Foreign law refers to the laws of countries other than one's own. International law is the body of rights and obligations, arising from treaties and other sources, between two or more countries or international organizations. To find an overview of any country's system of laws and where they are published use Mason Law's electronic Foreign Law Guide.

Reference Books:

Language Dictionaries:

The Reference collection on the first floor has many foreign language dictionaries in the PA-PG call number range and many foreign language law dictionaries in the K52 call number range.

Foreign and International GMU Databases:

  • Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) Materials on international relations since 1991 including working papers, conference proceedings, and books, as well as abstracts from journals, brief reports, monthly statistics, and maps.
  • Foreign Law Guide, describes the legal structure, where legal materials are published, and whether English translations are available for the laws of each of the 190 countries in the database.
  • HeinOnline Foreign & International Law Resources Database. International yearbooks; U.S. digests of international law; Reports of the Hague Permanent Court of International Justice and Reports of International Arbitral Awards; reports of the Court of Justice of the European Communities; other miscellaneous works.
  • International Legal Materials, published by American Society of International Law. Electronic version through HeinOnline International and Non-U.S. Law Journals (also available on Westlaw). Since 1962, ILM has been publishing selected full texts of important treaties and agreements, judicial and arbitral decisions, national legislation, international organizations resolutions, and other documents useful for scholarly work.
  • Kluwer Arbitration. Contains the full text of almost 1700 bilateral investment treaties; over 5,400 court decisions, and 1,800 arbitral awards.
  • Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS). Index to periodicals, books, reports, and government information published in English from around the world.


Treaties-United States:


Lexis Advance:

You need to return to To do so from Lexis Advance, click on the red Research tab in the upper right corner, and select In the Legal Search tab, you can find a link under "Area of Law by Topic" for both "Foreign Laws and Legal Services" and "International Law." Lexis provides European Union documents, documents of the International Court of Justice, and other international materials. It provides a good amount of Canadian, UK, and Mexican legal materials.


On the main page, click into the "International Materials." You will find all of Westlaw's international and foreign legal materials here, organized both by jurisdiction and content type. There is also an Index to the materials, wherein you can browse every title in the collection. Westlaw's foreign materials vary by country, with better materials for the UK, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong. Westlaw provides the journal International Legal Materials and has material from the International Chamber of Commerce, American Arbitration Association International, and International Commercial Arbitration, among others.

English Translations:

Finding English translations of foreign laws is difficult. The Law Library of Congress has this helpful guide (updated March 2012) to finding national legislation translated into English. Countries included in the guide are Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, and Russia.

Other Online Resources:

Many free websites offer international legal information.  

Last updated: June 12, 2019.