Free Foreign Legal Websites-3
This blog is the last of the free foreign legal website series. To recap, I wrote on previous blogs 1 and 2 that GlobaLex should be the first website to visit when you have no prior knowledge of the country you need to find legal information on and GLIN is a good source if you know what you are looking for because many of original contents can be viewed directly from the GLIN website. The last website I want to share with you is Lexadin. Unlike previous two websites, I must warn you from the beginning; Use this site as a secondary source complimenting your research because there is not much information about this website.
I came across Lexadin while searching for foreign laws. My first encounter with the website did not make such a good impression as it did not seem like a reliable source. There is no “about us” section, which most of website have. I still do not know who the authors are, what their purpose is on establishing this website. I can only guess from its Top Level Domain that it is Netherlands website. On the bottom of the webpage, it states copyright 1998-2008. So, it is uncertain when last update was made and so forth. Also, there are some links that does not work, but most of them worked find when I tried them. Despite these credibility issues, I still recommend this website from my personal experience with the website and it really did a good job of compiling useful information in structured way. The credibility of the founder of the website would influence the quality of the contents because unlike GlobaLex where an author actually prepared the article on each country, Lexadin only directs you to foreign websites where relevant information can be found. Now that I explained about Lexadin’s rather mysterious background, I will delve into explaining its features.
Lexadin states that it has more than 65,000 links to legal sites in over 180 countries. Unlike GlobaLex where scope of contents varies from country to country because contents are prepared by different authors from each country, you can expect consistency in scope of contents from Lexadin as it has a set structure. When you first enter the website, you will see 10 topics listed on top of the page; Legislation, Law Firms, Courts & Cases, Law Schools, Articles, Legal Software, Indices, Organizations, Law Journals, and Search. I will briefly explain what’s under each topic.
When you click the legislation, you will find list of nations in an alphabetical order. Legislation section provides substance law of each country and usually follow the following order: constitutional law, legislation and court procedure, electoral law, administrative law, criminal law, civil law, commercial law, company law, labor law, health law, mining law, tax law, banking law, communications and media law, transport and maritime law, environmental law, intellectual property law, energy law, construction law, agriculture law, arbitration law and law sources. As stated previously, Lexadin do not provide contents of legislation on its website directly, but rather links to the original site where the relevant information can be found, thereby assuring users of credibility.
Countries are listed in an alphabetical order. By clicking the country of your interest, you may find the list of local law firms in that country.
Courts & Cases:
Again, countries are listed in an alphabetical order. By clicking the country of your interest, you may find the list of various courts in that country. It gives brief information on court structure of a country and provides links to various courts (Supreme Court, court of appeals, district court, constitutional court, etc). Looking at this page gives you an idea of how the court system is structured in that country.
It provides links to law schools located in each country.
Articles section is categorized by subject of law; administrative, civil, commercial, banking, etc. It provides the name of the author, where the article came from, and the title of the article which is linked to the original website where you can read the article.
I have not personally used contents of provided by this section, but it seems like they are providing useful software for various occasions; litigation document management, trial presentation software, case management, time and billing, etc. These are not free software and it only provides information on where you can find useful software. If there is something you are interested in using, you will have to purchase them from the original website Lexadin links to.
It provides list of useful research websites such as Findlaw, GLIN, Cornell’s LII, etc. This is useful because even though we are familiar with U.S. research websites, it is difficult to discover such websites of foreign countries. Here, it provides such sites of various countries.
It is categorized into National IP offices, arbitration organization, law firm associations, national banks, national competition authorities, etc. When you click on each of these topics, you will find the associations listed by countries in an alphabetical order and it links you directly to associations’ website.
Journals are listed in an alphabetical order and covers not only U.S. Journals, but of various countries. Clicking the name of law journal will link you to the original website of each journal.
You may search for law firms and laws from Lexadin’s advanced search. It allows you to narrow down search by country and keywords.
Lexadin is a well structured, easy to use site, which links you directly to relevant website of countries. It provides many useful government and organization links, which would require so much time and effort if you have to find them on your own. Also, the Lexadin links to English version of official websites, making research a lot easier. I hope three free sources I have introduced—GLIN, GLobaLex, Lexadin—will help you in conducting foreign legal research.