Guide last updated by Alice Tyson, May 2022
We also recommend the following online research guides for foreign jurisdictions.
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.
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:
A major recasting of the constitution has been in progress since 2005. Details of the progress of these reforms, including a report containing the finalised draft changes to the 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).
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).
As of 2015, codes are no longer officially updated in print format, but current versions of all of the Luxembourg codes are available on the official Légilux website. IALS Library holds some commercially published annotated codes. These are catalogued as books and can be found at the GO28 classmark, for example, Code pénal: Code de procédure pénale (Pasicrisie luxembourgeoise a.s.b.l. 2018).
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 two series: Series A contains laws and regulations, Series B contains administrative documents (previously there was a Series C which contained documents relating to companies). IALS does not hold the Mémorial, but it is on Légilux, with an extensive archive. Légilux also includes consolidated versions.
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).
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:
Cour de Cassation 2002 onwards
Administrative Court and Administrative Tribunals
Cour Constitutionnelle 1998 onwards, arranged by date
IALS has a small collection of books on the law of Luxembourg. Recent titles include the following:
For details of our other holdings, see the Library Catalogue.
IALS Library holds one journal for this jurisdiction: Annales du Droit Luxembourgeois, vol.1, 1991 - (Bruylant, 1992 - ).
Useful starting points for researching the law of Luxembourg include:
Henckes, Nicolas, Luxembourg – Description of the Legal System and Legal Research (updated by Nicholas Henckes and Laurence Raphael, 2020), 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.