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Guide to International and Foreign Law Research

Need Help Deciphering a Citation?

Oftentimes, with foreign and international legal research, you come across hard-to-understand citations.  When you need to find out what source a citation refers to, check out Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations.  A copy is located directly across from the Reference Desk in the Ready Reference section.

Bieber's is also available in LexisAdvance (select browse sources above the red search box, and type Biebers into the Search Sources box; click add this source to the search and type the citation into the red search box).

Need Help Citing a Foreign or International Source?

To cite a foreign source, consult Table 2 in The Bluebook.  T2 is organized alphabetically by country, so simply look up the country whose resources you are trying to cite, and look for the type of material that you're trying to cite.  Coverage of types of sources differs by country, but there is guidance on how to cite constitutions, codes, statutes, cases, and periodicals for most countries, along with other types of sources in many cases.  See also Rule 20, covering Foreign Materials, for basic rules for citing cases, constitutions, statutes, and periodicals for those situations where an example is not provided in T2.

To cite an international source, see Rule 21, which covers treaties, cases from various international law tribunals, international arbitrations, UN materials, EU materials, and more. 

Note that there will not be rules on how to cite every specific resource, so when you can't find the exact source you're trying to cite, you should look at similar resources and do your best to come up with a citation that will allow your reader to locate the same source.

If you need help with foreign citations, don't hesitate to stop by the Reference Desk.  We can help!