International and Comparative Family Law


Library Staff

Research Consultation Form

Tips and Warnings

  • Primary foreign law materials may not be in English
  • Translations are usually unofficial and may not be reliable
  • Few foreign law materials available in our library in hard copy
  • Westlaw and Lexis (in our U.S. law school subscriptions) include few foreign law materials other than U.K.
  • Legal resources for many countries are available on the internet
  • You will have to rely on secondary sources more than with U.S. legal research

Research Guides and News

Books and Treatises

Journals and Papers

Links to Foreign Government Sites


Topical Sites with Foreign Laws and Summaries

  • Foreign Law Guide database
    • Entries for most countries, with a description of the legal system, primary sources, topical sources, and translations
    • See Subject Headings for publications and sources by topic, including Family, Abortion and Family Planning, Domestic Relations, Adoption, and Marriage.  Include some citations to statutes and other primary materials, and some links to online sources.
  • Annual Review of Population Law (Harvard)
    • Database of summaries and excerpts of legislation, constitutions, court decisions, and government documents related to population policy
    • Topics include population policies, reproductive rights, women's rights, and children's rights
  • International Labour Organization NATLEX
    • Translated labor laws by country, including laws on discrimination and leave
  • Legislation Online
    • UN treaties, EU legislation, and European national codes and statutes on human rights issues.  See the Gender section for family law issues.
  • European Judicial Network in Civil Matters
    • Include divorce and parental responsibility as subjects
    • Legal summaries with citations, for the European Union and individual European countries
  • Commission on European Family Law
    • Country reports and legislation by topic and jurisdiction on European family law
  • International Family Law Practice (Westlaw)
    • Short summaries of family law and practice issues by country
  • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest (Lexis)
    • Summaries of law for select countries.  See the Family heading.

Treaties and Private International Law

Treaties and International Human Rights

  • State Department:  Human Rights Treaties and Reports
  • Hein World Constitutions
    • Translations and official text of constitutions, including historical versions
    • Commentary and law reviews articles
    • Country Reports
    • Find discussions of human rights issues
  • HuriSearch
    • Human rights search engine.  Searches the websites of 3000 human rights organizations for papers and articles from IGOs, NGOs,national human rights institutions, and academic institutions.  Use the advanced search to search by organization or country.
  •  United Nations Human Rights Treaties
    • Treaty text
    • Jurisprudence and other documents by theme (topics including marriage, children's rights) or by treaty article


  • Trans-Lex
    • See the Materials section for national legislation, including translated civil codes
  • Foreign Law Guide database
    • Lists English-language sources and translations for legal materials of other countries
  • Eurovoc
    • EU database of European Union policy terminology in EU languages
    • Topical arrangement:  See Social Question headings under Family, Demography, Social Protection, and Health
    • Use for searching in foreign language databases

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