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Legal Research and Government Documents

Guide for legal research.

Foreign law is the law of another country. 

International law is the relationship between countries, or a country and a private party. 

  • Public international law: the legal system governing the relationships between countries and other participants in international relations, including international organizations and individuals. Also known as "the law of nations."
  • Private international law: conflict of laws, as applied to jurisdictions across national borders.

Other relevant terms:

  • Supranational law: form of international law wherein sovereign nations submit to the judicial decisions of a common tribunal.
  • Transnational law: umbrella term for all law which regulates actions or events that transcend national frontiers, including but not limited to public and private international law.

Above definitions adapted from the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law guide at the University of Michigan Law Library.

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