Features – Toward Cooperation in Access to Foreign Primary Law

Andrew Grossman is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served in Seoul, Abidjan, London, Tehran, Algiers and Geneva. He holds the degrees of B.A. in Economics (Clark), LL.B. (Columbia), M.A. in L.I.S. (University College London) and of Licencié en droit européen et international, Maître & Docteur en Droit (Louvain) and is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bars. He lives in London where he writes on private international law issues, especially in the fields of nationality, bankruptcy and tax. His article on “Nationality and the Unrecognised State” will appear in a forthcoming issue of International and Comparative Law Quarterly. A collection of materials relating to European nationality issues and supplementing those in his forthcoming book Compilation des lois sur la nationalité des pays et territoires européens et guide de recherche juridique is online at http://www.bigfoot.com/~nationality. This article is, in part, a by-product of the research for that book and its conclusions are based upon interviews with law librarians at university, parliamentary and national libraries throughout Europe and the United States during 1999 and 2000 as well as close monitoring of the Internet and of CD-ROM publishing.

Table of Contents

Intergovernmental Cooperation
Existing Assets
Newspaper Collections
Major Print Collections and Existing Cooperative Projects
Details of the Existing Projects
Law Library Microform Consortium
Center for Research Libraries
Global Legal Information Network
Government Documents Roundtable
Commonwealth Law Library Project
Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology (FIGIT)
Social Science Information Gateway
Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services; Private Alternatives
Conclusions: Prospects and Opportunities for Cooperation


Foreign law, whether a subject of study in itself in the domain of comparative law or a rule invoked under conflict of laws principles to resolve a cross-border issue, is an essential library resource. In jurisdictions where foreign law must be pleaded and proved as a fact, it is up to the parties to demonstrate what that law is, in default of which the Anglo-American court will generally presume it to be the same as municipal law. In other, generally civil-law, jurisdictions it may be up the court to appoint an expert; foreign law may be treated either as law or as fact, depending upon the jurisdiction.1 Because family law, succession and donations are, in civil-law countries, largely ruled by personal law and because personal law may be determined by reference to facts of nationality, domicile, religion and ethnic identity, considerable academic sophistication is demanded of foreign and comparative law librarians. The escalating costs of legal materials and the difficulty of cataloguing and maintaining collections of rarely-used materials in hard languages pose additional obstacles. In the United States particularly, acquisition of foreign materials has perceptibly declined since the early 1980s.2 Only a handful of law libraries in the world has the financial, logistical, linguistic and technical wherewithal to aspire to collecting materials from all or most countries; for those, managing acquisition and selection is the main challenge. Collecting official gazettes, session laws and case reporters from many jurisdictions makes enormous demands upon space and record-keeping; microform collection is not in many cases an alternative. Where it is, it creates its own special demands.

Whether statute law or case reports, most documentation is in the form of serials. These may be government- or privately-published; frequently there are competing sources. Especially where selection (by subject or by precedential importance) is required, alternative sources may not be interchangeable. The law of major market jurisdictions is available in alternative formats: hardbound, looseleaf, CD-ROM and on-line. In addition, in many jurisdictions the controlling version of statute law is that published in an official gazette; although gazettes may be unwieldy and their indexing haphazard, access to them may nevertheless be important. Furthermore, for preservation purposes it may well be advisable to collect materials from denied areas and unstable countries that could otherwise be totally lost in civil unrest. That said, scholarly and bibliographic urgency has a tendency to give way to pragmatism in favor of the needs of the immediate constituency: researchers, law students and practitioners. An existing stock of backfiles may even constitute a liability rather than a treasure if it impedes access to materials of greater immediate demand. These problems are not dissimilar to the wider problem of data management for libraries in an era of proliferation of scholarly product.3 The result is that even the great law libraries tend to march in step, collecting current law of the major commercially-significant jurisdictions and cancelling subscriptions to serials from jurisdictions of lesser priority. Yet these may have important things to tell us about where we came from and where we are going: the experience of Québec, the Philippines, the Cameroons, South Africa and other dual or overlaid civil- or Roman-Dutch- and common-law systems may provide lessons for scholars of European Union law and of private international law generally. Where gaps are allowed to form in collections of post-colonial jurisdictions, the continuity of a precious legal history of developing systems is broken. Finally, instead of looking towards positive cooperation and specialization, there seems to be little more than a reluctant nod towards parallel efforts and concern abroad. The limited interest in non-commercial foreign law in Britain and the United States may be due to an inherent parochialism of common-law systems born of their jurisdictional base in domicile: unlike civil-law systems, the Anglo-American court will apply local law so long as the propositus is locally domiciled, irrespective of nationality status.

This article considers in particular three problems faced by the researcher, bibliographer and librarian: (1) cooperation in collection management, (2) cooperation in interlibrary loan (ILL) and document supply and (3) the potential contribution of new technologies. Those problems can be further subdivided as between current and historical law. Ideally, libraries would share out the responsibility for collecting and making available to the academic, governmental and professional communities; and there would be depositories of last resort for older materials and for laws of smaller and commercially less important jurisdictions. Conflicting pressures upon library administrators – not least of which relates to cost and revenues and the demands of their immediate constituency – mean that what would be best collective academic and archival practice does not necessarily occur. Why that is and how it might be remedied are the focus of this study.

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Intergovernmental Cooperation

Although access to foreign statute law has been relevant and necessary since the times of the Statutists4, and although in the Imperial age and under the Napoleonic Code knowledge of foreign, religious and customary law was needed for the proper application of personal law rules5, it is only following the proliferation of sovereignties and jurisdictions in the postwar period that bibliographic initiative was necessary. In the imperial age, it was normal that copies of official documents would be deposited in the national libraries of the métropoles; and indeed out of inertia, cooperative spirit, or private initiative some of that continues to the present day6. Still, outside the normal administrative circuit of empire, the value of local access to foreign law was obvious. A convention was signed in Brussels on 15 March 1886 among the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Serbia for the “immediate exchange of official journals, parliamentary annals, and documents”7. As early as 1936, however, American republics saw the value of a structured system of document exchange, and the Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace sponsored a Convention on Interchange of Publications8. In 1957 UNESCO sponsored a Convention on the Exchange of Official Publications and Government Documents between States that, with a Procès-verbal, was adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in Paris on 3 December 19589. Membership in the United Nations incurs an obligation to provide two copies of official gazettes to the United Nations Library for official use10.

Bilateral agreements exist as well. An Exchange of notes constituting an agreement between the United States of America and India relation to the exchange of official publications was signed at New Delhi on 8 November 1950 and 11 January 1951. Formal and informal bilateral exchange arrangements, at both Government and institutional level are common11. Thus Germany has active exchange arrangements with 38 countries, of which ten (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain the United Kingdom and the United States) are based on bilateral arrangements, the others under the 1958 UNESCO Convention12. An impediment that delayed ratification of the Convention by Germany was the country’s federal structure, and the necessity to involve autonomous state governments in the procedure. The Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg, secures primary legal materials from virtually all countries on a commercial or private exchange basis for its own research needs and to undertake the analytical reporting required of it on behalf of German courts in particular situations involving private international law. In the United States, the most aggressive collection of foreign primary law has been by the Library of Congress, which obtains its foreign legal materials by treaty exchange, bilateral agreement, bilateral institutional arrangement, and by purchase through its own offices abroad13, the State Department’s Office of Publications, INR/P, (through the administrative sections of United States Embassies abroad), or commercial sources14. A paper presented to the 65th IFLA Conference in Bangkok in August 1999 set out the problems in rapidly setting up exchange and acquisition arrangements on behalf of the national and parliamentary library in a newly independent country. In the Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania Annual Report to the Conference of European National Librarians for 1998 it was noted that

[c]ooperation was maintained with national libraries of the Baltic States, Germany, Poland, Russia, Czech Republic, with various Lithuanian communities and organizations in USA, UK, Germany and other countries. 6 300 items of new publications were received by foreign exchange in 1998. There were exchange relations with 204 counterparts in 29 countries. Moreover, NLL as a depository library received publications from 3 international organizations (European Union, TATENA, World Development and Reconstruction Bank [sic]).

Furthermore, “[i]n the 1980’s and in the beginning of 1990’s, the exchange between libraries was the only significant way of acquiring foreign literature.” The Turkish National Library claims exchange arrangements with “155 addresses”. Existence of exchanges do not necessarily imply full (or any) transmission of primary legal materials, although they are both useful and occasionally essential to the legislating drafting process and national parliaments do need access to them15. Certain library exchanges would seem attributable largely to inertia: the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES, London) receives the Czech Sbírka zákon_ “every few months” in bulk by way of exchange, and it promptly consigns them to store, with little evidence of subsequent use.

Exchanges are often administratively difficult and frequently give rise to resentment over perceived differences in value tendered compared with value received, inclusive of costs of carriage16. Even staff members at the British Library, which presumably represents official British Government interests, have voiced this complaint privately. Yet, in developing countries commercial sources may be closed to libraries, including law libraries17. The efforts of public- and private-sector donors to fill the gap, while important, can only be partial: thus, the European [law] Libraries installed or planned by the Council of Europe and the European Community in various Eastern and Central European capitals such as Skopje and Chisinau, and continuing projects by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Soros Foundation and others to assist in codifying law and establishing cross-border links. Foreign librarians have assisted also, but often the result is delivery of legal treatises and not primary law; and even transmission of comprehensive national legislation may be under-utilized unless incorporated into specific law faculty courses or research projects18. The duplication of major-market law on the Internet, because more generalized, may help resolve this problem.

The practical result of the conventions, and the UN membership obligation, has been less than might have been hoped. Fulfilment of the obligation requires a commitment on the part of the signatory or member state; but more importantly the librarian or administration entitled to receive the official documents must devote substantial resources to monitor and process their reception, and to follow up missing issues of serials. Access to the Dag Hammarskjold Library is subject to strict security controls, which implies a substantial delay in access, and there is no established regime for ILL. The United Nations Geneva law library is accessible to visitors upon application without advance notice; its holdings are more limited. Between the publication of legal norms in all the world’s jurisdictions, and the end-user researcher, student and lawyer the transmission of documentation involves numerous steps each susceptible to failure for administrative, financial or political reasons; and if more than a single jurisdiction is required the possibility of failure in transmission is multiplied. As time goes by, the availability of documentation of enacted norms – especially of subordinate levels of government and of countries susceptible to civil strife – decreases. The cost of assuring a complete collection of primary law from countries of only occasional interest may exceed the amount even the most dedicated librarian or administrator is willing to spend. In any case it implies maintenance of commercial relations with foreign resellers, substantial foreign travel, and considerable administrative intervention. Of course even assuring access to a complete run of official gazettes may leave the researcher without the means to locate a particular statute and any amendments. The availability and quality of indexes and citators varies; but they determine the efficiency of any research, especially if the researcher’s language resources are limited.

Even comprehensive and internationalist (in the sense of having major private international law teaching and research programs) law libraries will have geographic and temporal gaps in their primary-law collections. Similarly, libraries with geographic focus which include law in their subject coverage tend to cover best the major jurisdictions of greatest demand, and those which happen to possess law publishers with effective marketing and delivery systems. Least accessible of all are materials from countries suffering civil strife, and (especially) breakaway territories and unrecognized states and governments, among them Transdnistria19, the Republic of Somaliland, Kosovo, the Republika Srpska, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Palestinian Authority; as well as subordinate levels of government generally. Two factors, often working in opposition, seem to dictate the facility with which the law of unsettled jurisdictions can be obtained: the interest of the state seeking recognition to prove its stability and democracy – hence the efforts of the Parliamentary library of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to publish its laws on the Internet20 – and a lack of transparency born of democratic deficit and diplomatic exclusion. The lawmaking powers of the Republika Srpska21, Kosovo22 and the Palestinian Authority23 are subject to international agreement and foreign or organizational control, suggesting academically interesting questions and providing alternative bibliographic sources – but sources with which law librarians have not traditionally been concerned.

Most research libraries allow access to their collections to scholarly visitors, at least by prior arrangement and at some institutions upon payment of a fee. In some cases, including the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Research Library Group (RLG) Shared Resources Program24 and the M25 Consortium in Britain and various regional consortia in the United States25, access is greatly restricted to persons who are not users or readers of member libraries; as some member libraries have open membership eligibility can be arranged. The Library of Congress Law Library is open to anyone with proper personal identification. Use of the British Library is restricted to bona fide scholars who can document their need for access. Budgetary and time constraints may make personal visits impossible, however. Furthermore, it is statute and case law from minor, distant and “denied-area” jurisdictions that constitute the acquisition challenge, and the ultimate focus of this paper. Analysis of transnational issues such as human rights, refugees, environmental protection and intellectual property may depend upon a correct appreciation of municipal law; but that law may not be readily accessible, or accessible at a cost affordable to the noncommercial user. As a matter of finance, response to their primary constituency and scholarly focus, practical cross-border cooperation among libraries is exceptional. This is nowhere more obvious than in law, where national borders tend to correspond with the jurisdictional limits of the subject. Union catalogues – for example, COPAC, RLIN (by subscription), LIBIS, Helveticat, ICCU or the German regional catalogues. The Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog can, however, be used to search across multiple union catalogues.

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Existing Assets

Primary law of interest to the scholar and practitioner includes: current statute and case law in force in the library’s own jurisdiction, obsolete municipal law, foreign law currently in force and obsolete foreign law. Only the latter two categories are of interest here. Law is, of course, “obsolete” only in the sense that it does not apply to new situations; a status acquired under prior law is normally retained and validated when that law is changed: marriage, nationality, inheritance, validity of contract, criminal liability and tort liability are just a few examples. Library inventories of foreign and obsolete legal norms of interest to the scholar, divided geographically, temporally and by sector and ranked by order of authority, is likely to be historical accident. Availability of current primary law reflects the responsiveness of the librarian to the immediate constituency, the needs of practitioners and students for current local law pre-empting those of the occasional scholar for the foreign and historical. Older material, if saved from weeding is a legacy for the future historian and comparative lawyer. Only with national archives is this obligation to the future and distant scholar explicit. A major problem in aggregating foreign legal publications with other official serials is that their special nature and importance may be lost, and no specific priority assigned. In a recent review of priorities, the Canadian National Library announced

The National Library has conducted a review of its policies on collecting the publications of foreign governments. The Library will now take a subject-based approach to collecting foreign official publications, and will collect only those publications that contribute directly to the development of a world-class national research resource for the study of Canada. The official publications of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France will fall outside this policy revision and will continue to be collected extensively.

As part of the policy review, the Library examined its current and retrospective collections of foreign official publications, and took decisions to deselect certain materials. Libby Martin, Collection Development Policy Officer at the National Library, is coordinating a project to allocate deselected collections to interested research libraries across Canada. In cases where the National Library has a current exchange agreement with a foreign country, the National Library will continue as the official exchange partner, while the designated research library will assume the role of Canadian repository for that particular country’s official publications. The aim of this project is to ensure that the official publications of foreign countries remain available to Canadian researchers today and into the future26.

Access to obsolete law of jurisdictions that no longer exist is the most problematic. The major legal resources of the colonial era reside in archives – catalogued or not – of the imperial powers27 and the United States28, and of the major trading firms to which certain sovereign responsibilities were delegated from time to time29. Published laws and reports of cases on appeal will in most cases be available in major university collections and law libraries of the administering state. The Public Record Office colonial legislative files are not fully catalogued, and are included within the “Records of the Colonial Office, Commonwealth and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, Empire Marketing Board, and related bodies”30. The British legacy of historical manuscripts and documents has been under particular recent scrutiny31. Archival and manuscript records in the United States have been listed by the Library of Congress. Archives of territorial, military and occupation law may require some searching32. As the basic legal structures – whether common-law precedent or civil code – derive from those powers, it is unsurprising that bilateral exchanges of documents continued. Instability, penury and corruption of legal systems – indeed, in some cases collapse into chaos of the legal infrastructure – have ended some of those relationships. Meanwhile, constant financial pressures within university and library communities has led to curtailment of subscriptions, limits on travel and even aggressive weeding of historical collections33. In recent years both the State Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have disposed of large collections of foreign primary law. The New York Public Library has also reduced its holdings. Materials from the State Department Library were offered to other international law collections including the CRL and the Los Angeles County Law Library and administrative materials were retired to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The New York Public Library is a member of the CRL, which incorporated weeded official gazettes into its microfilming programme34. Much of the FCO’s foreign legal materials, mostly consisting of those concerning Commonwealth jurisdictions, was deposited at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS). These were in addition to archival materials at the Public Record Office and at the library of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, becoming the nucleus for an important historical legal collection, IALS’s Commonwealth Law Library. Unfortunately, that part of the FCO collection that was not immediately claimed was discarded. Furthermore, recipient libraries did not commit themselves to ongoing subscription to the serials that they received, which means that current law of certain Commonwealth countries must be sought elsewhere. Admittedly, case law in some Commonwealth countries is not publicly reported or easily available; and without the support of the FCO procurement of materials from remote countries could be haphazard.

In any event libraries, accepting as first priority the research needs of their students and researcher constituency, have concentrated their collection efforts on major jurisdictions of commercial importance. Easy availability of legal materials through trade sources is inevitably another factor determining whether it will be found in libraries. Jurisdictions of limited commercial but substantial philosophical significance for example Cameroons, Philippines, the Seychelles and Mauritius and Malta (where, as in Quebec and South Africa, two systems competed for dominance35) have been ignored. Even within Europe, primary legal materials for such important jurisdictions as Greece and Turkey are scarcely to be found. For current law, there is a counterbalancing trend: the private sector has published CD-ROMs of statutes in force in the vernacular in most European and many other markets36; and a number of governments and universities have moved to publish on the Internet their codified law and official gazettes. The scale and speed with which this is occurring is shown by the following table, which lists just European jurisdictions. Accuracy and completeness of the digitized texts vary with the sophistication of the market, but the startling point is that web publishing of statutes is reaching even minor markets and may well become universal as the translation from word processor to searchable CD-ROM or HTML archive ceases to be arcane art. Indeed, as noted above, for an unrecognized state documentation of statutes may hold the promise of potential diplomatic and political dividends by providing proof of democratic trappings and administrative transparency. It is, however, generally up to the individual researcher to locate and procure materials from those jurisdictions of little or no interest to the major American and European law libraries. With luck, a major library or institution, or an international or non-governmental organization, will have an interest in the country to support the collection of primary legal materials, or an intermediary or commercial vendor will be found. Minor markets may, however, lack reliable booksellers and reliable communications.

Table 1
Specimen Internet sites for primary law of each European jurisdiction
(selected from among available government, academic and commercial sites providing texts from official gazettes and statute law)
Albania < http://www.albania.co.uk/legal/index.html>
Andorra (none)
Austria < http://www.ris.bka.gv.at>
http://verlag.oesd.co.at/bgbl/public> (official gazette)
Belarus < http://ncpi.gov.by/eng/indexeng.htm>
Belgium < http://www.moniteur.be> (official Gazette)
Bosnia (none)
Bulgaria < http://www.vega.bg/~nikkom/zakoni.html>
CD-ROM: CIELA Pub. House, 69 Tsar Asen St., 1463 Sofia
Cyprus CD-ROM: http://www.infoscreen.com.cy>
Croatia < http://www.nn.hr>
Czech Republic < http://www.sbirka.cz> (official gazette)
Denmark < http://www.retsinfo.dk>
Estonia < http://www.riigiteataja.ee>
Finland < http://finlex.edita.fi>
France < http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr>
http://www.journal-officiel.gouv.fr> (official gazette)
Germany < http://www.jura.uni-sb.de/BGBl> (official gazette)
Gibraltar (none)
Greece < http://www.lawnet.gr>
Hungary < http://ns.elender.hu/ebtv>
Iceland < http://www.althingi.is/~wwwadm/lagas.shtml>
Ireland < http://www.irlgov.ie/oireachtas/frame.htm>
Italy < http://www.parlamento.it/parlam/leggi/home.htm>
http://www.giustizia.it> (Ministry of Justice)
Latvia < http://www.latnet.lv> (links only)
Liechtenstein (none)
Lithuania < http://www.lrs.lt> (parliamentary site)
http://www.tm.lt/Litlex> (legal information center)
Luxembourg (none)
Macedonia (none)
Malta < http://www.magnet.mt/gazette> (official gazette)
Moldova < http://www1.cri.md>
Monaco (none)
Netherlands < http://www.lns.nl>
Norway < http://www.lovdata.no>
Poland < http://www.abc.com.pl/serwis/login.htm>
Portugal < http://www.dr.incm.pt> (official gazette)
Romania < http://legal.dntis.ro>
http://www.cdep.ro> (parliamentary site)
Russia < http://www.kodeks.net/rus.htm>
San Marino (none)
Slovakia < http://www.nrsr.sk> (National Council site)
Slovenia < http://www.uradni-list.si> (official gazette)
Spain < http://www.boenet.com> (official gazette)
Sweden < http://www.jit.se/juridik/lagbok.html>
Switzerland < http://www.admin.ch>
Turkey < http://www.list2000.com.tr/fr/government_politics/index.asp>
http://www.rega.com.tr> (official gazette)
CD-ROM: Lebib Yalk_n Yay_mlar_ Ve Bas_m I_leri A._.: <
Turkish Rep. of Northern Cyprus < http://www.cm.gov.nc.tr>
Ukraine < http://www.rada.kiev.ua/zak1.htm>
United Kingdom < http://www.open.gov.uk>
Yugoslavia < http://www.propisi.co.yu/48h/index.html> (official gazette)
http://www.gov.yu> (general governmental site)

A number of serials reproduce new and current primary legal materials (both statutes and case law) and commentary of foreign jurisdictions, especially within the fields of private and public international law. Major titles among these are:

  • American Journal of International Law
  • Annuaire français de droit international
  • Fontes Iuris Gentium
  • International Law Reports
  • International Legal Materials
  • Jahrbuch für Ostrecht
  • Journal de droit international (Clunet)
  • Journal of African Law
  • Law Reports of the Commonwealth
  • Penant, Revue de droit des pays d’Afrique
  • Recht in Ost und West
  • Revue critique du droit international privé
  • WGO Monatshefte für Osteuropäisches Recht

Particular countries’ statute and case law may be found selectively on various web sites identified by search engine; a few examples selected at random:

Private initiatives are risky sources of law, however, because they do not assure either currency or integrity: authority needs to be judged based on the source and sponsoring entity, and it is important that dates of posting and updating are given. Laws posted by individuals, organizations and foreign governments with particular political and diplomatic agendas are obviously suspect40.

Some loose-leaf services and encyclopaedic collections assemble laws of a specific category from many or most jurisdictions; and at various times some quite ambitious documentation projects have been undertaken, for example:

  • R. Blanpain, gen. ed., International Encyclopædia of Laws, Deventer: Kluwer, 1992.

  • Oskar Borchardt, ed., (W. Bowstead, ed. of British edition), The Commercial Laws of the World: Comprising the Mercantile, Bills of Exchange, Bankruptcy and Maritime Laws of all Civilized Nations … in the Original Languages Interleaved With an English Translation, Boston: Boston Book Co. (London: Sweet & Maxwell), 1911-1914 (32 vols. planned, not all published)

  • P.J. Cresswell, ed., Encyclopædia of Banking Law, London: Butterworths, 1982

  • Murad Ferid, ed., Internationales Ehe- und Kindschaftsrecht mit Staatsange-hörigkeitsrecht, Frankfurt am Main: Verlag für Standesamtswesen, Looseleaf, 1983-

  • Foreign Tax Law Association, Commercial Laws of the World, Ormond Beach (Fla.), 1976

  • International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Tübingen: Mohr (serial)

  • Internationales Erbrecht: Quellensammlung mit systematischen Darstellungen des materiellen Erbrechts sowie des Kollisionrechts der wichtigsten Staaten München: Beck, 1955-

  • UNESCO et al., Copyright Laws and Treaties of the World, Looseleaf, 1956-1992

  • E.S. Zeballos (ed.), La nationalité, Conférences faites à l’Université de Buenos Aires, Paris: L. Tenin, 1914-1919

  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (annual), foreign law summaries

  • The (British) State Papers and the Recueil Martens series and U.S. congressional documents contain very extensive collections of foreign laws of the time, collected by diplomatic missions and correspondents for comparative and reporting purposes; also the State Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other nations’ digests of international law and records of diplomatic practice.

Various bibliographic works provide guidance on finding the law of foreign jurisdictions generally:

  • American Library Association, Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries, Bethesda (Md.): Congressional Information Service, 1997

  • Case Western Reserve University has published a guide to research in Russian law

  • The Library of Congress Law Library has published a series of guides for research into the law of specific foreign countries41

  • Valerie J. Nurcombe, Information Sources in Official Publications, London: Barker Saur, 1997

  • Thomas H. Reynolds & Arturo A. Flores, Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World, Buffalo (N.Y.): Hein (loose-leaf; also on CD-ROM)

  • Charles Szladits, Selective Bibliography of Comparative Law, New York: Parker School, 1953- , and updates through Daniel L. Wade et al, eds., Szladits’ Bibliography On Foreign And Comparative Law, 1993-1994, Dobbs Ferry (NY): Oceana, 1999.

  • Jules Winterton, Information Sources in Law, 2d ed., London: Bowker Saur, 1997

Until the advent of OPACs and on-line bibliographic and full-text services, many more bibliographic and catalogue-card facsimile publications existed; these old (pre-1980s) works will rarely be relevant for the type of research considered here.

Some meta-sites provide links to on-line data bases and on-line and print bibliographic resources:

Law faculties and international organizations have collected primary materials and links relating to a particular region, era, or subject:

Obviously the researcher will want to consult such readily-available and perhaps translated and indexed sources first if they meet needs; but physical access to material in the vernacular may still be necessary. In addition to the meta-sites already noted, general research advice exists to guide the comparative lawyer in Internet searching43.

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Newspaper Collections

While usually a secondary, unofficial source for primary law, under certain circumstances newspapers may be the only source, as during civil unrest, military intervention and governmental change. To this day, the 1991 Moldovan nationality law has been published nowhere else but the vernacular daily newspapers Sfatul T_ri44 and Kishinevskiye Novosti45. The British Newspaper Library, Colindale, has an active collection programme for major foreign newspapers in all languages46; it is, however, least likely to encompass newspapers of minor and potentially breakaway states with the propensity to use the popular press to announce emergency legislation. The U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service47 and its British partner, BBC Caversham, are possible sources for translations of foreign press and broadcast reports of legal initiatives. The best alternative source are diplomatic channels and international and non-governmental organizations with local offices having reporting requirements. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UNDP, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)48, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are a few such organizations. Their libraries are not open to the general public, however; a research project would probably need to be presented in such a way as to show an aim in parallel with the organization’s own objectives to elicit assistance and access.

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Major Print Collections and Existing Cooperative Projects

Complete collections of the primary law of nearly every jurisdiction can be consulted, although perhaps only by prior arrangement, at national libraries, parliamentary libraries and major law faculties within that jurisdiction. In addition, the former colonial powers have complete, or nearly complete, collections at least through the early years following independence of most former colonies, protectorates, mandates, trust territories and condominiums. To the extent that the Privy Council retained appellate responsibility for Commonwealth legal systems there has been a positive need for maintaining access to their law in London. In some cases, those outlying territories continued to supply official documents to depository libraries in the former métropole; in others private sector firms, or occasionally scholarly organizations, have undertaken publication of consolidations of laws and case reports. In some, like Myanmar, Sudan and Liberia, there has been a breakdown of an established, sophisticated legal tradition; indeed the retention of that tradition abroad may constitute the major hope for its eventual restoration. A few libraries, particularly in America, maintained in place at least in the pre-World War II period, blanket orders with foreign distributors. A number collected published European theses in the inter-war years, and the CRL continues this practice. Theses on legal subjects may reproduce relevant primary law as illustrative or appended text. Furthermore in the pre-war years, when there were fewer discrete legal jurisdictions, encylopædic compilations of law on particular subjects from “all countries of the world” were not uncommon49.

Some regional development banks and aid donors have funded important bibliographic and digitization projects with respect to current law, especially in the Caribbean50 and the Asia/Pacific51 area; and the Open Society Institutes (“Soros Foundations”)52, the United Nations Development Programme and other organizations have promoted similar enterprises in the recent past, especially in Eastern Europe. A few law librarians have set up web pages linked to foreign primary law sites. With respect to local access to foreign law, the main sources of information are the OPACs of major collecting libraries, card files of otherwise uncatalogued material, a few ongoing bibliographic projects, and some unpublished stock lists. As resources are constantly changing and improving, extensive Internet searching by country and topic, using key words in the local language as well as in major languages of translation (English, French, Spanish, German, Russian) is essential. Secondary sources, including LLRX.com and indexes to legal periodicals53 and research guides linked at the home pages of the academic law libraries listed in the table below, are useful starting points for researchers new to a particular jurisdiction.

Table 2
Primary Law Resources
Library Principal holdings OPAC URL
United Kingdom
British Library As per catalogue card file in Science 2 (Official Publications): mostly historical gazettes, BL property, stored at Document Supply Centre; other primary legal materials are in India Office Collection < http://www.bl.uk>
(not all holdings are catalogued; few are included in OPAC)
British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) at LSE Mostly pre-1990 official publications, including gazettes and session laws < http://www.lse.ac.uk/ blpes>
Bodleian Law Library, University of Oxford Extensive but selective collection of major jurisdictions < http://www.ox.ac.uk>
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Major European and Commonwealth jurisdictions, and USA < http://www.sas.ac.uk/ials>
Institute of Commonwealth Studies Commonwealth documents < http://www.sas.ac.uk/commonwealthstudies>
Institute of Historical Research Older legal materials of historical interest < http://ihr.sas.ac.uk/ihr/bbs.ihr.html>
Public Record Office, Kew Official gazettes and administrative documents from colonies and outlying territories < http://www.pro.gov.uk>
School of Slavonic & East European Studies Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic (among others within its specific area of interest) < http://www.ull.ac.uk>
School of Oriental & African Studies Major Southeast Asian and Anglophone African jurisdictions < http://www.soas.ac.uk>
Squire Law Library, University of Cambridge Colonial official gazettes; current law of major countries < http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk>

United States

University of California at Berkeley Law Library < http://www.berkeley.edu/libraries/#library>
Center for Research Libraries, Chicago Depot for member libraries’ little-used serials; ongoing programme to microfilm all available official gazettes to 1995; various digitization projects < http://www.crl.uchicago.edu>
University of Chicago, D’Angelo Law Library Important collection from specific countries, including most major jurisdictions < http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/law/home.html>
Columbia University Law Library Japan, Korea, China; Commonwealth countries, major European and selected other jurisdictions < http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu>
Dag Hammarskjold Library, United Nations, New York Official gazettes < http://members.nbci.com/
Harvard University Law Library Effort at universal coverage < http://hollisweb.harvard.edu>
for collection policy:
Law Library of Congress Major collection of primary law from all countries, but often not systematically collected < http://www.loc.gov>
Los Angeles County Law Library Major collection of session laws and gazettes, some from former Dept. of State collection; not complete < http://www.lalaw.lib.ca.us>
New York Public Library Formerly a major collection of official gazettes; now in process of transfer to CRL and others < http://catnyp.nypl.org>
New York University Law Library < http://julius.law.nyu.edu>
United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Library, New York Depository library for all UN Member States official gazettes; limited bibliographic control; typescript shelf list < http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/services.htm>
Yale University Law Library <>

Continental European Countries

Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg Card file, 2 computer terminals (no OPAC); major collection from all countries none, descriptive details at:
Peace Palace Library, The_Hague Major collection of international and municipal law for the particular use of the International Court of Justice, the Hague Academy and the Hague Conference http://www.library.law.uu.nl/
Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Lausanne Systematic collection of primary law and treatises from all countries, especially European jurisdictions (including minor ones) < http://www-isdc.unil.ch/frames/fsetframes.html>
United Nations Library, Geneva Depository library for all UN Member States official gazettes < http://www.unog.ch/frames/library/start.htm>
Université de Provence Aix- Marseille, Centre d’Acquisition et de Diffusion de l’Information Scientifique et Technique French colonial history collection project < http://www.inist.fr/Ann-Info/cadist/cadist.htm>
In addition, various libraries with a particular regional interest have holdings of rare and denied- area materials that may be located on RLIN or OCLC or found in the Union List of Serials in the United States, or on COPAC or in BUCOP in the United Kingdom.

Major ongoing multi-jurisdiction collection and inventory projects include, in the United States:

and in Britain:

Lexadin, in the Netherlands, has an online World Law Guide.

The majority of on-line legal research sites provide, however, mainly United States law, thus:

Various international organizations have undertaken specific projects to record, and often to place online and on CD-ROM, primary legal materials from all or many countries within specific subject areas58. A few examples:

  • UNHCR REFWORLD, refugee statute and case law; and nationality and aliens legislation59

  • Food and Agriculture Organization FAOLEX60

  • International Labour Organization ILOLEX

  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has collected, translated and published laws relevant to nationality and migration issues

  • The World Trade Organization site (WTO) contains international trade law and dispute settlement reports

  • The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publishes national laws on copyright, patents and trade marks

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation (tax laws)

  • The European Commission and the European Parliament libraries in Brussels hold major collections of the laws of member states of the European Union. The Commission Library on Rue de la Loi is open to advanced academic researchers and to professionals by prior arrangement.

  • The Council of Europe Library, Strasbourg, collects some legal materials of member states. In most cases, Council researchers rely on the states themselves to submit the texts of laws under comparative study, translated into one of the official Council languages.

  • Regional banks (African, Caribbean, Asian, Inter-American, European) collect legal materials of interest within their respective geographic areas, particularly concerning economic, commercial, administrative and financial matters, as does the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development61.

  • Regional cooperation bodies, including the Organization of American States, the Organization of African Unity62 and

  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union does not record or document legislation of member states, but does maintain an Internet site with links to national parliaments’ sites. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) sponsors a database of parliamentary libraries, maintained by the German Bundestag.

  • UNESCO is intimately involved in promoting exchanges of official publications; and it maintains a directory of depository libraries

  • United Nations Treaty Collection (fee based access, as from October 1999); alternatively print version of the UN and League of Nations Treaty Series, the Consolidated Treaty Series and the World Treaty Index (1980) as references to and sources of treaty-based law.

  • The American Society of International Law and Hieros Gamos have compiled guides to sources of international environmental law, the latter with direct links to sources of country law.

Government, private-sector and organizational collections and databases contain primary legal materials:

  • Westlaw and LEXIS63, the leading United States on-line primary-law services, provide fee-based access to certain foreign law collections depending upon contractual arrangements in force from time to time. Concessional rates are available to law faculties.

  • Newspaper libraries with important foreign and historical holdings, such as the British Newspaper Library in Colindale, may be sources of primary legal materials insofar as laws and cases are reported in the general press, and the libraries may have established tariffs for photocopying and supplying articles to remote users; however indexing is incomplete, library staff largely unfamiliar with legal research and thus a personal visit by a researcher may anyway be necessary.

  • Embassy and foreign ministry web sites may have links to laws related, particularly, to constitutional, commercial and consular matters64

  • The International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation has a document delivery service for the text of official documents within the organization’s sphere of responsibility

Universities and private researchers have compiled bibliographies of electronic and print versions of foreign law, usually on a regional or country basis, and links to legal sites:

A few examples of country legal and official-publication bibliographies:

The International Association of Law Libraries is a forum for inter-library cooperation, although membership is limited in point of fact to libraries in major jurisdictions. It could be a focus for the kind of cooperative commitment envisaged here. There have been expressions of interest in the establishment of regional institutions70 but, in general, a disappointing level of political and financial support71.

Private sector firms have undertaken microform distribution of government gazettes that are likely to be in significant demand. Thus, the catalogue of Norman Ross Publishing Inc. includes early gazette titles from China. Back issues of major country official gazettes, including the French Journal officiel, the German Budesgesetzblatt, the Moniteur belge, Italian Gazzetta Ufficialle, the Boletín Oficial de España and the Swiss Feuille fédérale, are readily available in microform and recent issues are on-line. An increasing number of countries, including many for which primary legal materials are difficult to find, has commenced electronic publishing of laws and official gazettes72.

Existing web-based bibliographic efforts are inevitably dependent upon local efforts at digitization, and in general make no effort to pass on the accuracy or completeness of content. Furthermore, virtually all Internet legal sites provide for prospective additions only: either for the posting of current and future codes and consolidated texts, or of statutes enacted and cases decided after a particular starting date. This will generally mean that the sites do not represent the totality of laws applicable in a particular jurisdiction. This situation will inevitably improve over time as sites age and the proportion of laws and relevant cases available on-line increases; but on-line services – and particularly those available without charge – can only be an adjunct to research in foreign and comparative law.

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Details of the Existing Projects

Law Library Microform Consortium

The Law Library Microform Consortium dates from 1967 and is located on the Windward Community College campus of the University of Hawaii. It has 900 institutional members (defined as purchasing institutions) and has filmed over 6,000 titles, some 75,000 volumes, of interest to legal researchers and historians. Its preservation projects are divided into 15 categories: U.S. Federal, U.S. States, U.S. Territories, Anglo-American Selected Cases & Encyclopedias, Anglo-American Legal Periodicals, Anglo-American Legal Treatises, Anglo-American Legal Reference Sources, The Yale Blackstone Collection (Permanent Edition), U.S. Military Law, History & Documents, Native American Collection (Permanent Edition), Non-U.S. Jurisdictions & International Organizations73, Canon Law, A Basic Collection (Permanent Edition), Civil Law I: France, A Basic Collection, Civil Law II: Italy, Spain & Portugal, Civil Law III: Austria, Germany & Switzerland. The Consortium offers a straightforward mission statement:

While LLMC films both active & inactive titles, it concentrates on republishing those older volumes which are ideal candidates for retention and preservation in microformat. It provides libraries with an economical source of filmed replacements when their stock of older and deteriorating books becomes too burdensome to store given diminished use. Thus the Consortium aids libraries in their space recovery and preservation programs, while also providing an inexpensive way to complete retrospective collections74.

The Consortium has great historical depth but limited geographical scope, covering jurisdictions deemed to be of greatest scholarly interest among its United States-based users. Jules Winterton, Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, is the sole non-U.S.-based member of its Advisory Council.

Center for Research Libraries

The CRL is a cooperative venture of most of the scholarly and university libraries of the United States. Its mission

is to foster and advance scholarly inquiry through cost-effective, cooperative programs that provide reliable access through traditional and electronic means to unique and unusual collections of library materials that are in all appropriate formats, international in scope, and comprehensive in disciplines75.

CRL operates a global cooperative collection development program that assists academic and research libraries in making otherwise inaccessible and important research materials permanently available to scholars and researchers. The cooperative collection development program fosters the collection and preservation of research materials in print, microform and electronic formats. CRL’’s program is supported by a large centralized collection consisting of five major components upon which libraries make local collecting decisions. Academic institutions and their libraries reduce the costs of acquiring, processing, preserving and using carefully selected library materials held in shared ownership by CRL. The components are expensive to collect in relation to their use at any one institution, but are cost-effective when held in common and made available through pooled resources. Thus, the program reduces the rising costs of providing local access to resources that have limited ongoing local demand76.

It is, effectively, a warehouse for rare and rarely-consulted monographs, serials, documents and microforms removed from member libraries or acquired on their behalf. Its holdings are divided, generally, among global newspapers, international doctoral dissertations, scholarly journals, subject collections77, area studies. Most significant for law libraries are the official gazette microfilming project and the collection of international doctoral dissertations. Access to the CRL collections by foreign researchers is limited by the absence of foreign libraries among its membership. This, apparently, is a function of the membership fee structure of the Center.

Global Legal Information Network

GLIN is an effort to bring on-line summaries and integral texts of the laws of participating jurisdictions as they are enacted, based on the authoritative published versions, usually those from official gazettes78. Jurisdictions now participating are: Albania, Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Korea, Kuwait, Lithuania, MERCOSUR, Macao, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Senegal, Spain, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela. Other jurisdictions are being added as they volunteer and as staff are trained and required hardware and software are installed. Laws are uploaded by authorities of the participating jurisdiction in Adobe Acrobat format, text-captured where possible; but they are accessible in full-text only by authorized users: those associated with participating governments and certain (unspecified) cooperating entities and institutions.

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) maintains and provides a database of laws, regulations, and other complementary legal sources. The documents included in the database are contributed by the governments of the member nations from the original official texts which are deposited, by agreement of the members, in a server initially at the Library of Congress of the United States of America. The basic elements of this database are: (1) full texts of the documents in the official language of the country of origin; (2) summaries or abstracts in English; and (3) thesauri in English and in as many official languages as are represented in the database. The summaries or abstracts are linked electronically to the corresponding full texts. Currently, information can be searched in English using the instructions appearing on the screen. GLIN is interested in enlisting new partners for the network, and all governments or their designated agencies are invited to participate.79

One weakness of GLIN is that there is no external control and enforcement, so that while the scanning and conversion process assures, in principle, integrity of text, there may be no certainty that all relevant texts are included. Furthermore, there is no retrospective collection. Searching is thesaurus-based using a controlled vocabulary, through summaries of each posted law, in English and the vernacular.

Government Documents Roundtable

GODORT was established by the American Library Association

(a) to provide a forum for discussion of problems and concerns, and for the exchange of ideas by librarians working with government documents; (b) to provide a force for initiating and supporting programs to increase availability, use and bibliographic control of documents; (c) to increase communication between documents librarians and other librarians; (d) to contribute to the extension and improvement of education and training of documents librarians.80

Among its committees relevant to this paper are a Rare & Endangered Government Publications Committee and an International Documents Task Force. Its mission is bibliographic and policy-oriented, rather than to provide concrete collecting and law-finding resources.

Commonwealth Law Library Project

This project is specific to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London and concerns Commonwealth law assets – including many historical treasures – transferred from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office library to IALS under trust deed in 1992.81 Together with the collections of the Public Record Office, the Bodleian, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, SOAS, the India Office Records82 at the British Library, the British Library of Political and Economic Science (BLPES) and the Institute of Historical Reserach, they constitute the historical record of Commonwealth law, although private papers, in particular, may be collected elsewhere.

Follett Implementation Group on Information Technology (FIGIT)

This concerns the implementation of the Follett Report’s83 concerns over information technology. The Figit Periodicals Digitisation Study84 included two proposals relevant to law: 3/3 (Law Reports) and 3/25 (government official gazettes from “all jurisdictions of the world”)85. Similar proposals and projects exist elsewhere of which GLIN and the Australian Integrated Document Access Project86 are two, and the 1995 status report has been overtaken by events. Marian Dworczek maintains an on-line bibliography of electronic sources of information that includes such initiatives.

Social Science Information Gateway

SOSIG is a component part of the United Kingdom Resource Discovery Network and “aims to provide a trusted source of selected, high quality Internet information for researchers and practitioners in the social sciences, business and law.” The law component, subcontracted to IALS and the University of Bristol Law Library, is a bibliography with links to UK and foreign law sites. It is thus not an independent collection and preservation effort but a search engine for pre-qualified web pages on law.

Such projects progress in parallel with individual government initiatives, such as the European on-line and CD-ROM resources shown in the table at page 11, and those of the United States87, Australia, Canada and many other countries indexed in principle on the foreign primary law links Internet site of University of Houston law librarian Timothy F. Mulligan. European Union law is extensively digitized and current and recent European law is available on-line. The Council of Europe88 and the International Court of Justice also have extensive on-line collections of case law.

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Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services; Private Alternatives

At least for current or recent legal materials, academic, professional and commercial users can obtain copies of documents for which they already have citations through existing interlibrary loan channels, or through fee-based document delivery services, such as those provided by the British Library Document Supply Centre (DCS)89, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies90, Arthur W. Diamond Library at Columbia University, Los Angeles County Law Library, New York Public Library, Bibliothèque nationale de France and many others91. For some law libraries, document supply is an important profit centre directed at practising lawyers. Concessions may be made for academic researchers, usually through interlibrary loan92 or reciprocal reading privileges. Established procedures do not exist for the sharing of materials from some of the most important Continental European collections, although ad hoc arrangements are not uncommon; and personal contacts among librarians can facilitate interlibrary loans of photocopied material on an informal basis. Obtaining laws, regulations and case reports relating to foreign jurisdictions for which an accessible (by visit or by ILL) holding library cannot be found is problematic. A number of possibilities exist:

  • Private researchers (who solicit work mainly from private law firms) can be hired to photocopy materials from the Library of Congress Law Library

  • For a substantial research project, a card posted via an Embassy personnel office can help locate an Embassy dependent willing to search, for compensation, in a national, parliamentary or university library

  • A query can be posted on the INT-LAW mailing list of foreign international law librarians, the EURO-LEX list93 of European law, or for older materials one of the lists of the H-Net series, the ILL-L list (a more generalized interlibrary loan list) or another appropriate list94 or Usenet newsgroup concerned with an issue, profession or country; or posted on Jurist Legal Education Network.

  • Either through a mailing list or published literature, it may be possible to locate a scholar with an interest in the target country and a private collection of its laws.

  • Internet searches and bibliographic searches on OPACs, followed by correspondence with foreign publishers and libraries may be fruitful

  • Foreign diplomatic missions in the researcher’s own country (consular, cultural and commercial sections, depending upon the type of law and the nature of the end-user: lawyer, academic, journalist or business) may be able to supply specific laws

  • Many foreign ministries, including those of the United States and the United Kingdom, make available on demand for consular and trade promotion purposes lists of lawyers and bar associations which may be able and willing to supply copies of laws. Bilateral and international Chambers of Commerce may also offer assistance, particularly to prospective foreign investors and their advisors.

  • Large multi-national law firms maintain law libraries with materials from many countries where their clients have interests; access to such libraries and materials is sometimes possible.

  • Where cost is not a major factor, some private firms undertake to supply unpublished and foreign documents: thus, The Research Investment, Inc., Access Russia, Inc., Infotrieve, BNA Plus95.

Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) has published a list of public and private ILL and document supply sources.

These enumerated suggestions hint at the nature of the problem: even though there have been efforts at identifying and cataloguing existing assets, and institutions like the DSC and the CRL are effective at supplying materials within their collections to their own subscribing institutions, access to documents for transnational and private users remains haphazard. There are customary channels of communication dating, often, from colonial practice. These channels do not normally intersect, with the result that the British researcher in, for example, Lusophone law, past or present, may have to travel; and the researcher concerned with worldwide law in a particular subject may have to travel repeatedly. If proper bibliographic citations can be found, the researcher may be able to secure assistance through national channels, but this can be arduous. More so than in North America, ILL and photocopying services are highly structured, bureaucratic, and informal arrangements are discouraged. Thus SOAS will respond to ILL requests only through the DSC. ILL may function adequately in transactions with some remote institutions96, but the time required to accomplish it may exceed that allowed by the project. Furthermore, countries with sophisticated, reliable ILL are likely to be the very countries for which primary legal materials are readily available abroad. Personal contacts and introductions are often the most effective channels – a distinct dividend of familiarization and collection development travel.

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Conclusions: Prospects and Opportunities for Cooperation

Part of the problem of universal access to foreign black-letter law is being resolved by the migration of such law to the Internet, both in consolidated and official-gazette form. At present, it is largely developed-country law, and that of certain developing countries where the effort has been supported by foreign donors. The GLIN project is a particularly promising initiative, although its full effects will not be felt for some years, since it is not a retrospective collection. The trend in facilitating access to case law is less energetic, and fee-based providers predominate. Publishers of private international law cases must inevitably be highly selective in the choice of case reports from all the world’s tribunals. Library collection of case reporters from some of the most interesting and prolific common-law jurisdictions, including the Philippines, India and Pakistan, remains limited. Indian case law is now available on CD-ROM, but few libraries outside of India subscribe to them. There is little active involvement in the promotion of Internet access to law among academic institutions of the developing world.

In Britain, apart from IALS law libraries have little autonomy, being integrated with social sciences or, at best, specialized libraries within a consolidated university system. SOAS, with a particularly strong law collection for a number of Oriental and African countries, has no specialized law librarian or law library expertise. SSEES does not teach law as a discipline and its primary-law assets are incidental to its political science concerns. With a handful of exceptions, law librarians in Britain are not lawyers first, as they tend to be in the United States and Canada, but librarians. Indeed, in the United States, foreign and comparative law librarians may have faculty rank, and salaries to match. Only by increasing the prestige of the profession in Britain and by attracting skilled young research-oriented scholars to work in law libraries can law libraries and through them law faculties achieve the influence needed within the policymaking community to change the status quo. However, with prices of domestic legal materials – serials and treatises – fast increasing and the need for computer facilities and computer-based law equally demanding of funds, little thought is being given to expanding the scope of foreign law collecting. Initiatives would have to come from elsewhere: from government, from law firms, from private firms involved in international trade. It may be that supply creates its own demand, but librarians are not oriented today towards such initiatives. IALS, the major internationalist law library, and the Bodleian, and perhaps the Squire, have particular constituencies; and IALS’s collection is largely limited to jurisdictions which use the Roman alphabet. Unlike in the United States, initiatives of such magnitude are not likely to come from private donors and legacies. Only if it could be shown that Distance Services customers had a distinct need for access to foreign primary law (other than that of the United States and certain Commonwealth countries, which now constitute the bulk of foreign statute- and case-law requests) would there be obvious cause for change. The British Library, DSC and BLPES have important historical collections but little current focus on foreign law. They seem to lack a “mission” in the sense relevant to this essay.

In the United States, law libraries are largely operationally independent of other libraries within their respective universities. Some funding from donors is earmarked; senior librarians may indeed find themselves engaged in fund raising. Still, library acquisition will reflect the research interests of the institution; and cost escalation creates the same pressures as everywhere, to reduce acquisition of serials and foreign materials that are least germane to the institution’s core requirements. Whereas Britain has no national or parliamentary law library, the United States has the Library of Congress which, while not a “national” library in the technical sense, is the library of record and of last resort. Except for the Library of Congress and, within certain limits the Harvard Law School Library and the Los Angeles County Law Library, no institution has universalist aspirations in foreign law. The Dag Hammarskjold Library, a special case, offers only limited access. The other great United States law schools with significant foreign-law involvement – Chicago, Berkeley, Columbia, Yale and very few others, like Georgetown, Minnesota, New York University and Louisiana State University with more limited geographic interests – respond to the most urgent needs of their own users, which in turn may very well be defined by the limits of the collections they use. Exceptions are infrequent enough so that they can confidently be dealt with when they happen. Only the CRL stands as a permanent, ultimate repository of historical materials. Its mission to collect and film all official gazettes from everywhere through the year 1995 (with the possibility of a adjusting that limit periodically) is at once ambitious and promising. It will not, however, concern itself with content, or indexing that which is not already indexed. To CRL, the London Gazette is an official gazette, indeed, it is reported, the single most wanted gazette in its collection.

If we are to promote cooperation, it might be well to describe the kind of query envisaged for that cooperation. Typically, a researcher may seek “all the laws of the world” or “all the laws of a region” (for example, all 46 European jurisdictions97) devoted to a particular subject: intellectual property, foreign investment, labour, environment, nationality and immigration, for example. To the degree that the query falls within the bailiwick of a given international organization – such as the WIPO, WTO, IOM, UNESCO, ILO, FAO, UNHCR – a worldwide census of laws may already have been conducted. Within Europe, the European Union and the Council of Europe frequently query member states on the law of a particular subject. Occasionally, foreign ministries poll all their embassies abroad on the law and regulations pertaining to some matter. How efficiently the scholar can gain access to the results in either case, and how accurate and current the information will be, are continuing problems.

If one is to compile all the law, up to date, on a particular issue, short of identifying a professionally qualified person (lawyer, law teacher, librarian) able and willing to point to the answer, the solution would seem to be to collate a hierarchy of jurisdictions in order of the sophistication of its legal publishing and availability of on-line, CD-ROM and print versions. Only some of these will be available locally. The first challenge is then to identify the needed foreign law by citation, without which no ILL request could be contemplated. This suggests that a broad collection of (or cooperative access to) indexes and digests should be given a high priority as reference materials, even by institutions that do not otherwise devote resources to a particular jurisdiction. As time goes by, GLIN may be an increasingly important resource for its abstracts and search facility, notwithstanding the present lack of access to the full-text versions of statutes in the collection.

Ultimately, if all or nearly all, jurisdictions are to be canvassed, several of the major collecting libraries, listed in the table beginning at page 19, will need to be consulted. There will inevitably remain some laws that will not be found outside the country or region of origin. At present, ILL does not function well, or at all, between such “denied areas” and the West. Beyond the techniques suggested in the list starting at page 32, only some new institutional arrangement can hold promise. If document supply has proved a profit centre for many libraries in the West, so might it elsewhere. UNESCO coupons – otherwise largely a means for resolving currency control problems in library acquisitions from developed to developing markets – or UPU International Reply Coupons98 might perhaps be made a medium of exchange for such transactions. For jurisdictions with legislation and, perhaps, case law published on CD-ROM provision of such a service by electronic means would be relatively simple. Whether it could be supported may depend, of course, on the existence of sufficient demand. Just as, in Europe, the tendency is to channel ILL requests through a single national institution – DSC in Britain, with the service funded at least until late 2000 by means of accountable paper forms – such an arrangement might be more practical if organized by an institution with a clear and permanent interest in the country and subject.

IALS is overwhelmed with providing access and services to its LLM student constituency. It has, at present, 200 seats and plans major building works to expand its seating capacity. By comparison, the specialized comparative law libraries of Europe – notably the Swiss Institute and the Max-Planck-Institut – are quiet study halls with unutilized capacity. They also have wide linguistic and subject-matter capability and major worldwide collections. The difference is, in part, a product of the different teaching method as between common-law and civil-law system, and also of difference in assigned function: the Continental comparative-law institutes exist first to assist their governments and judicial systems, and secondarily to provide resources for scholarly research. Whether the institutes can be brought into some wider European judicial cooperation sphere may be more a matter of ministerial direction than scholarly interest and will on the part of management.

Until such time as policy evolves, sensitization to the problem among librarians, adequacy of resources, and travel funds may be the most important areas for improvement. More mundane perhaps, but no less useful for that would be a census of primary law actually available. Such stock-taking is, in fact, already under way both in the United States and in Britain in connection with the projects discussed. As for historical law, even law of the relatively recent past, traditional paper-based and microform research will continue to be required. For these, inventory and preservation initiatives like those already under way are urgently required for all jurisdictions of the world. In this respect, there exist of course some treasures such as the 7-volume encyclopedic collection of Ottoman Empire law compiled by vice-consul George Young in Damascus and published by Oxford University Press in 1905.

Achievement of real cooperation among law librarians implies development in both supply and demand. Scholars’ aspirations in subject-matter of research depends on access to materials, or to travel grants. Incremental cooperation itself is dependent upon closer cross-border communications among and responsiveness to the needs of users of major foreign- and international-law libraries. Specific initiatives to be undertaken should include:

  • Mentoring of law librarians in development country jurisdictions by one or more librarians in countries with greater resources, to include occasional fetching of references and ILL of cases, statutes and articles;

  • exchange visits and internships between law libraries in developed and developing countries;

  • Greater emphasis upon training in comparative law (within undergraduate and professional university legal education) and law librarianship (within postgraduate librarianship education);

  • Marshalling of language resources and greater emphasis on hard-language training and expertise in selection and education within the fields of law and librarianship

  • Increased collection specialization and interlibrary loan arrangements among law libraries based upon geographic and temporal criteria, especially on an international level

More especially, closer cooperation should, indeed must, be promoted between and among academic operators with substantive subject responsibility within law and the social sciences and administrative and library personnel. Some thought might be given to extending ILL rights to third-party institutions subject perhaps to some objective criteria, so (for example) overseas scholars might have greater and easier access to CRL-held materials and North American scholars to European and other overseas materials.

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Books, Theses, Articles, Documents

A. Librarianship

B. Law, Legal Bibliography and Substantive Matters

  • Borchardt, Oskar, ed., (W. Bowstead, ed. of British edition), The Commercial Laws of the World: Comprising the Mercantile, Bills of Exchange, Bankruptcy and Maritime Laws of all Civilized Nations … in the Original Languages Interleaved With an English Translation, Boston: Boston Book Co. (London: Sweet & Maxwell), 1911-1914 (32 vols. planned, not all published)

  • Brilmayer, Lea, Conflict of Laws, Cases and Materials, 4th ed., Aspen, 1995

  • Cotran, Eugene, ed., The Arab-Israeli Accords: Legal Perspectives (1996)

  • Crawford, Michael J. et al., The Spanish-American War: Historical Overview and Select Bibliography, Washington, Naval Historical Center (N.D.)

  • Gilissen, John , “Le statut des étrangers, à la lumière de l’histoire comparative”, 10 L’Etranger, Rec. Soc. Jean Bodin 5 (1958)

  • Gowing, Peter G., Mandate in Moroland: the American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899-1920, Quezon City: Univ. of the Philippines, 1977

  • Gutzwiller, Max, “Le développement historique du droit international privé”, ch. I, 29 Rec. des cours 296-309 (1929 IV)

  • Hartley, Trevor C. , “Pleading and Proof of Foreign Law: The Major European Systems Compared”, 45 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 271 (1996).

  • Klerck, Edouard S. de, History of the Netherlands East Indies, Rotterdam, W.L. & J. Brusse, n.v., 1938, vol. 1, pp. 195-212, 324-455, 425-48

  • Nemitz, Jan Christoph, “The Legal Status of the Republika Srpska”, (1997) 43 WGO Osteuropa Recht 89

  • Neukirch, Claus, “Der Status Transnistriens aus politischer und völkerrechtlicher Sicht”, Dec. 1998, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, B.P. 470/1, Kiev

  • Tan, Samuel Kong, The Muslim Armed Struggle in the Philippines, 1900-1941, thesis, Syracuse Univ., 1973

  • Zeballos, E.S. (ed.), La nationalité, Conférences faites à l’Université de Buenos Aires, Paris: L. Tenin, 1914-1919

Reports and Proceedings

Internet Sites 99

Library Union Catalogs, Digital Bibliographies, Library Links







Netherlands (including Peace Palace Library, The Hague)


United Kingdom and Ireland

United States

< Table of Contents>


*Copyright © 2000 University College London. This is an updated version of a report originally submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of M.A. in L.I.S. at that institution. Hypertext links were operative as of November 8, 2000. < back to text>
1Trevor C. Hartley, “Pleading and Proof of Foreign Law: The Major European Systems Compared”, 45 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 271 (1996). < back to text>
2Deborah Jakubs & David Magier, “Library Collections and Access: Supporting Global Expertise”, paper delivered at HEA-Title VI-Fulbright/Hays National Policy Conference, University of California at Los Angeles, 23-25 Jan. 1997, < http://www.arl.org/collect/dlj.html>. < back to text>
3The Changing World of Scholarly Communication: Challenges and Choices for Canada, Final Report of the AUCC-CARL/ABRC Task Force on Academic Libraries and Scholarly Communication, October 1996, < http://www.aucc.ca/en/publications/carl_aucc/aucccarl.htm>; < http://www.carl-abrc.ca/projects/scholarly/scholarly_task_force_eng.htm>. < back to text>
4“The ‘statutists’ of medieval Italy approached conflicts problems by dividing statutes into the ‘real’ and ‘personal’ category – the former applied within the jurisdiction that promulgated it; the latter followed the person wherever he went.”, Lea Brilmayer, Conflict of Laws, Cases and Materials, 4th Ed., Aspen, 1995, p. xxvii; Max Gutzwiller, “Le développement historique du droit international privé”, ch. I, 29 Rec. des cours 296-309 (1929 IV). < back to text>
5Systems of legal pluralism exist still in predominantly Muslim countries, in India, Israel, Lebanon and in some African jurisdictions. John Gilissen, “Le statut des étrangers, à la lumière de l’histoire comparative”, 10 L’Etranger, Rec. Soc. Jean Bodin 5, at 21-30 (1958). < back to text>
6It is an interesting historical study, but beyond the scope of this essay, to query the provenance of the obsolete laws of colonies, dependencies and foreign countries to be found in great libraries: viz.: Edwin Arney Speed, ed., Laws of the colony of Southern Nigeria: being the schedule to the Statute Laws Revision Ordinance, 1908, with an appendix containing the letters patent constituting the colony, and the instructions accompanying them; various acts of Parliament; and orders of the Sovereign in Council, on the shelves of the British Library of Political and Economic Science. The BLPES Official Publications storage facility is a treasure trove of official gazettes, session laws, and parliamentary papers of Oriental and African countries. < back to text>
7< http://www.unesco.org/webworld/com/compendium/5102.html>; TS 382, 25 Stat. 1469, 1 Bevans 110, 77 State Papers 886, 14 Rec. Martens 2d ser. 285, 4 Am. J. Int’l L. 181. The treaty was implemented in U.S. law by 44 U.S. Code 1719: “International exchange of Government publications. For the purpose of more fully carrying into effect the convention concluded at Brussels on March 15, 1886, and proclaimed by the President of the United States on January 15, 1889, there shall be supplied to the Superintendent of Documents not to exceed one hundred and twenty-five copies each of all Government publications, including the daily and bound copies of the Congressional Record, for distribution to those foreign governments which agree, as indicated by the Library of Congress, to send to the United States similar publications of their governments for delivery to the Library of Congress. Confidential matter, blank forms, circular letters not of a public character, publications determined by their issuing department, office, or establishment to be required for official use only or for strictly administrative or operational purposes which have no public interest or educational value, and publications classified for reasons of national security shall be exempted from this requirement. The printing, binding, and distribution costs of any publications distributed in accordance with this section shall be charged to appropriations provided the Superintendent of Documents for that purpose.” (Pub. L. 90-620, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1282; Pub. L. 97-276, Sec. 101(e), Oct. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 1189; Pub. L. 99-500, Sec. 101(j), Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783-287, and Pub. L. 99-591, Sec. 101(j), Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341-287, as amended Pub. L. 100-71, title I, July 11, 1987, 101 Stat. 425.) Continued exchange of official publications in print form by the United States was endangered by the expressed intention in the Congress not to appropriate funds for the purpose in Fiscal Year 2001: < http://www.access.gpo.gov/public-affairs/news/00news14.html>. < back to text>
8Buenos Aires, 23 Dec. 1936, 201 L.N.T.S. 295, No. 4721; for location of archival documents see http://www.uark.edu/libinfo/speccoll/cuaid.html/g9s5.html. < back to text>
9< http://www.unesco.org/webworld/com/compendium/5111.html>, 19 UST 4469, TIAS 6439, 398 U.N.T.S. 9, No. I-5715. See Johannes Metz, “International Exchange of Official Publications”, Proceedings of the 65th IFLA Council and General Conference, Bangkok, 20-28 August 1999, < http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/054-83e.htm>. < back to text>
10See http://members.nbci.com/juridique/bibl/dhl_og.pdf for shelf list of official gazettes in the Dag Hammarskjold Library as of March 1992. < back to text>
11See, generally, Steven B. Carrico, “Exchanges in Academic and Special Libraries: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography”, Acquisitions Librarian, No. 22, 1999, pp. 75-96; also Maureen Mahoney, “Change and Exchange: The Publications Exchange Programme of the British Library for Development Studies”, Acquisitions Librarian, No. 22, 1999, pp. 109-20 (“The BLDS specialises in ‘grey’ literature and government publications from the developing world including Latin American countries. Its acquisitions budget has suffered continuous reduction, finally prompting its staff to attempt to expand their exchange programme using systematic approaches to relevant institutions in Latin America.” < back to text>
12Johannes Metz, “International Exchange of Official Publications”, Paper presented to IFLA Seminar, Bangkok, 20-28 August 1999, < http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/054-83e.htm>, and to Moscow Seminar, 24-27 May 1999, < http://www.rsl.ru/NEWS_E/Int_sem/Metz2.htm>. < back to text>
13Cairo, Egypt; Islamabad, Pakistan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Nairobi,
Kenya; New Delhi, India; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. < http://lcweb.loc.gov/acq/ovop> and Association of Research Libraries, Bimonthly Report, Issue 206, “The Library of Congress Overseas”, < http://www.arl.org/newsltr/206/loc.html>. See also Collections Policy Statement, Government Publications – Foreign, < http://lcweb.loc.gov/acq/devpol/govfor.html>. < back to text>
14John Y. Cole, “Jefferson’s Legacy: The Functions of the Library of Congress, Past and Present”, Jan. 1996, < http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/bytopic/orgs/lchist.html>, writing in the context of the Library’s history in particular of the legacy of Luther Evans and development of overseas procurement and exchanges policy. < back to text>
15There are alternatives methods of benefiting from foreign expertise in legislative drafting. For example, the American Bar Association has a continuing programme of activity in Eastern and Central Europe to analyse and provide criticism of the texts of legislative proposals. < back to text>
16See, e.g., Michael Biggins, “Library Assessment Project: Southeastern Europe”, Washington: International Research & Exchanges Board, 1995[?], < http://www.irex.org/publications/directories-resources/libreports/lap-southeastern.htm#Table>. < back to text>
17Frieda Wiebe, “Barriers to the evolving global network: networking issues in Vietnam”, Paper presented at Networking the Pacific: An International Forum, British Columbia Library Association, May 5-6, 1995, Victoria, BC, Canada, < http://www.idrc.ca/library/document/netpac/abs13.html>. < back to text>
18Thus the complete set of German legislation was donated to the library of the law faculty at the University of Vilnius; but access to the laws in the vernacular of a single country is probably insufficient to support a comparative law programme, and is inadequate if updates are not supplied and the labour assured for their insertion. < back to text>
19The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Berlin, Bonn, Kiev and other cities, < http://www.fes.de>, has undertaken projects in Tiraspol and elsewhere related to law, international politics and society. Claus Neukirch, “Der Status Transnistriens aus politischer und völkerrechtlicher Sicht”, Dec. 1998, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, B.P. 470/1, Kiev; < http://www.fesukraine.kiev.ua>. < back to text>
20But, since 1999, available on-line at http://www.cm.gov.nc.tr. < back to text>
21Jan Christoph Nemitz, “The Legal Status of the Republika Srpska”, (1997) 43 WGO Osteuropa Recht 89. < back to text>
22Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo, 23 Feb. 1999, < http://www.alb-net.com/kcc/interim.htm>. < back to text>
23Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza (Oslo II), Eugene Cotran, ed., The Arab-Israeli Accords: Legal Perspectives (1996); < http://www.israel.org/mfa/go.asp?MFAH00qa0>. < back to text>
24 Participating libraries include major U.S. academic and institutional libraries; also, in Europe, the American Academy in Rome, the Bavarian State Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Bibliothèque nationale suisse, the Leo Baek Institute (New York, London & Jerusalem) and the University of Birmingham. < back to text>
25E.g., New England Law Library Consortium, < http://www.nellco.org>; Mid-America Law School Library Consortium, < http://www.washlaw.edu/malslc/midamls.html>; Consortium of Southeastern Law Libraries (COSELL), < http://library.law.unc.edu/cosell>; Washington Research Library Consortium (ALADIN), < http://www.aladin.wrlc.org/WebZ/WRLCConnect:sessionid=0>. See, generally, American Association of Law Libraries, 1996-97 Membership List and Consortia Biographies, < http://www.aallnet.org/chapter/consortia_member_list.asp> < back to text>
26National Library Activities and Projects: Semi-Annual Update, June 2000, < http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/pubs/annrep/esemi00june.htm>. < back to text>
27See Renaud Fuchs, Le CADIST et le fonds colonial de la bibliothèque universitaire d’Aix-Marseille I, Mémoire d’étude, Diplôme de conservateur de bibliothèques, Ecole nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques, Villeurbane (France), 1995; also < http://latinolinks.net/portugues.html>. < back to text>
28< http://www.nara.gov>; also Library of Congress Hispanic, Portuguese and Caribbean collection, < http://lcweb.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/hispcoll.html>. < back to text>
29See, for example, Edouard S. de Klerck, History of the Netherlands East Indies, Rotterdam, W.L. & J. Brusse, n.v., 1938, vol. 1, pp. 195-212, 324-455, 425-48. < back to text>
30Catalogue reference: “CO”; see PRO Finding Aid,”Dominions Office”, < http://www.pro.gov.uk/leaflets/ri2085.htm>. < back to text>
31Historical Manuscripts Commission, Reports and Calendars Series, < http://www2.hmc.gov.uk/ubs/pubs.htm>. < back to text>
32See, for example, the sources used by two doctoral researchers: Peter G. Gowing, Mandate in Moroland: the American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899-1920, Quezon City: Univ. of the Philippines, 1977; Samuel Kong Tan, The Muslim Armed Struggle in the Philippines, 1900-1941, thesis, Syracuse Univ., 1973; also Michael J. Crawford et al., The Spanish-American War: Historical Overview and Select Bibliography, Washington, Naval Historical Center (N.D.), < http://www.history.navy.mil/biblio/biblio7/biblio7d.htm>. < back to text>
33It is a measure of the pressure of resources on space that both IALS and SOAS have recentl
y installed movable shelving. < back to text>
34< http://govinfo.ucsd.edu/idtf/ala98.html>. < back to text>
35For a discussion of law in Commonwealth countries with mention of some hybrid systems, see http://www.albany.edu/acc/AccountDptmt/Research/Commonwealth/region/general.htm. < back to text>
36This writer’s Compilation des lois sur la nationalité des pays et territoires européens, Lacolle: United Settlement, forthcoming, includes a census of existing CD-ROM collections of statutes of European jurisdictions. See also Cathie Cope, “CD-ROMs– A Law Librarian’s Perspective”, 4 Law Technology J. No. 1 (1995), < http://www.law.warwick.ac.uk/ltj/4-1g.html>. < back to text>
37< http://www.eojeda.com/a_judici.htm>; < http://www.saij.jus.gov.ar>; < http://www.natlaw.com>. < back to text>
38< http://www.ieem.org.mo/projects/ecli/e_clegal.html#reports> (industrial property law; organizational site); < http://www.umac.mo/basiclaw/english/main.html> (Basic Law; Macau academic site). < back to text>
39< http://www.knowledge-basket.co.nz/kete/db/db.html> (commercial site); < //www.llrx.com/features/nz.htm> (research guide). < back to text>
40This writer has exchanged correspondence with the Turkish Foreign Ministry over its on-line references to Article 19 of the Greek Nationality Code, repealed by Law No. 2623 of 24 June 1998, art. 9(14); the Turkish authorities justified their position by the continuing disability represented by the new law’s non-retroactivity. < back to text>
41Those concerned with European jurisdictions are reproduced at http://www.bigfoot.com/~nationality . < back to text>
42< http://www.rlg.org/cit-wli.html>; < http://www.ohiolink.edu/resources/databases/ihldescr.html>; < http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/MELVYL/HLEG.html> (MELVYL system); < http://rylibweb.man.ac.uk/data1/ir/frame/dbinfo/wli.htm> (EUREKA) registration is required for use of the World Law Index. < back to text>
43< http://viadrina.euv-frankfurt-o.de/~dvr/ejcl/index2.html> (Norman Witzleb, Comparative Law and the Internet). < back to text>
449 July 1991, p. 3 (Romanian text). < back to text>
45___________ _______, 5 July 1991, p. 2 (Russian text). < back to text>
46Paper delivered by Geoff Smith, Symposium on Access to and Preservation of Global Newspapers, Washington, DC, May 27-28, 1997, < http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/info/icon/597smith.htm>. < back to text>
47Service sold to the public as “World News Connection”, < http://wnc.fedworld.gov>. See http://www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/Documents.center/FBIS.html for University of Michigan Library explanation of available formats since 1958. < back to text>
48ICRC treaty and humanitarian law at http://www.icrc.org/eng/ihl. < back to text>
49E.S. Zeballos (ed.), La nationalité, Conférences faites à l’Université de Buenos Aires, Paris: L. Tenin, 1914-1919; Oskar Borchardt, ed., (W. Bowstead, ed. of British edition), The Commercial Laws of the World: Comprising the Mercantile, Bills of Exchange, Bankruptcy and Maritime Laws of all Civilized Nations … in the Original Languages Interleaved With an English Translation, Boston: Boston Book Co. (London: Sweet & Maxwell), 1911-1914 (32 vols. planned, not all published). < back to text>
50West Indian Legislation Indexing Project (WILIP) in cooperation with the British Development Division Annual, compiled at the Faculty of Law Library, University of the West Indies, Barbados. < back to text>
51Asian Development Bank, Project Dial, < http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/dial>. < back to text>
52< http://www.soros.org>; < http://www.friends-partners.org/~ccsi/usnisorg/funding/soros.htm>. < back to text>
53Index to Legal Periodicals, Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, Legal Journals Index, SCAD European law index and others; many on CD-ROM and available on-line to subscribing institutions. The Peace Palace Library at The Hague catalogues many journal articles and laws of likely interest to its users. < back to text>
54< http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/info/lamp/lamphi.htm>; see also < http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/hazen/appa.html>. < back to text>
55< http://lcweb2.loc.gov/law/GLINv1/GLIN.html>; Julius J. Marke, “Use of the Global Legal Information Network”, N.Y.L.J., 16 Sept. 1997, < http://www.ljx.com/lawfirmmanagement/express/092297/global.htm>. Full access to the GLIN database of foreign legislation in Adobe Acrobat format is limited to contributing governments and participating organizations; the summaries and searchable index are freely accessible. < back to text>
56< http://www.sosig.ac.uk/law>; < http://www.sosig.ac.uk/roads/whats-new.law.html>. < back to text>
57< http://ials.sas.ac.uk/rslp/forlegal.htm>; < http://www.rslp.ac.uk/Projects/summary/sum0103.htm>. < back to text>
58For a survey by the United Nations Library, Geneva, “Electronic Edition and New Technologies”, see http://www.unog.ch/frames/library/pub/committee/edition.htm. < back to text>
59< http://www.unhcr.ch>; also (more extensively) on CD-ROM. < back to text>
60< http://www.fao.org/faolex_eng/main.html>; < http://p5uni.ii.pw.edu.pl/faolex/db.html>. < back to text>
61< http://www.worldbank.org>; < http://jolis.worldbankimflib.org/nldbstop.htm#law> (database resources). < back to text>
62< http://www.itcilo.it/english/actrav/telearn/global/ilo/law/oau.htm> (documents); < http://www.law.uc.edu/Diana/oaudocs.html> (OAU resolutions). < back to text>
63< http://www.lexis.com>; < http://www.lexisone.com> (LexisONE free service). < back to text>
64< http://embassy.org> with links to specific embassies. < back to text>
65< http://www.law.uh.edu/librarians/tmulligan/foreignlaw.html>; < http://www.law.uh.edu/librarians/tmulligan/locating.html>. < back to text>
66< http://www.bigfoot.com/~nationality> and this writer’s Compilation; and see Table, supra p. 11. < back to text>
67Russian Archives Online, < http://www.pbs.org/redfiles/rao>. < back to text>
68< //www.llrx.com/features/canadian.htm>; < //www.llrx.com/features/ca.htm>. < back to text>
69Archived at //www.llrx.com/library. < back to text>
70Archived at http://members.nbci.com/juridique/lib/beirut.htm. < back to text>
71< http://www.biblib.com>, archived at http://members.xoom.com/juridique/lib/biblib.htm. < back to text>
72Thus: United Arab Emirates, UAE Gazette, retrospectively digitized from 1972, according to government press release of 24 Sept. 1997; Korea, Kwanbo, < http://open.korea.go.kr/go_gwanbo>, on-line as from 1 May 2000; and see references in Table 1. < back to text>
73Limited currently to: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Cuba, England, France, Guyana, India, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippines, Scotland, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Windward Islands, International Organizations. < back to text>
74< http://www.llmc.com/llmc.htm>. < back to text>
75< http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/info/aboutcrl/missstat.htm>. < back to text>
76< http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/info/collser.htm>. < back to text>
77Of which the foreign government publications category includes: European official statistical serials, foreign documents, foreign official gazettes, social and economic development plans. < back to text>
78< http://lcweb2.loc.gov/glin/glinhome.html> Technical data at http://dlt.gsfc.nasa.gov/gibn/glin.html. < back to text>
79< http://lcweb2.loc.gov/law/GLINv1/GLIN.html>. < back to text>
80< http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/GODORT/GODORT_bylaws.html>. < back to text>
81< http://ials.sas.ac.uk/cwealth.htm>. < back to text>
82In 1982 the India Office Library was transferred from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the British Library. < back to text>
83< http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/papers/follett/report>; associated and supplementary documents are at http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/papers/other. < back to text>
84< http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/papers/other/periodicals/#LAW> (status as of 1995). < back to text>
85Kenneth McMahon, “BUBL BITS: Follett and Figit”, 14 Computers and Libraries, No. 9, pp. 61-66 (1994), < http://bubl.ac.uk/journals/lis/ae/cil/articles/cil0994.htm>; < http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/services/elib/papers/other/periodicals>. < back to text>
86< http://www.ida.unisa.edu.au>;< http://www.detya.gov.au/highered/eippubs/eip9613/front.htm#top>. < back to text>
87< http://www.gpo.gov>; < http://www.law.cornell.edu>. < back to text>
88< http://www.coe.int>; for a guide to researching Council of Europe legal instruments, see //www.llrx.com/features/coe.htm. < back to text>
89< http://www.bl.uk/services/bsds/dsc/orddocs.html>. DSC services are, in principle, available to any library user in Britain, and many in other countries where arrangements have been formali
zed; and also via the Internet. There are plans to make all DSC transactions web-based by 2001. <
back to text>
90< http://ials.sas.ac.uk/library.htm>. Annual membership is required for commercial and professional users. < back to text>
91See, for general discussion on information brokers and document acquisition sources, < http://www.oss.net/NOTICES/96/February/Products.html>. < back to text>
92202For the ALA-sponsored ILL Code, see http://www.ala.org/rusa/stnd_lnc.html. < back to text>
93Archived at http://www.ljx.com/mailinglists/wwweuro-lex; managed at [email protected]. < back to text>
94See list of lists at http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/lawlists/lawlists.2-99.html and directory of scholarly and professional e-conferences at http://www.mailbase.ac.uk/kovacs. < back to text>
95< http://www.bna.com/bnaplus/docret.html> (“court opinions, briefs, consent decrees, settlements; congressional committee reports, bills, public laws, amendments, calendars; federal government rulings, proposed and final regulations, statistical releases, comment letters; state legislation and regulations; foreign government laws, regulations, reports, studies; private sector company policies, industry surveys, union contracts; and more.”) < back to text>
96See, for example, the policy statement and instructions of the Tsinghua University Library, Beijing, < http://www.lib.tsinghua.edu.cn/english/engILL.htm>. < back to text>
97There are 41 members of the Council of Europe. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is counted here as a distinct jurisdiction with a functioning legal and political system, although not recognized (except by Turkey) as a country. < back to text>
98< http://www.upu.int/congress/AN/merge/faq.html>; < http://www.unesco.org/general/eng/about/coupon/coupons.html>. < back to text>
99This list of Internet resources has, admittedly, a European bias. This only reflects the nature of the underlying research and geographic scope of the library inspections. < back to text>

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