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Foreign, Comparative & International Law: Source Materials

United States Law


United States Law:  The laws of the United States, how they give force to the international legal order and how they are themselves shaped by international agreement and the international legal consensus, make them an important source of International Law.  The most essential source of United States law is of course the Constitution of the United States of America.  Statutes (the United States Code) and Regulations (the Code of Federal Regulations) may be found at the following links and also in Lexis Advance, WestLaw and Bloomberg Law.  Print versions of these resources are generally available in the Library’s collection; consult the Library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) or a Reference Librarian:


The Constitution of the United States of America.


United States Code; United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A. on Westlaw); United States Code Service (U.S.C.S. on Lexis+).


Code of Federal Regulations and e-CFR.


Federal Register:  Use the Federal Register (published daily) and the List of CFR Sections Affected (LSA) to research the latest changes to federal regulations.



United States Case Law

United States Case Law:  Depending upon the forum and the claims involved in the particular case, a researcher may need to find United States cases to fully research their international law question.


West Digest System:  Use the West Key Number System online to find United States cases relevant to International Law (West Topic Number 221) inquiries.


Court websites (Federal courts and federal courts in Pennsylvania):

Supreme Court of the United States


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


Court websites for other jurisdictions in the United States are available online.


Treaties:  Treaties are agreements between various sovereignties, and are an indispensable source of law in international law research.  For more on treaties to which the United States is a party, see the Villanova Law Library’s Research Guides webpage for a guide on U.S. Treaties.  For information on multilateral treaties and other international agreements, see:

United Nations Treaty Collection


FLARE Index to Treaties


ICRC International Humanitarian Law—Treaties & Documents


ILO NORMLEX Information System on International Labour Standards

International Courts and Tribunals

Information from International Courts and Tribunals: Some resources for case decisions and related information from international courts and tribunals may be found at the following suggested sites:


International Court of Justice


International Criminal Court


International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


EUR-Lex: Access to European Union Law


European Court of Human Rights


European Union Court of Justice: CURIA


Other international courts and tribunals may be found online. 

International Business Arbitration

International Business Arbitration:  For information regarding international business and trade arbitration, see the following suggested websites:


ICC International Court of Arbitration


Atlanta International Arbitration Society


China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission


London Court of International Arbitration


Foreign Law

Foreign Law:  Foreign law is the law of foreign sovereignties.  Use the following resources to locate the laws of individual nations:


CONSTITUTIONS OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD (A.P. Bluestein & G.H. Flans, eds. 1971) (K3157 .A2 B61 1971).


Cornell University Law School—Legal Information Institute (LLI):  Resources on foreign and international law.


ILO NATLEX: Database of national labor, social security and related human rights legislation.


Foreign Law Guide: Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World; available through the Villanova Law Library Databases page.


Globalex:  Foreign, comparative and international law research guide, compiled by the Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law. Comparative/Foreign Law Research Guide: Resources for researching foreign and international law.


World Legal Information Institute:  Database of resources for researching global legal systems.