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{{Guide-Updated|title=An Introduction to African Legal Resources|author=Silke Sahl|email=dhelle@law.columbia.edu|maintainer=Deborah L. Heller|updated=October 24, 2017}}
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{{Guide-Updated|title=An Introduction to African Legal Resources|author=Silke Sahl|email=dhelle@law.columbia.edu|maintainer=Deborah L. Heller|updated=October 25, 2017}}
 
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This guide focuses on regional resources for the entire African continent, not country-specific resources. Many of the resources mentioned are subscription services available only to members of the Columbia Law School or Columbia University community. For assistance finding African resources at Columbia's Diamond Law Library, please do not hesitate to contact the reference librarians at the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/services/students/student-reference-services Reference Desk].
 
This guide focuses on regional resources for the entire African continent, not country-specific resources. Many of the resources mentioned are subscription services available only to members of the Columbia Law School or Columbia University community. For assistance finding African resources at Columbia's Diamond Law Library, please do not hesitate to contact the reference librarians at the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/services/students/student-reference-services Reference Desk].
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==Legal scholarship - Monographs==
 
==Legal scholarship - Monographs==
 
When researching an unfamiliar area of law, using a research guide can be a helpful first step because it will help you identify some of the resources that you may want to consult. The research guide on [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Books_and_Articles_on_International_and_Foreign_Law Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law] is a good place to start; the guide will walk you through the process of finding books and articles on your topic using the resources available to you both at the Law Library and the Columbia University Libraries and locating those items on campus.
 
When researching an unfamiliar area of law, using a research guide can be a helpful first step because it will help you identify some of the resources that you may want to consult. The research guide on [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Books_and_Articles_on_International_and_Foreign_Law Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law] is a good place to start; the guide will walk you through the process of finding books and articles on your topic using the resources available to you both at the Law Library and the Columbia University Libraries and locating those items on campus.
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===[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Law Library]===
 
===[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Law Library]===
At the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, African legal scholarship, whether monographs or journals, is generally located in the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/using-library/find-book/floor-maps Cellar] of the law library. Some materials and recent journals may be found in the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/using-library/find-book/floor-maps 3rd Floor Reserve] area. Most of the materials are arranged according to the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/library/files/Schiller_for_web_20130606.pdf Schiller Classification System]. Under this system, call numbers begin with the country code; for most African countries, the country code is Af., which denotes Africa, followed by an abbreviation for the name of the country. For example Af. Tun. for Tunisia and Af. Ug. for Uganda. The call number for Egypt is different in that it does not include the Af. designation and is merely Eg. Additionally, for South Africa, the call number is So. Af. The topical numbers following the country code also provide you with information about the item. For instance, reference sources will have a call number beginning with 0-99, statutes will have a call number beginning with 110, court reports and digests will begin with 150, etc. Find books at the law school using Pegasus, the law library catalog. Using the search by "Hicks/Schiller" call number function can help limit your search to books about a particular country. Furthermore, understanding the call number ranges as mentioned above can help you easily locate an item in the same subject matter across jurisdictions.
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At the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, African legal scholarship, whether monographs or journals, is generally located in the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/using-library/find-book/floor-maps Cellar] of the law library. Some materials and recent journals may be found in the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/using-library/find-book/floor-maps 3rd Floor Reserve] area. Most of the materials are arranged according to the [http://www.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/library/files/Schiller_for_web_20130606.pdf Schiller Classification System]. Under this system, call numbers begin with the country code; for most African countries, the country code is Af., which denotes Africa, followed by an abbreviation for the name of the country. For example Af. Tun. for Tunisia and Af. Ug. for Uganda. The call number for Egypt is different in that it does not include the Af. designation and is merely Eg. Additionally, for South Africa, the call number is So. Af. The topical numbers following the country code also provide you with information about the item. For instance, reference sources will have a call number beginning with 0-99, statutes will have a call number beginning with 110, court reports and digests will begin with 150, etc. Find books at the law school using [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu Pegasus], the law library catalog. Using the search by "Hicks/Schiller" call number function can help limit your search to books about a particular country. Furthermore, understanding the call number ranges as mentioned above can help you easily locate an item in the same subject matter across jurisdictions.
  
 
===[http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ Columbia University Libraries]===  
 
===[http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ Columbia University Libraries]===  
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==Journal Articles==
 
==Journal Articles==
For a comprehensive guide to finding journal articles please see the research guide [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Books_and_Articles_on_International_and_Foreign_Law Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law]. Listed below are some of the resources that will help you locate articles on African law.
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For a comprehensive guide to finding journal articles and using some of the resources listed below please see the research guide [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Books_and_Articles_on_International_and_Foreign_Law Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law]. Listed below are some of the resources that will help you locate articles on African law.
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===Law Journal Indexes ===  
 
===Law Journal Indexes ===  
  
*Legal resource indexes, such as Wilson's (via the Law Library's Electronic Resources, Indexes and Databases,  [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Periodical and Treatise Indexes Page]) or LRI via [http://www.westlaw.com/ Westlaw] and [http://www.lexis.com/xchange Lexis].
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b783946~S9 Index to Legal Periodicals and Books (ILP)]<br>
*Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals via the Law Library's Electronic Resources, Indexes and Databases, [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Periodical and Treatise Indexes Page].
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b553484~S9 LegalTrac]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b739544~S9 Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP)]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b768414~S9 HeinOnline Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (IFLP)]<br>
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*[https://1.next.westlaw.com/Browse/Home/SecondarySources/LegalResourceIndexElectronicCompaniontoCurrentLawIndex?originationContext=AutoComplete&contextData=(sc.Default)&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&firstPage=true&CobaltRefresh=61873 Legal Resource Index (LRI)]
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*[https://1.next.westlaw.com/Browse/Home/InternationalMaterials/UnitedKingdom/LegalJournalsIndex?originationContext=typeAhead&contextData=(sc.Default)&transitionType=CategoryPageItem Legal Journals Index (LJI)]
  
 
=== African Studies Journal Indexes ===
 
=== African Studies Journal Indexes ===
 
The following indexes, available through [https://clio.columbia.edu/ CLIO] or for free, focus on African periodicals, but are not limited to law.
 
The following indexes, available through [https://clio.columbia.edu/ CLIO] or for free, focus on African periodicals, but are not limited to law.
  
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5416050 Africa-wide information] – This database includes over 3.5 million citations and abstracts dating back to the 16th century and offers extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies.
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5416050 Africa-wide information] – This database includes over 3.5 million citations and abstracts dating back to the 16th century and offers extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies.
 
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[http://lcweb2.loc.gov:8081/misc/qsihtml/qsihome.html Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature] – this source is available free through the Library of Congress and indexes over 700 selected periodicals from 29 African countries from 1991-2011.
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[http://www.africabib.org/perio.htm Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature] – this source is available free from Africabib.org and contains more than 17,6800 records from over 800 journals across Africa.
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*[http://lcweb2.loc.gov:8081/misc/qsihtml/qsihome.html Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature] – this source is available free through the Library of Congress and indexes over 700 selected periodicals from 29 African countries from 1991-2011.
  
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*[http://www.africabib.org/perio.htm Africana Periodical Literature] – this source is available free from Africabib.org and contains more than 17,6800 records from over 800 journals across Africa.
  
 
=== Other Relevant Journal Indexes ===
 
=== Other Relevant Journal Indexes ===
 
There are other more general academic journal indexes available through [https://clio.columbia.edu/ CLIO].
 
There are other more general academic journal indexes available through [https://clio.columbia.edu/ CLIO].
  
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/2135173 Public Affairs Information Services (PAIS)] – This indexes journal articles, books, government documents, etc. across a wide variety of topics.
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/2135173 Public Affairs Information Services (PAIS)] – This indexes journal articles, books, government documents, etc. across a wide variety of topics.
  
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/7468803 Academic Search Complete] – This indexes more than 6100 full text periodicals, including more than 5100 that are peer reviewed across many different disciplines.
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/7468803 Academic Search Complete] – This indexes more than 6100 full text periodicals, including more than 5100 that are peer reviewed across many different disciplines.
  
 
=== Finding Full Text Journals===
 
=== Finding Full Text Journals===
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Some examples of online African legal journals are:<br>
 
Some examples of online African legal journals are:<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b684229~S9 Acta juridica] (South Africa)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b684229~S9 Acta juridica] (South Africa)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b688776~S9 African human rights law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b688776~S9 African human rights law journal]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b736846~S9 African journal of international and comparative law] <br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b736846~S9 African journal of international and comparative law] <br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b688777~S9 African journal of legal studies]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b688777~S9 African journal of legal studies]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829711~S9 African law studies]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829711~S9 African law studies]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b708273~S9 Annual survey of South African law]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b708273~S9 Annual survey of South African law]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b815376~S9 Cape law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b815376~S9 Cape law journal]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b773875~S9 Comparative and international law journal of Southern Africa]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b773875~S9 Comparative and international law journal of Southern Africa]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b835083~S9 De Jure] (South Africa)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b835083~S9 De Jure] (South Africa)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b708592~S9 East African journal of human rights & democracy]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b708592~S9 East African journal of human rights & democracy]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b791725~S9 Haramaya law review] (Ethiopia)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b791725~S9 Haramaya law review] (Ethiopia)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b709723~S9 Journal of African law]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b709723~S9 Journal of African law]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b709822~S9 Journal of legal pluralism and unofficial law]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b709822~S9 Journal of legal pluralism and unofficial law]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b739567~S9 Mizan law review] (Ethiopia)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b739567~S9 Mizan law review] (Ethiopia)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b736115~S9 Potchefstroom electronic law journal] (South Africa)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b736115~S9 Potchefstroom electronic law journal] (South Africa)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829857~S9 Scintilla iuris] (South Africa)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829857~S9 Scintilla iuris] (South Africa)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710363~S9 South African human rights yearbook]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710363~S9 South African human rights yearbook]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710366~S9 South African law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710366~S9 South African law journal]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710364~S9 South African journal of criminal justice] <br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710364~S9 South African journal of criminal justice] <br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710365~S9 South African journal on human rights]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710365~S9 South African journal on human rights]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710309~S9 South African mercantile law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710309~S9 South African mercantile law journal]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710410~S9 Stellenbosch law review] (South Africa)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b710410~S9 Stellenbosch law review] (South Africa)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829864~S9 Strathmore law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b829864~S9 Strathmore law journal]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b718955~S9 University of Botswana law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b718955~S9 University of Botswana law journal]<br>
  
 
Note that many of these journals are available through [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b565946~S9 HeinOnline]. However, many of the most recent volumes of the journals may only have indexing available on HeinOnline and require reading the journal through a different database or in print.
 
Note that many of these journals are available through [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b565946~S9 HeinOnline]. However, many of the most recent volumes of the journals may only have indexing available on HeinOnline and require reading the journal through a different database or in print.
  
 
Examples of African law journals available in print through Pegasus include:<br>
 
Examples of African law journals available in print through Pegasus include:<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b772401~S9 Addis Ababa University student law review]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b772401~S9 Addis Ababa University student law review]<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b591662~S9 Revue Scientifique du droit] (Rwanda)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b591662~S9 Revue Scientifique du droit] (Rwanda)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b830346~S9 SALAR law journal] (Kenya)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b830346~S9 SALAR law journal] (Kenya)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b683564~S9 Students law journal] (Malawi)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b683564~S9 Students law journal] (Malawi)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b612923~S9 The law journal] (Kenya)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b612923~S9 The law journal] (Kenya)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b792660~S9 TUMA law review] (Tanzania)<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b792660~S9 TUMA law review] (Tanzania)<br>
[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b642798~S9 University of Benin law journal]<br>
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b642798~S9 University of Benin law journal]<br>
  
 
Examples of online African journals available through CLIO include:
 
Examples of online African journals available through CLIO include:
  
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3383971 African affairs]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3383971 African affairs]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3324758 African business]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3324758 African business]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3430151 African development review]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3430151 African development review]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5645908 African journal of criminology and justice studies]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/5645908 African journal of criminology and justice studies]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/6186372 African research & documentation]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/6186372 African research & documentation]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/4840828 African studies quarterly]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/4840828 African studies quarterly]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/8736114 Journal of African studies and development]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/8736114 Journal of African studies and development]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3436800 Journal of contemporary African studies]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3436800 Journal of contemporary African studies]<br>
[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3326904 Journal of modern African studies]<br>
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/3326904 Journal of modern African studies]<br>
  
 
==Legal Databases==
 
==Legal Databases==
Following is a list of online legal databases, both fee-based and free. Compared to U.S. legal research, very little is available online. Researchers will need to use a combination of these online resources and paper resources, as described in the section on Books.
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Following is a list of online legal databases, both fee-based and free. Compared to U.S. legal research, very few African legal materials are available online. Researchers will need to use a combination of these online resources and paper resources to complete your research.
===African Law Databases available from the Diamond Law Library ===
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The library subscribes to the following African law databases.  Most of them can be accessed from [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Pegasus] or our  [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Electronic Resources Page].  
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===African Law Databases available from the Diamond Law Library/ Columbia University Libraries ===
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The library subscribes to the following African law databases.  Most of them can be accessed from [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Pegasus] or our  [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Electronic Resources Page]. Most of these databases require librarian assistance. This means that you will need to consult with a reference librarian in order to use the database and will not be able to use the database when off campus.
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*[http://www.tashreaat.com/ Egyptian Legal Portal - Al-Bawabah al-qanuniyah] ''Librarian assistance required''.
 
*[http://www.tashreaat.com/ Egyptian Legal Portal - Al-Bawabah al-qanuniyah] ''Librarian assistance required''.
:Tashreaat is an Egyptian legal database providing a complete reference to Egyptian legislation, rulings of the high courts (Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court) and related legal material from Egypt. User may also view the Egyptian Gazette, studies by prominent councils, lawyers' directory and legal news. Research is only available in Arabic. You may need to modify your display settings and change the screen resolution to 800x600 pixels to view the site.
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*[http://www.jutalaw.co.za/ Jutastat] ''Librarian assistance required''.
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:Tashreaat is an Egyptian legal database providing a complete reference to Egyptian legislation, rulings of the high courts (Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court) and related legal material from Egypt. Users may also view the Egyptian Gazette, studies by prominent councils, lawyers' directory and legal news. Research is only available in Arabic. You may need to modify your display settings and change the screen resolution to 800x600 pixels to view the site. ''This database is temporarily unavailable''.
:This African database includes access to Constitutional Library, Juta's Daily Law Reports, Juta's Digest of South African Law, Jutastat's Statutes of South Africa, the South African Law Reports (1947-current), the Law Reports of Zimbabwe, Statutes of Zimbabwe, Botswana Law Reports, Tanzania Law Reports, Zambia Law Reports, and Namibian Law Reports. Available only with the assistance of librarians, researchers should go to the reference desk to use this database.   
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*[https://juta.co.za/ Juta Law (Jutastat)] ''Librarian assistance required''.
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:This African database provided by the South African legal publisher Juta, includes access to Juta's Constitutional Library, Juta's Digest of South African Law, Namibian Law Reports (1990-present), The South African Law Reports (1947-present), Statutes of Zimbabwe (July 2002), Statutes and Regulations of South Africa, Statutes of Namibia, The Tanzania Law Reports (1983-1997), Juta's Unreported Judgments, Zambia Law Reports (1963-1997), and Zimbabwe Law Reports (1980-present). Please log out of the resource once you are finished using it.   
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*[http://lawafrica.com/ LawAfrica.com] ''Librarian assistance required''.
 
*[http://lawafrica.com/ LawAfrica.com] ''Librarian assistance required''.
:This database includes case law from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Comesa Court of Justice. It is available with the assistance of librarians. Researchers should go to the reference desk to use this database.
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:LawAfrica includes case law from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Access is provided to the LawAfrica Law Reports (LLR), Odunga's Digest, Uganda Law Reports (ULR), Tanzania Law Reports (TLR), East Africa Law Reports (EALR), East Africa Court of Appeal Reports (EACA), East Africa General Reports (EAGR), East Africa Protectorate Law Reports (EAPLR), Company Registry Search, and Uganda Law Society Reports (ULSR). Please log out when you finish using the database.
*[http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio10425697 Sabinet Legal].
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:This Columbia University database includes Retrospective Government Gazettes from South Africa from 1910 to 1993. It is available to all members of the Columbia University community.
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*[https://clio.columbia.edu/catalog/10425708 Sabinet Legal]
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:This database available through Columbia University Libraries includes access to Government Gazettes (1994-2017), Provincial Gazettes, Retrospective Government Gazettes (1910-1993), and some Sabinet African Electronic Publications.
  
 
===Worldwide Legal Databases available from the Diamond Law Library===
 
===Worldwide Legal Databases available from the Diamond Law Library===
 
The library subscribes to the following worldwide law databases. Most of them can be accessed from the links below, or from [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Pegasus] or from our  [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Electronic Resources Page].
 
The library subscribes to the following worldwide law databases. Most of them can be accessed from the links below, or from [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/ Pegasus] or from our  [http://library.law.columbia.edu/eresources/ Electronic Resources Page].
*[http://0-referenceworks.brillonline.com.pegasus.law.columbia.edu/browse/foreign-law-guide Foreign Law Guide: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World ]
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:This database provides information on sources of foreign law for most countries. It includes citations to legislation, references to translations when available, and select secondary sources. This database is commonly referred to as ''Reynolds and Flores'' (the names of the authors).
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*[http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b574195~S9 Foreign Law Guide]
*[http://www.oceanalaw.com/gateway/gateway.asp?ID=31 Constitutions of the Countries of the World]
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:This database provides information on sources of foreign law for about 190 countries. It includes citations to legislation, references to translations when available, and select references to secondary sources. This database is commonly referred to as ''Reynolds and Flores'' (the names of the authors).
:Published by Oceana, this database includes the constitutions and related documents of 192 countries, and corresponds with their looseleaf set of the same name. Note that the 'print' option is located in the 'document details' section. Access is available by IP address from the Columbia Law School Campus. Only one user can use this database at a time, so please be sure to logoff of the database when you are finished with your search.
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*[http://www.lexis.com/xchange Lexis]
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* [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b819435~S9 Global-Regulation.com]
:While Lexis.com has Butterworths South African Constitutional Law Reports (SACLR), which provides selected decisions from the Supreme Court and new Constitutional Court of South Africa pertaining to the interpretation of the South African Bill of Rights and other general aspects of the new Constitution, as well as key constitutional law decisions from neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, from 1991 onward, SACLR is not currently available from the lawschool.lexis.com platform. 
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:A continually growing database of laws from about 90 countries that translates laws into English using machine translation from Google and Microsoft. Some African countries including Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are covered.
*[http://www.westlaw.com/ Westlaw]
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:Westlaw has limited African information. It includes (a) legal scholarship -- Constitutional Law of South Africa, 2nd Edition, the UK journal, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, (b) Africa Journals Magazines & Newsletters, and (c) all documents (judgments, decisions, orders, and indictments) issued by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, from 1995 through July, 2007.
+
* [http://pegasus.law.columbia.edu/record=b732800~S9 HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated]
 +
:This database includes the text of the constitution of most countries in the world in the official language of the country. English translations and some historical versions of constitutions are also provided.
 +
 
 +
*[http://lexisnexis.com/lawschool Lexis Advance]
 +
:Lexis Advance has migrated some of the materials that they had on their Lexis.com platform to Lexis Advance.  Lexis Advance does have materials for several African countries. Many of these countries only have general news items available and the coverage of these news sources varies widely. Lexis does include South Africa case law from Butterworths South African Constitutional Law Reports (June 1991 – current) and South Africa Tax Cases  (March 31, 1920 through 1998 and a few cases preceding 1917-18).  South Africa Legislation is available in Butterworths Statutes of South Africa (1912-July 2014).
 +
 
 +
*[http://lawschool.westlaw.com Westlaw]
 +
:Westlaw has a limited amount of African legal information. Westlaw does have the documents issued by International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 1995 through July 2007. Additionally, Westlaw has the 2nd Edition (2008) of ''Constitutional Law of South Africa'', which is a treatise on South African constitutional law. Westlaw also has some journals that cover Africa, including the ''African Journal of International and Comparative Law, African'' ''Journal of Legal Studies'', and ''Journal of African Law''.
  
 
===Free African Legal Databases and Websites===
 
===Free African Legal Databases and Websites===
*[http://www.saflii.org/ Southern Africa Legal Information Institute]
+
*[https://www.africanlii.org/ African Legal Information Institute (AfricanLII)]
:The Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII) collects and publishes legal materials from Southern and Eastern Africa for free online access.  The current collection includes superior court judgments from Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda. Retrospective collection for all superior courts in these countries is ongoing. The database includes cases in preparation for publishing from Mauritius, Swaziland and Tanzania.  
+
:AfricanLII is a project of the Democratic Governance Rights Unit at the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. The goal of the project is to promote free access of the law throughout AfricaFor several countries, the website links to country specific Legal Information Institutes like SAFLII. For other countries, there are links and descriptions to resources that will provide legal information for that country in different areas of law.
*[http://jurisafrica.org/ JurisAfrica]  
+
 
:JurisAfrica is an online law reporting service, the property of Africa Law Reporter Online. They intend to publish judgments of the superior courts of African countries and have some online already. It also includes constitutions, statutes and legal news.
+
*[http://www.commonlii.org/ Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII)]
*[http://www.izf.net/ Investir en Zone Franc]
+
:This site provides free access to legal information from all Commonwealth countries, including many African Countries.
:Includes some laws from francophone Africa.  
+
 
 +
*[http://www.saflii.org/ Southern Africa Legal Information Institute (SAFLII)]
 +
:The South African Legal Information Institute publishes legal information for members of the public to access for free. Most of the materials are case law from South Africa. However, there are legal materials from other countries including Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, SAFLII includes Law Journals, and some Regional Courts of Justice including COMESA, East African Court of Appeal, East African Court of Justice, and SADC Tribunal.
 +
 
 
*[http://graduateinstitute.ch/home/research/centresandprogrammes/ccdp/database/documentation-network-great-afri.html International Documentation Network on the Great African Lakes Region]
 
*[http://graduateinstitute.ch/home/research/centresandprogrammes/ccdp/database/documentation-network-great-afri.html International Documentation Network on the Great African Lakes Region]
 
:Includes some laws from the Great Lakes region.
 
:Includes some laws from the Great Lakes region.
*[http://www.polity.org.za/ Policy, Law, Economics and Politics - Deepening Democracy through Access to Information]
+
 
:Includes legislation, primarily from South Africa, in PDF form and updated regularly. Use the navigation bar at the top to select Legislation and search or browse Acts, Bills, Regulations, Policy Documents, and more. Also includes sections for Case Law and Legal Briefs.
+
*[http://www.izf.net/ Investir en Zone Franc]
*[https://dds.crl.edu/search/collection/16- Official Gazettes & Civil Society Documentation]
+
:Includes some laws from francophone Africa.  
 +
 
 +
*[http://jurisafrica.org/ JurisAfrica]
 +
:JurisAfrica is an online law reporting service, the property of Africa Law Reporter Online. They intend to publish judgments of the superior courts of African countries and have some online already. It also includes constitutions, statutes and legal news. 
 +
 
 +
*[https://juricaf.org/ Juricaf]
 +
:Includes Supreme Court decisions from Francophone African countries.
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.kenyalaw.org/kl/ Kenya Law]
 +
:Run by the National Council for Law Reporting, which is a semi-autonomous state corporation under the Judiciary, this site provides access to Kenya's Public Legal Information including the Laws of Kenya, Cases, Tribunals, and more.
 +
 
 +
*[https://dds.crl.edu/search/collection/16 Official Gazettes & Civil Society Documentation]
 
:The content is available as an Open Access collection, and includes gazettes from Algeria, Congo (Rep.), Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Though CRL’s primary focus of scanning was “independence forward,” it includes numerous gazettes from earlier time periods and predecessor states (such as British Somaliland and Southern Rhodesia).
 
:The content is available as an Open Access collection, and includes gazettes from Algeria, Congo (Rep.), Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Though CRL’s primary focus of scanning was “independence forward,” it includes numerous gazettes from earlier time periods and predecessor states (such as British Somaliland and Southern Rhodesia).
 +
 +
*[http://www.polity.org.za/ Polity]
 +
:Offers free access to South African legislation, policy documents, and daily political news. The site provides PDF images of legislation from the Government Gazette. Also includes case law from the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, and High Courts.
  
 
===Free Global Law Databases and Websites===
 
===Free Global Law Databases and Websites===
*[http://www.worldlii.org/ World Legal Information Institute ]. Provides links to law online. See their Africa Page under the Regions section.
+
*[http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html Globalex]
*[http://www.loc.gov/law/guide/index.html Guide to Law Online] from the Library of Congress.
+
:Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law, GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication dedicated to international and foreign law research. The guides and articles are written by scholars who are well known in their fields. Under the listing for Foreign Law Research, you can find countries listed in alphabetical order.
:Links to international resources and resources by country.
+
 
 +
*[https://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide.php Guide to Law Online] from the Library of Congress.
 +
:Prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, this resource is an annotated guide to sources of legal information available online by country. Links to international resources and resources by country are provided.
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.worldlii.org/ World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII)].
 +
:This site provides links to law online. You can find links to African resources under All regions and then choosing Africa.
  
 
===Law by Subject===
 
===Law by Subject===
*[http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Foreign_Law_Resources_on_the_Internet Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet]  
+
*[http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Beginning_Your_Foreign_Legal_Research Beginning your Foreign Legal Research]
:A Columbia Law School Library guide to mega web sites that provide access to foreign law by subject. Includes links to databases specializing in human rights law, criminal law, environmental law and more.
+
:A Columbia Law School Library guide to beginning your foreign legal research and finding websites and databases that help you research foreign law by subject.
  
 
==Research Guides==
 
==Research Guides==
Guides to African legal research can be very helpful if available. Also, general guides to African studies can help the legal researcher, particularly in related fields such as human rights, business and women's studies.
+
When you are researching an unfamiliar area of law, a research guide can be a very helpful tool to use. Guides to African legal research and guides to African studies in general may provide assistance.
* [http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/African_Law1.htm Sources of Online Legal Information for African Countries]
+
 
* [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides/foreign_law/foreignguide A Selective List of Guides to Foreign Legal Research]
+
*[http://guides.library.columbia.edu/basic_guide_to_research_on_africa Basic Guide to Research on Africa]
* [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/africa/joebib.html Basic Guide to Research on Africa at Columbia University Libraries]
+
:Prepared by Columbia University Libraries, this guide includes resources for performing African studies research.
The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library has research guides in other subjects that may be helpful for African legal research. All guides are available from the library's  [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides Research Guides Page].
+
 
* [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides/reference_tools/findintlbooks Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law]
+
*[http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/African_Law1.html Sources of Online Legal Information for African Countries]
* [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides/internat_law/un Research Guide: The United Nations ]
+
:Guide available through Globalex that helps identify online resources for legal materials from African countries.
* [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides/internat_law/treaty_research Guide to Treaty Research ]
+
 
* [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/Research_Guides/internat_law/hu_rts_res_gde Human Rights Research Guide ]
+
The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library has research guides in other subjects that may be helpful for African legal research. All guides are available from the library's  [http://www.law.columbia.edu/library/research-guides Research Guides Page].
* [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Foreign_Law_Resources_on_the_Internet Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet ]
+
 
 +
* [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Finding_Books_and_Articles_on_International_and_Foreign_Law Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law]
 +
 
 +
* [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Guide_to_Treaty_Research Guide to Treaty Research ]
 +
 
 +
* [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/Human_Rights Human Rights Research Guide ]
 +
 
 +
* [http://library.law.columbia.edu/guides/United_Nations United Nations Research Guide]

Latest revision as of 11:13, 25 October 2017

An Introduction to African Legal Resources

Written by Silke Sahl
Maintained by Deborah L. Heller
Last Updated October 25, 2017


This guide focuses on regional resources for the entire African continent, not country-specific resources. Many of the resources mentioned are subscription services available only to members of the Columbia Law School or Columbia University community. For assistance finding African resources at Columbia's Diamond Law Library, please do not hesitate to contact the reference librarians at the Reference Desk.

Legal scholarship - Monographs

When researching an unfamiliar area of law, using a research guide can be a helpful first step because it will help you identify some of the resources that you may want to consult. The research guide on Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law is a good place to start; the guide will walk you through the process of finding books and articles on your topic using the resources available to you both at the Law Library and the Columbia University Libraries and locating those items on campus.

Law Library

At the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, African legal scholarship, whether monographs or journals, is generally located in the Cellar of the law library. Some materials and recent journals may be found in the 3rd Floor Reserve area. Most of the materials are arranged according to the Schiller Classification System. Under this system, call numbers begin with the country code; for most African countries, the country code is Af., which denotes Africa, followed by an abbreviation for the name of the country. For example Af. Tun. for Tunisia and Af. Ug. for Uganda. The call number for Egypt is different in that it does not include the Af. designation and is merely Eg. Additionally, for South Africa, the call number is So. Af. The topical numbers following the country code also provide you with information about the item. For instance, reference sources will have a call number beginning with 0-99, statutes will have a call number beginning with 110, court reports and digests will begin with 150, etc. Find books at the law school using Pegasus, the law library catalog. Using the search by "Hicks/Schiller" call number function can help limit your search to books about a particular country. Furthermore, understanding the call number ranges as mentioned above can help you easily locate an item in the same subject matter across jurisdictions.

Columbia University Libraries

In addition to the law library collection, you may find African resources, both in print and on-line, by using CLIO , the Columbia University Online Catalog.

Beyond Columbia

If you cannot find the resource you need for your research in either Pegasus or CLIO, remember that the reference librarians can place an interlibrary loan request to try and get an item from another University in the United States.

Journal Articles

For a comprehensive guide to finding journal articles and using some of the resources listed below please see the research guide Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law. Listed below are some of the resources that will help you locate articles on African law.

Law Journal Indexes

African Studies Journal Indexes

The following indexes, available through CLIO or for free, focus on African periodicals, but are not limited to law.

  • Africa-wide information – This database includes over 3.5 million citations and abstracts dating back to the 16th century and offers extensive coverage of all facets of Africa and African studies.
  • Africana Periodical Literature – this source is available free from Africabib.org and contains more than 17,6800 records from over 800 journals across Africa.

Other Relevant Journal Indexes

There are other more general academic journal indexes available through CLIO.

  • Academic Search Complete – This indexes more than 6100 full text periodicals, including more than 5100 that are peer reviewed across many different disciplines.

Finding Full Text Journals

Full-text journals can be found by searching by the title of the article in the journal in CLIO or by the title of the journal in Pegasus. Many journals are available through a variety of databases in Pegasus and in CLIO; however, some journals are only available in print.

Some journals are available in full-text electronically via Westlaw, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law.

Some examples of online African legal journals are:

Note that many of these journals are available through HeinOnline. However, many of the most recent volumes of the journals may only have indexing available on HeinOnline and require reading the journal through a different database or in print.

Examples of African law journals available in print through Pegasus include:

Examples of online African journals available through CLIO include:

Legal Databases

Following is a list of online legal databases, both fee-based and free. Compared to U.S. legal research, very few African legal materials are available online. Researchers will need to use a combination of these online resources and paper resources to complete your research.

African Law Databases available from the Diamond Law Library/ Columbia University Libraries

The library subscribes to the following African law databases. Most of them can be accessed from Pegasus or our Electronic Resources Page. Most of these databases require librarian assistance. This means that you will need to consult with a reference librarian in order to use the database and will not be able to use the database when off campus.

Tashreaat is an Egyptian legal database providing a complete reference to Egyptian legislation, rulings of the high courts (Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court) and related legal material from Egypt. Users may also view the Egyptian Gazette, studies by prominent councils, lawyers' directory and legal news. Research is only available in Arabic. You may need to modify your display settings and change the screen resolution to 800x600 pixels to view the site. This database is temporarily unavailable.
This African database provided by the South African legal publisher Juta, includes access to Juta's Constitutional Library, Juta's Digest of South African Law, Namibian Law Reports (1990-present), The South African Law Reports (1947-present), Statutes of Zimbabwe (July 2002), Statutes and Regulations of South Africa, Statutes of Namibia, The Tanzania Law Reports (1983-1997), Juta's Unreported Judgments, Zambia Law Reports (1963-1997), and Zimbabwe Law Reports (1980-present). Please log out of the resource once you are finished using it.
LawAfrica includes case law from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Access is provided to the LawAfrica Law Reports (LLR), Odunga's Digest, Uganda Law Reports (ULR), Tanzania Law Reports (TLR), East Africa Law Reports (EALR), East Africa Court of Appeal Reports (EACA), East Africa General Reports (EAGR), East Africa Protectorate Law Reports (EAPLR), Company Registry Search, and Uganda Law Society Reports (ULSR). Please log out when you finish using the database.
This database available through Columbia University Libraries includes access to Government Gazettes (1994-2017), Provincial Gazettes, Retrospective Government Gazettes (1910-1993), and some Sabinet African Electronic Publications.

Worldwide Legal Databases available from the Diamond Law Library

The library subscribes to the following worldwide law databases. Most of them can be accessed from the links below, or from Pegasus or from our Electronic Resources Page.

This database provides information on sources of foreign law for about 190 countries. It includes citations to legislation, references to translations when available, and select references to secondary sources. This database is commonly referred to as Reynolds and Flores (the names of the authors).
A continually growing database of laws from about 90 countries that translates laws into English using machine translation from Google and Microsoft. Some African countries including Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Senegal, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are covered.
This database includes the text of the constitution of most countries in the world in the official language of the country. English translations and some historical versions of constitutions are also provided.
Lexis Advance has migrated some of the materials that they had on their Lexis.com platform to Lexis Advance. Lexis Advance does have materials for several African countries. Many of these countries only have general news items available and the coverage of these news sources varies widely. Lexis does include South Africa case law from Butterworths South African Constitutional Law Reports (June 1991 – current) and South Africa Tax Cases (March 31, 1920 through 1998 and a few cases preceding 1917-18). South Africa Legislation is available in Butterworths Statutes of South Africa (1912-July 2014).
Westlaw has a limited amount of African legal information. Westlaw does have the documents issued by International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 1995 through July 2007. Additionally, Westlaw has the 2nd Edition (2008) of Constitutional Law of South Africa, which is a treatise on South African constitutional law. Westlaw also has some journals that cover Africa, including the African Journal of International and Comparative Law, African Journal of Legal Studies, and Journal of African Law.

Free African Legal Databases and Websites

AfricanLII is a project of the Democratic Governance Rights Unit at the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town. The goal of the project is to promote free access of the law throughout Africa. For several countries, the website links to country specific Legal Information Institutes like SAFLII. For other countries, there are links and descriptions to resources that will provide legal information for that country in different areas of law.
This site provides free access to legal information from all Commonwealth countries, including many African Countries.
The South African Legal Information Institute publishes legal information for members of the public to access for free. Most of the materials are case law from South Africa. However, there are legal materials from other countries including Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, SAFLII includes Law Journals, and some Regional Courts of Justice including COMESA, East African Court of Appeal, East African Court of Justice, and SADC Tribunal.
Includes some laws from the Great Lakes region.
Includes some laws from francophone Africa.
JurisAfrica is an online law reporting service, the property of Africa Law Reporter Online. They intend to publish judgments of the superior courts of African countries and have some online already. It also includes constitutions, statutes and legal news.
Includes Supreme Court decisions from Francophone African countries.
Run by the National Council for Law Reporting, which is a semi-autonomous state corporation under the Judiciary, this site provides access to Kenya's Public Legal Information including the Laws of Kenya, Cases, Tribunals, and more.
The content is available as an Open Access collection, and includes gazettes from Algeria, Congo (Rep.), Iran, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Though CRL’s primary focus of scanning was “independence forward,” it includes numerous gazettes from earlier time periods and predecessor states (such as British Somaliland and Southern Rhodesia).
Offers free access to South African legislation, policy documents, and daily political news. The site provides PDF images of legislation from the Government Gazette. Also includes case law from the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, and High Courts.

Free Global Law Databases and Websites

Published by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU School of Law, GlobaLex is an electronic legal publication dedicated to international and foreign law research. The guides and articles are written by scholars who are well known in their fields. Under the listing for Foreign Law Research, you can find countries listed in alphabetical order.
Prepared by the Law Library of Congress Public Services Division, this resource is an annotated guide to sources of legal information available online by country. Links to international resources and resources by country are provided.
This site provides links to law online. You can find links to African resources under All regions and then choosing Africa.

Law by Subject

A Columbia Law School Library guide to beginning your foreign legal research and finding websites and databases that help you research foreign law by subject.

Research Guides

When you are researching an unfamiliar area of law, a research guide can be a very helpful tool to use. Guides to African legal research and guides to African studies in general may provide assistance.

Prepared by Columbia University Libraries, this guide includes resources for performing African studies research.
Guide available through Globalex that helps identify online resources for legal materials from African countries.

The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library has research guides in other subjects that may be helpful for African legal research. All guides are available from the library's Research Guides Page.