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Foreign Law - Primary Sources: Case Law

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Case Law Basics

Case law is less likely to be published for courts other than constitutional courts and courts of last resort.  Jurisprudence in civil law countries is usually considered a secondary source and may not be published, or may include only short summaries of the court’s ruling. Sources for case law are usually commercial and unofficial, or on court websites.  Court opinions are rarely translated except for the most significant cases.

Major cases and highest court cases are sometimes published in official gazettes.  Text of court judgments, or summaries, may be found in law journals of other countries, yearbooks, or in foreign newspapers.  Try Hein Online's Law Journal Library, Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals, Hein Online's Foreign & International Law Resources, and vLex Global.

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