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Foreign Legal Systems - Basic Research Resources

Resources for starting a search for: information about foreign legal systems; for the text of foreign laws or cases; or for discussions of how other countries approach specific legal issues or topics.

Why Articles Are Useful

Law review articles, legal essays, and their ilk are extremely useful for finding discussions of narrow issues in foreign or comparative law. They will also cite to relevant laws, cases, and regulations. The resources described on this page will lead you to articles on the country or topic you are researching.

This guide emphasizes "indexes" — article-finding tools that allow very precise searching but do not themselves contain the full-text of articles. For searching for full-text articles, and for comparisons of the various article-finding tools, take a look at the Zief Library's Finding Articles research guide.

Short, Scholarly Essays

These collections of brief but scholarly essays will enhance your understanding of your topic and cite to resources for further research.

Law Review Articles - Index to Legal Periodicals

Finding Articles About a Country

To search Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) for articles about a specific country, use the Advanced Search option. In the first search textbox, enter the the name of the country (e.g., "great britain"), and leave "Select a Field (optional)" as your choice in the adjacent pull-down menu.

In the other search textboxes, enter terms related to your issue (for example, "environmental law" or divorce), and leave "Select a Field (optional)" as your choice in the adjacent pull-down menu.

Finding Articles About a Topic

To search Index to Legal Periodicals (ILP) for articles that take a comparative approach to a topic, use the Advanced Search option. In the first search textbox, enter the following phrase, and select "SU Subject Terms" from the adjacent pull-down menu.

"comparative law"

In the other search textboxes, enter terms related to your issue (for example, "environmental law" or divorce), and leave "Select a Field (optional)" as your choice in the adjacent pull-down menu.

Law Review Articles - Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP) contains citations to scholarly articles, book reviews, and other publications, many of the which are in languages other than English.

This online version of Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals covering 1960 to the present (and fully searchable from 1985 to the present) is available to USF researchers (with off-campus access for current USF students, faculty, and staff).

(Many of the publications covered by IFLP are not in the Zief Law Library collection, but we can get copies of articles we don't own from other libraries. Please allow plenty of time to process such requests.)

Law Review Articles - United Kingdom

Non-Legal Articles & Dissertations - USF Resources

Scholarly articles from other disciplines can add depth to many comparative law papers. USF's Gleeson Library subscribes to a broad range of online tools to help you find non-legal scholarship relevant to comparative law projects. For lists organized by topic and alphabetically, go to Gleeson Library's Database page (link below). The reference librarians at the USF's Gleeson Library can help USF law students and faculty with USF's non-legal information sources.

A few particularly useful resources include the following.

Legal & Non-Legal Articles - Google Scholar

Google Scholar, while not comprehensive, provides a quick way to get a cross-disciplinary set of articles. It can be especially useful as you start your research and are still refining your search terms.

Is the Journal I Need at USF?

So you have a citation to a great-sounding article — but not direct link to the full text....

How do you tell if the article is available at USF?

Just use USF's "Journal Finder" to look up the title of the journal that published the article. If that journal is available at USF, it will (usually) show up in the journal finder.  

(One caveat: the Journal Finder doesn't tell you if a journal is on Westlaw or on Lexis Advance.)

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