases are also available on its own website (2003 onwards).

Cases from the Supreme Administrative Court are available on its new website from 2008 onwards. At the time of writing, earlier cases were still on the old website

Labour Court cases are available on the Court's website from 2003 onwards.

The Swedish Arbitration Portal has arbitral decisions by Swedish courts, in English as well as Swedish.

Printed sources
Decisions of the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) are published in Nytt juridiskt arkiv (NJA), part I. The whole series is held at IALS Library (1874 onwards).

Selected decisions of the courts of appeal (Hovrätterna) from 1981 onwards appear in Rättsfall från hovrätterna (RH); this series is not held at IALS. Until 1980, court of appeal cases were published in the law journal Svensk juristtidning (SvJT), which IALS holds from volume 3 (1918) onwards.

Cases from the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen, formerly Regeringsrätten) appear in its yearbook, Högsta förvaltningsdomstolens årsbok (previous title Regeringsrättens årsbok). This series is not held at IALS.

Cases of general interest from the Labour Court (Arbetsdomstolen) are published in Arbetsdomstolens domar (not held at IALS). 

Cases from the Market Court were published in Marknadsdomstolens avgöranden (not held at IALS) until 2016. The court ceased to exist on 1 September 2016, replaced by the new Patent and Market Court and Patent and Market Court of Appeal. 


IALS Library holds books about the law of the Nordic region and its component jurisdictions, in English and other languages. A selection of English-language titles are listed below; for details of the full collection, in all languages, see the Library Catalogue.

Nordic region 
Scandinavian Studies in Law (Stockholm Institute for Scandinavian Law, 1957 - ): an English-language book series. The hard copy held at IALS Library and each title is catalogued individually; all but the most recent volumes are free on the Sc.St.L. Database.

Helle Krunke and Björg Thorarensen (ed.s), The Nordic constitutions : a comparative and contextual study (Hart, 2018)

Ole Lando et al (ed.s), Restatement of Nordic contract law (DJØF Publishing, 2016)

John Asland et al, Nordic cohabitation law (Intersentia, 2015)

Konrad Zweigert and Hein KötzIntroduction to comparative law (3rd edn, OUP, 1998), Part IV, 'The Nordic Legal Family'

Thomas Riis, Intellectual property law in Denmark (Kluwer Law International, 2018)

Lars Lindencrone Petersen, Civil procedure in Denmark (Kluwer Law International, 2017)

Hans Viggo Godsk Pedersen & Ingrid Lund-Andersen, Family and succession law in Denmark (Wolters Kluwer, 2016)

Steffen Pihlblad, Arbitration in Denmark (DJØF Publishing, 2014)

Ulla Rosenkjoer and Ane Lind Gleerup, An introduction to Danish law (Forlaget Drammelstrupgaard, 2008)

Kenneth Robert Redden (ed.), Modern legal systems cyclopedia (W.S. Hein, 1984 - ) vol. 3, ch. 2(A), section 2

Johanna Niemi-Kiesiläinen, Civil procedure in Finland, 2nd ed. (Kluwer Law International, 2016)

Anette Alén-Savikko and Päivi Korpisaari, Media law in Finland (Wolters Kluwer, 2016).

Jaakko Husa, The constitution of Finland: a contextual analysis (Hart, 2010)

Anu Pylkkänen, Trapped in equality: women as legal persons in the modernisation of Finnish law (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, (2009)

Juha Pöyhönen, An Introduction to Finnish law, 2nd ed. (Kauppakaari, 2002) 

Kenneth Robert Redden (ed.), Modern legal systems cyclopedia (W.S. Hein, 1984 - ), vol. 4, ch.4

Elín Blöndal, Labour law in Iceland, 2nd ed. (Kluwer Law International, 2014)

Evelyn Ellis and Kristín Benediktsdóttir (ed.s), Equality into reality: action for diversity and non-discrimination in Iceland (University of Iceland Press, 2011).

Stefan Mar Stefansson, The EEA agreement and its adoption into Icelandic law (Universitetsforlaget, c.1997)

Albin Eser et al (ed.s), Old ways and new needs in criminal legislation: documentation of a German-Icelandic Colloquium on the Development of Penal Law in General and Economic Crime in Particular (Max-Planck-Institut für Ausländisches und Internationales Strafrecht, 1989)

Kenneth Robert Redden (ed.), Modern legal systems cyclopedia (W.S. Hein, 1984 - ) vol. 4, ch.4(A)

Hans Christian Bugge, Environmental law in Norway (Wolters Kluwer, 2018)

Henning Jakhelln, Labour law in Norway, 3rd ed. (Kluwer Law International, 2016)

Giuseppe Franco Ferrari (ed.), Two centuries of Norwegian constitution: between tradition and innovation (Eleven International Publishing, 2015)

Hans Jacob Bull et al, Transport law in Norway (Kluwer Law International, 2013). 

Helga Aune, Norwegian employment law: an overview (Damm, 2008)

Kenneth Robert Redden (ed.), Modern legal systems cyclopedia (W.S. Hein, 1984 - ), vol. 4, ch.6


Nyström, Göran, et al, The Swedish takeover code: an annotated commentary (Routledge, 2017).

Persson, Annina H., Commercial and economic law in Sweden, 2nd ed. (Wolters Kluwer, c.2016)

Joakim Nergelius, Religion and law in Sweden (Kluwer Law International, 2016)

Nergelius, Joakim, Constitutional law in Sweden, 2nd ed. (Kluwer Law International, 2015)

Bogdan, Michael (ed.), Swedish legal system, (Norstedts Juridik, 2010)

Redden, Kenneth Robert (ed.), Modern legal systems cyclopedia (W.S. Hein,1984 - ), vol. 4, ch.10

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These are the law journals available at IALS for Nordic jurisdictions (excluding a few very old series - see Catalogue for full holdings):-

Nordic / Scandinavian region
Bergen journal of criminal law and criminal justice, 2013 onwards (open access e-journal)

NIR: Nordiskt immateriellt rättsskydd, 1965 onwards

Nordic journal of commercial law, 2003 onwards (via HeinOnline)

Nordic journal of human rights, 1983 onwards with 5-year embargo (via HeinOnline)

Nordisk administrativt tidsskrift, 1960 onwards 

Nordisk tidsskrift for kriminalvidenskab, 1967-68, 1975 onwards

Scandinavian studies in criminology, 1965-1993

Scandinavian studies in law, 1957 onwards

Tidsskrift for rettsvitenskap (TFR), 1888 onwards       

Lov og rett: norsk jurdisk tidssdrift (LoR), 1962 onwards

Oslo law review, 2014 onwards (open access e-journal, also on HeinOnline)

Juridisk tidskrift vid Stockholms universitet, 1991/92, 1997/98 onwards

Advokaten (formerly Tidskrift för sveriges advokatsamfund), 1936 onwards

Svensk juristtidning,1918 onwards 

Förvaltningsrättslig tidskrift, 1938 onwards

Lakimies, 1962 onwards 
(has abstracts - and some full articles - in English)

Defensor Legis, 1920 onwards

Tidskrift utgiven av Juridiska Föreningen i Finland (JFT), 1951 onwards


Juristen: udgivet af Danmarks jurist-og okonomforbund, 1938 onwards (see library catalogue for title variations)


The library does not subscribe to any Icelandic law journals.

Research guides and bibliographies

New York University's Globalex website has research guides for each Nordic jurisdiction.

The University of Copenhagen has Danish and Nordic legal research guides on its website (mainly in Danish, with sections in English).

The University of Bergen Law Library has compiled a bibliography of Norwegian law in foreign languages. See also Strømø and Kongshavn, Nordic legal festschriften: a bibliography of the essays written in English, German and French until 1999 (Det Juridske Fakultetsbibliotek, 1999), held at IALS.

Winterton and Moys, Information sources in law (2nd ed(Bowker-Saur, 1997), has a chapter on each Nordic jurisdiction. Held at IALS.

Online resources

Subscription databases 
IALS has some multi-jurisdictional databases that include coverage of the Nordic countries:

  • Foreign Law Guide: current sources of codes and basic legislation in jurisdictions of the world: available via the IALS Law Databases page, Foreign Law Guide outlines the legal systems of each of the five Nordic countries and provides information about their legal publications and law websites; English-language sources are listed as well, where available.
  • World Constitutions Illustrated, part of HeinOnline (see Law Databases page) covers all the Nordic jurisdictions.

IALS Library does not subscribe to any databases focusing solely on the law of Nordic jurisdictions.

Free web resources


  • Lovdata: legislation as amended; translated legislation; Norsk lovtidende (the Norwegian official gazette); recent cases, some in English. Lovdata is a private foundation which was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the University of Oslo.

  • Supreme Court: cases from 2008 onwards and case summaries from 2000 to 2007; some cases are available in English.


  • Lagrummet (official Swedish law site): Svensk författningssamling (Swedish Code of Statutes), including legislation as amended and as originally passed; important cases from the Supreme Court and lower courts. 

  • Karnov Open: collection of Swedish laws and regulations. 

  • Swedish Parliament website: some translated legislation; preparatory legislative material, in the Documents and Laws database.

  • Supreme Court: important cases from 2003 onwards.

  • Supreme Administrative Court: the Court's new website provides its cases from 2008 onwards; earlier cases are on the old website


  • FINLEX: legislation in its original form and as amended; some translated legislation; treaties; cases from the Finnish Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court, appeal courts, regional administrative courts, Market Court, Labour Court and Insurance Court; a database of references to cases in secondary legal literature, Rättspraxis i litteraturen (English version available here). FINLEX is owned by the Ministry of Justice and run by Edita Publishing, 

  • Supreme Court website: English-language summaries of selected cases.

  • Supreme Administrative Court website: English-language summaries of selected cases.


  • Retsinformation (official law site): legislation, including consolidated laws; administrative decisions (afgørelser).

  • Lovtidende (2008 onwards): Danish legal gazette; publishes laws and regulations.

(See Legislation and Law Reports, above, for further details of these free sites.)