Foreign Law Guide

Zugang erwerben Fachgebiet: Rechtswissenschaften

General Editor: Marci Hoffman

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Acclaimed by librarians, academics, and researchers alike, the Foreign Law Guide (FLG) is an essential database offering relevant information on sources of foreign law, including complete bibliographic citations to legislation, the existence of English translations and selected references to secondary sources in one virtual destination. Broad in content and global in scope, the FLG is an indispensable resource for comparative law research and a fundamental tool for developing a foreign and comparative law collection. Approximately 190 jurisdictions are systemically covered and updated by a global team of experts.

Video User Guide | Tips for Effective Browsingpdf icon

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This is a cumulative list of most of the materials cited in the Foreign Law Guide and includes print sources, subscription databases, and freely available websites. All materials are organized alphabetically by the title of the source or website. As with any list of resources and websites, information may change and the new information may not be reflected herein. The editors of FLG will endeavor to keep this list current as the new platform develops in the future.

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The Foreign Law Guide (FLG) is a well-known resource for librarians, researchers, law students, and practitioners interested in foreign and comparative law. The print publication began in the 1990s and moved to the web in 2000. During the life of FLG, it has been under the editorial direction and leadership of Thomas Reynolds and Arturo Flores. In 2012, Brill acquired FLG and is now launching it on a new platform with improved content organization and structure, upgraded search and browsing functionality, and streamlined and reorganized subject headings. FLG will develop and improve as the new General Editor and a team of global experts continues to edit and update the content. If you have suggestions about content, please contact Marci Hoffman, [email protected].

How to Use Foreign Law Guide

Video User Guide

Experienced users of FLG will note a number of improvements on the new platform. For now, browsing continues to be the best way to access content. Content has been organized to make it more accessible. Each jurisdiction has a ‘main page’ where you will find information on the government and legal system, primary sources of law, other print and online sources that are useful, and laws of the jurisdiction arranged by subject. The index of laws by subject has been refined to standardize terms and increase usability. Similar terms and concepts have been merged together into single headings and cross references have been eliminated. If a subject term is not included in the list, try looking for a broader / related term or try conducting a simple keyword search.

Example: “Agriculture and Rural Development” is no longer a subject heading. The content has been incorporated under the broader heading of “Construction, Development, Planning & Property.” The content has been tagged with the keywords “agriculture” and “rural development”. You may browse the subject index to locate the new broader heading or do a simple keyword search for “agriculture.”


You can browse FLG by Jurisdiction or by Subject. At present, browsing is the recommended method for locating information.

Jurisdiction Browsing:

From the main FLG page, find the jurisdiction of interest by using the alphabetical list. In order to quickly locate jurisdictions that have been restructured and updated, browse the list under the heading “Updated and Reorganized Jurisdictions.”

Upon selecting your jurisdiction (e.g. Italy), you will be taken to the main jurisdiction page. On this page you will find information on the:

  • Government & Legal System: Introduction | Government | Legal System | Research Guidance | Citation Notes
  • Primary Sources: Official Gazette | Compilations or Official Codifications | Session Laws | Codes | Court Reports
  • Laws by Subject

To find a law on a particular subject, browse the Laws by Subject index.

Example: To find health laws of Italy, scroll down to “H” and locate the term “Health.” On the “Albania - Health” page, you will find health laws and laws on closely related subjects such as abortion, family planning, AIDS/HIV, and Pharmaceuticals.

Grayed-out Terms:

You may notice that some subject terms in the index are gray and not hyperlinked. This means that at the time of the update for that jurisdiction, FLG editors were unaware of any laws specifically on this topic for this jurisdiction. Laws change on a daily basis so check another authoritative source if you think a law exists but it is not listed in FLG. For example, to the best of our knowledge, Albania has no laws addressing the rights of indigenous peoples.

Subject Browsing:

From the main FLG page, select the second tab (Laws by Subject), and then the subject of interest (e.g. Indigenous Peoples).
If the subject term is not used, try looking for a broader/related term or try conducting a simple keyword search.

Example: To find laws related to Indigenous Peoples, select the “I” in the alphabetical index or scroll down to “Indigenous Peoples.”
When the topic of interest is identified (e.g. Indigenous Peoples), click on the term to go to a page listing all the jurisdictions in FLG with laws on that topic (e.g. addressing the rights of indigenous peoples). You can then select the specific jurisdiction of interest (e.g. Argentina – Indigenous Peoples). Notice that “Albania” is not listed on the Indigenous Peoples subject page, because it has no laws on this topic.

A full overview: Subject Headings Overview


All searches may be conducted from the Basic Search Box, which is always located at the top of the screen.
Simple queries are best (Jurisdiction + Keyword).

Example: A search for [Albania pharmaceuticals] takes you to the Health Laws section, where laws related to pharmaceuticals can be found.
By default the search engine will look for all the words entered individually (i.e. it will treat the query as a Boolean AND).

To search for a phrase, add quotation marks.

Example: [Italy “health care”]

Advanced Search Techniques

Capitals: The search engine is not case sensitive.

Example: Searching for abraham, ABRAHAM or ABraHaM will all retrieve the same results.

Boolean: The search engine recognizes the standard Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT, and the use of parentheses. Remember to put Boolean terms in uppercase.

Example: [Albania (drugs OR pharmaceuticals)] retrieves all laws in Albania with either the term drugs or the term pharmaceuticals.

Stemming: The search engine will search for words with the same stem.

Example: A search for bow will also retrieve bowing, bowed and bows.

Phrases: Include a phrase in double quotation marks.

Example: Searching for "health care" retrieves all articles that contain the exact phrase.

Foreign language / diacritics (special characters): FLG only recognizes Romanized script. Diacritics and accents are not required by the search engine.

Example: Searching for “Código orgánica de organización” produces the same results as searching for “Codigo organica de organizacion.”

Numbers: Dates and numbers can be searched as a phrase using double quotation marks.

Example: The search [Ecuador “1,572 of 1994] pulls up the “Decreto ejecutivo 1,572 of 1994.” While this search is possible, it has a low success rate because the terms must be an exact match. “1572” without the comma will not match “1,572” with the comma.

Term Modifiers

Wildcards: The "?" symbol is used to perform a single character wildcard search; or you can use the "*" symbol for zero or more characters.

Example: Jo? will match job and joy. The term jo* will also match jonah, john and journey. Accented characters are not supported in wildcard expressions. If you are looking for a term with or without an accent, simply search without the accent and not using “?” symbol.

Proximity Searches: Use the "~" character plus a number at the end of a phrase.

Example: The query "adam eve"~3 will match the two terms within 3 words of each other.

Fuzzy Searches (pattern matches): A fuzzy search is useful if you are not sure how to spell a particular word or if alternative spellings are permissible. To perform a fuzzy search, simply add the "~" character to the end of the search term.

Example: Grammer~ will match grammar.

Ranked Search Results

When it compiles the result list, the search engine returns results in the following order of priority:

  • Exact matches in the article heading
  • Partial matches in the article heading
  • Matches of all terms in the full text of the article

Personal search tools

Take a minute to register for a personal account. This will let you use several tools that enhance your search experience. The tools will show up as soon as you log in as a personal user.

  • Save this search: Perform a search and click on Save this search in the right-hand menu. You can save as many searches as you like. Open your account to see and manage your saved searches.
  • Search history: When on the ‘your account’ page you also see your search history. The website records search history for 30 days.
  • Search alerts: Set up search alerts to get automatic notifications whenever a (new) article is published that will fit a certain query. E.g. a search alert for Cairo will send you an e-mail when a new search result for the search Cairo is found.