This guide contains information on international, foreign, and comparative law. Click on the tabs above to begin your research.
See Finding Library Materials for more information on how to find materials referenced in this guide.
Treaties are an important part of international law that are covered in a separate Law Library guide.
Intl Law Prof Blog
International law  governs legal relations between countries and other international entities.
Foreign law refers to the laws of individual foreign countries.
Comparative law compares different foreign legal systems.
Before beginning your research understand that access to foreign law varies greatly among legal systems. Governments may or may not publish their legal materials and any published materials may be out-of-date. You may have to adjust your expectations with regard to current law and English language availability. Most researchers want foreign laws in English and this is often not possible. Typically, foreign governments do not provide "official" English translations of their statues or cases. The internet has certainly broadened access to legal resources on foreign government web sites, but these materials are usually in the local language.
Save time by checking the Getting Started tab for Research Guides (such as GlobaLex and LLRX) which can tell you what materials are available. If you do this step first, you will know what to expect and save yourself pointless hours of looking for something that simply does not exist.
 Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice (the principal judicial organ of the United Nations) is generally considered the most authoritative enumeration of the sources of international law:
"The Court, whose function is to decide in accordance with international law such disputes as are submitted to it, shall apply:
- international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting states;
- international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
- the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
- subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law."
The complete Statute as well as general information about the Court; judgments, orders and advisory opinions; pleadings and oral arguments; docket; rules of court and other information can be found at the Court's web site: http://www.icj-cij.org/.