You probably are familiar with the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, a pioneering publisher of U.S. legal materials online. But did you know that there is an international network of some 22 legal institutes and similar organizations, all devoted to providing free access to the law?

While these various LIIs generally focus on the law of their own lands, one, the World Legal Information Institute, provides access to sources and collections of law from various countries, from Afghanistan and Albania to Zambia and Zimbabwe. As of this writing, it includes 1,240 databases from 123 jurisdictions, with more being added on a regular basis.

Some of these materials are drawn from the various country-specific LIIs that help support this site and others are unique to the site. They are organized by countries, regions and databases, which you can browse or search. The site’s LawCite search allows you to search the materials by citation, party name, jurisdiction, article title, author and other parameters.

The World LII also includes the International Law Library, which it says is the most comprehensive free-access international law library on the Internet. Focused on international law, cooperation and trade, it includes decisions of international courts and tribunals, treaties and international agreements, international law journals, and law reform materials.

While various LIIs contribute to the content and development of World LII, the Australasian Legal Information Institute is responsible for its operation and maintenance.

The bottom line is that if you are looking for judicial, legislative or other legal materials from outside the U.S., this is a good place to start.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.