Citing Foreign Law

Updated Dec. 5, 2013.
Prepared by Mary Whisner; with a contribution by AJ Blechner (law librarianship intern, 2014).


The Bluebook & Other Guides

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th ed., 2015) is the dominant citation manual for U.S. law journals and many court documents. See the Gallagher Bluebook 101 guide.

The Bluebook offers detailed guidance for all sorts of U.s. materials, but it is less comprehensive for foreign jurisdictions. (Imagine how big it would be if it had the detail about other countries that it does for the U.S.!) It has information about citing materials from 43 selected foreign jurisdictions in T2, pp. 277-425.

In addition to The Bluebook, you might want to use two other guides that cover dozens of jurisdictions:

Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations, by the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, covers 45 countries. The first edition (2006) is available in PDF here. The second edition (2009) (which is commercially published) is available in print in the Reference Office (K89 .G84 2009).

The International Citation Manual (ICM), prepared by the editors of the Washington University Global Studies Law Review, covers 37 countries. Each has a several-page guide giving an overview its legal system and showing citation formats for different major publications (constitution, statutes, cases, etc.), with lots of examples.

While the Bluebook, the Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations, and the International Citation Manual provide a few abbreviations that are most commonly required by practitioners in the United States, the World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations provides hundreds of additional abbreviations used around the world.  It is separated into sections, generally based on language. Sections include: Africa, Australian, Bulgarian, Canada, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Korean, India, Italian, Japanese, Korean, New Zealand, Latin, Portuguese, South African, Spanish, and UK and Commonwealth of Nations.  In addition, volume four contains a breakdown by subject, but only covers some English-speaking countries.  This four-volume set is available in the Reference Office at the Law Library (RefO K85 K3 1991 v.1-4).

The chart below shows the countries covered in each guide.


Individual Jurisdictions

The Library also has some citation guides for individual countries.

Canada: Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation = Manuel Canadien de la Référence Juridique (2010), KE259 .C36 2010 (produced by McGill Law Journal = Revue de Droit de McGill).

China: 罗伟主编 = Wei Luo, 法律文献引证注释规范 = Proposed Legal Citation System, KNQ48 .L86 2007 at Classified Stacks.

United Kingdom: Donald Raistrick, Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations (2008), KD400 .R35 2008 at Reference Area.

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Countries Covered in Three Citation Guides

Country
The Bluebook
(20th ed., 2015)
Guide to Foreign and
International Legal Citations

(NYU)*
International Citation
Manual
(Wash. U.)
Albania


link (7 pp.)
Algeria


link (8 pp.)
Argentina
pp. 307-09
pp. 3-7
link (7 pp.)
Australia
pp. 310-18
pp. 9-13

Austria
pp. 318-23
pp. 15-19

Azerbaijan


link (6 pp.)
Bangladesh


link (9 pp.)
Belgium
pp. 323-28
pp. 21-24

Brazil
pp. 328-32
pp. 25-29
link (6 pp.)
Canada
pp. 332-41
pp. 31-34

Catholic Church
p. 341


Chile
pp. 341-44


China
pp. 344-49
pp. 35-39
link (7 pp.)
Colombia
pp. 349-51


Czech Republic
pp. 351-54
pp. 41-44

Denmark

pp. 45-49

Egypt
pp. 354-56
pp. 51-55

El Salvador


link (6 pp.)
Ethiopia

pp. 57-59

Finland

pp. 61-64

France
pp. 356-61
pp. 65-70
link (10 pp.)
Germany
pp. 362-68
pp. 71-77
link (10 pp.)
Greece
pp. 368-70
pp. 79-83
link (6 pp.)
Haiti

link (5 pp.)
Hong Kong
pp. 370-73
pp. 85-88

Hungary
pp. 373-76


India
pp. 376-79
pp. 89-95

Iran
pp. 379-82


Iraq
pp. 382-84


Ireland
pp. 384-87
pp. 97-101

Israel
pp. 387-90
pp. 103-08

Italy
pp. 390-93
pp. 109-13

Ivory Coast


link (7 pp.)
Japan
pp. 393-402
pp. 115-19
link (9 pp.)
Kenya pp. 402-04
Kuwait


link (5 pp.)
Lebanon
pp. 404-06


Malaysia

pp. 121-22
Mexico
pp. 406-24
pp. 123-28
link (7 pp.)
Morocco

pp. 129-32
link (7 pp.)
Netherlands
pp. 424-29
pp. 133-37
link (8 pp.)
New Zealand
pp. 429-34
pp. 139-42

Nicaragua
pp. 434-36


Nigeria
pp. 436-38
pp. 143-46

North Korea


link (5 pp.)
Norway

pp. 147-49

Pakistan
pp. 439-41
pp. 151-54
link (6 pp.)
Panama


link (5 pp.)
Philippines pp. 441-43
pp. 155-59

Poland
pp. 161-64

Roman Law p. 444


Romania
pp. 165-68

Russian Federation
pp. 444-51
pp. 169-74
link (7 pp.)
Rwanda

link (6 pp.)
Saudi Arabia
pp. 175-77
link (6 pp.)
Singapore
pp. 179-82
(not in 1st ed.)

Slovakia

link (6 pp.)
Slovenia

link (8 pp.)
Somalia

link (5 pp.)
South Africa pp. 451-54
pp. 183-86
link (9 pp.)
South Korea pp. 454-57
pp. 187-89
link (7 pp.)
Spain pp. 457-60
pp. 191-94
link (10 pp.)
Sudan

link (21 pp.)
Sweden pp. 460-63
pp. 195-97

Switzerland pp. 464-69
pp. 199-203

Taiwan pp. 469-72
pp. 205-08
link (6 pp.)
Tajikistan

link (5 pp.)
Tanzania
pp. 209-12

Thailand
pp. 213-15

Turkey
pp. 217-20

Ukraine

link (6 pp.)

United Kingdom (including England,
Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)

pp. 472-89
pp. 221-26
link (6 pp.)
Uzbekistan

link (7 pp.)
Vietnam

link (7 pp.)
Zambia pp. 489-90


* Page numbers are for second edition. All but one of the countries is also in the first edition, which is available online.

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