Civil Law

  • Most Latin American legal systems are based on civil law
  • Civil codes, based on Spanish or Portuguese civil law
  • In theory, court decisions apply only to the parties to the case, only to interpret statutes
    • No stare decisis, no fact pattern analysis
  • Few case reporters
  • Official Gazettes include new laws, regulations, legislative background, important cases
  • Caselaw is becoming more important in many civil law countries, citations may appear in secondary works
  • Treatises and law reviews important: citations to authoritative legal scholars
  • Compare with the U.S.
    • Common law
    • Judicial decisions form precedents, cases analyzed based on fact patterns
    • Statutory law is only part of the law

Print Resources

  • Search EUCLID to find treatises and monographs on the law of particular countries, comparative and topical works, online resources, and books in other campus libraries
  • Use Interlibrary Loan to get materials from other libraries:
    • Use Worldcat to find book titles
    • Use interlibrary loan to get statutes and other primary materials after using other sources for citations

Guides

  • Use as a starting point to find resources, usually with links
  • NYU GlobaLex Research Guides
  • LLRX
    • Guides include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
  • Columbia Law Library
    • List of Guides to Foreign Legal Research, by region and country
  • Cornell Law Library Foreign & International Law Guide
    • Foreign law sites:  by country, includes Lexis and Westlaw databases, guides, publications (at Cornell)
    • Topical guide:  links to databases, guides, websites, organizations
    • Transnational organizations:  including regional organizations like Mercosur, NAFTA, OAS
    • US government sources for foreign and international law
  • Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online
    • Guides by country
    • Links to documents, government sites, law sites, and guides
  •  Foreign Law Guide in Law Library Electronic Resources
    • Online version of Reynolds & Flores, Foreign Law:  Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World
    • Lists most countries, describes legal system and history, primary sources, topical sources, English translations, citations to major statutes
    • Find titles for codes, official gazettes, case reporters
    • Links to internet resources
    • Subject area sections include statute citations, sometimes list translations or online sources
  • Emory University Library: Latin American Politics
    • Campus political science and Latin America databases
    • Select web resources and reference books

Constitutions

  • Most national constitutions are available translated into English
  • Constitution Finder
    • University of Richmond
    • Official languages and English translations
  • Georgetown Political Database of the Americas
    • Constitutions in original languages, plus comparative articles
    • Descriptions of legal and government institutions
  • Consitutions of the Countries of the World
    • Oceana multi-volume looseleaf, K3157 .E5 B56
    • English translations and some original texts, with history and background
  • Constitutions of the Countries of the World database
    • Law Library Electronic Resources
    • Full-text of constitutions with background and history
    • Searchable
  • Hein World Constitutions
    • Current and historical constitutions, in English and official languages
    • Commentaries and selected law review articles
    • Bibliography of books on the country's constitutional law
    • News feed of articles related to the country's constitution and government

Codes & Statutes

  • Legislation of many countries is not officially codified
  • Uncodified statutes are often published on official gazettes
  • Worldlii includes links to legislation, courts, and agencies for  Latin American countries
  • Foreign Law Guide database
    • Names, descriptions, and sometimes links to codes and statutes
    • Subject sections include citations to individual laws, sometimes with links
    • Includes sources for translations and secondary sources
  • IPU National Parliaments
    • Links to legislative bodies
    • Parline database includes information and data on legislatures and elections
  • Georgetown Political Database of the Americas
    • Links to Latin American legislative bodies
  • vLex Global
    • Subscription Database
    • Civil law collections, primarily statutes, for Spain, Latin America, and European countries
    • Includes codes and legislation, including official gazettes
    • Includes case reporters and journals
    • Automated translation (but not official or very reliable, use only to get a general idea of the text)
      • Set up an individual password to use the translation tool and to save documents
  • Natlaw World
    • Laws and regulations for countries in the Americas, in original languages.
    • Search by title, or use the advanced search to search full-text with Boolean commands.

Caselaw

  • Less likely to published in civil law countries and for courts other than the court of last resort
  • Major and Supreme Court cases sometimes published in official gazettes
  • Lexadin World Law Guide
    • Lists courts with links where available for most Latin American countries
  • GlobalCourts
    • Links to Supreme Courts, some with decisions available on the web
  • Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online
    • Links to courts, usually the court of last resort or to the judicial administrative organization
  • Worldlii
    • Includes links to courts and collections of caselaw
  • Foreign Law Guide
    • Lists and sometimes links court reporters
  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights
    • Organization of American States
    • Commission and other Inter-American human rights agencies
    • Court decisions and other documents
  • NatLaw World
    • Search by title or advanced search (Boolean or keywords)
  • vLex Global
    • Court reporters for Latin American countries

Official Gazettes

  • Official daily or weekly publications; usually include statutes, sometimes regulations, judicial decisions, treaties
  • Directory of Online Government Gazettes
    • Includes links, descriptions and contents, languages, format
    • Some free, some fee-based
    • Links to free access for Official Gazettes of Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela; free summaries for Chile, El Salvador
    • Not recently updated, so many links no longer work
  • Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online
    • Official names of official gazettes, with link if on the web
    • GLIN includes summaries and citations of laws in official gazettes
  • vLex Global
    • Subscription database
    • Includes searchable official gazettes for many Latin American countries, including Mexico's Diaro Oficial de la Federación
    • Automated translation into English available (use only to get a general idea of the translated text)
    • Also includes other primary materials: legislation, case reporters, some secondary materials
    • Search provides suggestions for related materials
  • NatLaw World (National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade)
    • Latin American primary materials:  caselaw, legislation, regulations, decrees, treaties
    • In the vernacular: Spanish, Portuguese, or English
    • Search by title or advanced (Boolean)  
    • Official Gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federación) for Mexico 

Westlaw & Lexis

  • Westlaw:  See Directory for International/Worldwide Materials
    • Includes law reviews, news, ENFLEX environmental regulations for Mexico and Brazil
    • Mexican Civil Code Annotated with English translation
    • Mexican Commercial Code Annotated with English translation
    • Lexis:  See Laws by Country or Region
      • Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest
      • Mexico:
        • Federal and state legislation, Codigo de Comercio de Mexico and Codigo Penal de Mexico, Supreme Court caselaw, Diario Oficial, subject law collections 
      • Brazil: Brazilian Civil Code in English
      • Lex Mundi international multi-jurisdictional surveys: PDF documents on law by topic, include comparisons of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay

    Political Science Databases

    • World Political Science Abstracts
      • Index and abstracts of political science journals
      • Can limit search to English language articles only
      • SFX links to full-text
    • Political Database of the Americas
      • Political data, including elections, parties, institutions
      • Languages include English
      • Text of constitutions with comparative analysis
      • Citations and links to reference materials on governments, parties, analysis

    Latin America Databases

    • See Databases @ Emory:  Find journals by subject including Latin American and Caribbean Studies
    • HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index)
      • U.S. and foreign journal articles on Latin America and Hispanics in the U.S.
      • Includes politics, governmetn, history
      • Some in English
      • Citations, some with full-text links
      • 1970-present
    • Clase Periodica
      • Index of Latin American journals, mostly in Spanish and Portuguese
      • SFX links to full-text
      • 1975-present
    • Handbook of Latin American Studies
      • Library of Congress searchable bibliography of selected books and reports on social sciences and the humanities
      • Some titles in English
      • 1935-present
    •  Informe!
      • 46 current full-text Spanish language and bilingual magazines on social issues, politics, current events
    • Gale World Scholar: Latin America and Caribbean Archive
      • Documents from the 16th century to recent
      • Primary documents, including State Department reports. 
      • Historical books, manuscripts, and newspaper articles
      • Academic journal articles
      • Statistics
      • Search or browse a long list of topics
    • Sabin Americana
      • Books and pamphlets about the Americas from 1500 to 1926

    International Journal Databases

    International Journal Databases
    • JSTOR
      • Full-text image journal database
      • Disciplines include Latin American Studies (14 journals, going back as far as 1917), History, Political Science, Public Policy
      • Browse or search
    • CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online)
      • Journals, working papers, policy briefs, books, reports
      • Mostly U.S. papers in English and full-text
      • Subjects to search include Latin America
      • Papers and reports from institutes, think tanks, political study centers
    • PAISInternational (Public Affairs Information Service)
      • Abstracts and citations of articles, government documents, books, reports on government and public affairs
      • Most have links to articles, or SFX links to full-text articles and EUCLID records
      • Most articles in English
    discoverE
    • http://discovere.emory.edu
    • Search the library catalog with new search features
    • Search articles by categories of databases
    • Suggestions to refine search results by topic, author, library, date, language, LC classification
    • Notes for results if full-text is available, with SFX link
    • Try an article search for your country and topic in Business Information, History, or Social Sciences

    International News

    • Global Legal Monitor
      • Law Library of Congress
      • Review of major legal news stories, search archives or browse by country or topic
      • Get updates by e-mail or RSS Feed
    • Latin American Newsstand
      • Full-text database of 35 newspapers from Latin America, with regional magazines
      • Searchable, includes abstracts
      • Some results in English
      • 2005 up to today's news
    • EIU Viewswire
      • The Economist Intelligence Unit
      • Business intelligence and news, plus country briefings, includes political news
    • World News Connection
      • English language and translated news from other countries
      • Simple search or by city, region (the Americas), or by topic
    • ISI Emerging Markets
      • News in language published, including some in English, on business and economics
      • Includes economic and financial reports 
      • News from some Latin American countries
    • LATNEWS (Westlaw)
      • Latin America and Caribbean news from newswires and newspapers
    • Lexis:  News by Region (Americas, excluding U.S.)
      • Includes Global News Wire, English and Spanish language news & business publications

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