The guides listed below provide legal commentary and recommended resources on issues and events with legal significance.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Campaign Finance
- Children's Rights
- Citizenship Pathways and Border Protection
- Commemorative Observations
- Crimes Against Humanity
- Digitized Materials
- Firearms Control
- Foreign Aid Regulations
- Government Procurement Law and Policy
- Guest Worker Programs
- Habeas Corpus Rights
- Intercountry Adoption
- John Adams
- Legal Status of Refugees: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq
- Medical Malpractice Liability
- Military Justice
- New Zealand
- Oil Spill Liability
- Plant Protection: Edelweiss
- Points-Based Immigration Systems
- Regulations Concerning the Private Possession of Big Cats
- Repatriation of Human Remains
- Sex Selection & Abortion
- Stimulus Plan
- Sustainability Criteria for Bio-fuels
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Wildlife Trafficking and Poaching
The Law Library of Congress's historical collection vividly illustrates three periods in which the law played a prominent part of the Lincoln era: Lincoln the Lawyer, Habeas Corpus and the War Powers of the President, and The Assassination: Trials. Each era includes the full text of several items from the Law Library of Congress's Rare Book Collection.
The collapse of R. Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme, which used Antigua and Barbuda as a base of operations, has raised questions about the history of corruption in that country’s banking system. There is evidence of Antiguan banks being used for illegal purposes prior to 2000, but in the absence of local prosecutions, little firm evidence of corruption.
Australian Control Orders are used to impose obligations or restrictions to protect the public from terrorist acts. This page discusses Control Order issuances, rights, the complaint process, and offenses.
This page discusses Preventative Detention Orders and Prohibited Contact Orders, provided under Australian criminal law for addressing terrorism concerns. A Preventative Detention Order permits detention for a short period and a Prohibited Contact Order prohibits the detained person from contacting individuals named in the order.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has the power to detain and question persons in relation to terrorism. In some instances, this detention extends to pre-charge detention. The ASIO may operate under either a Questioning Warrant or a Questioning and Detention Warrant.
Countries around the world are facing questions about how to balance developments in various areas of biotechnology with concerns about ethics, human health and safety, and the environment. This report examines bioethics-related international instruments and bioethics legislation in ten countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, Israel, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Brazil and Russia.
This report examines campaign finance laws, including those governing the length of the campaign period, funding sources and disclosure requirements, restrictions on contributions and expenditures, and free speech implications of such restrictions, in Australia, France, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom.
The national and international laws and practices are detailed and analyzed for sixteen nations including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, and the United Kingdom (England and Wales).
This report describes the different legal approaches to immigration, citizenship, and border control taken by Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The report also discusses the European Union’s border control and visa regime for the Schengen area. A summary that compares and contrasts specific elements of the legal systems surveyed is included.
Listed are the commentary and recommended resources for selected national observances and commemorative months: African American History Month, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Human Rights Day, Jewish American Heritage Month, Law Day, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, National American Indian Heritage Month, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month and Women's History Month.
This report cites constitutional provisions in foreign national constitutions that proclaim women's equality and/or state anti-discrimination policies.
This Multinational report covers Crimes Against Humanity Statutes and Criminal Code Provisions.
This page discusses recent developments and legal implications related to Castro’s resignation in 2008.
This report concerns the international legal framework relevant to the destruction of cultural property in the northern part of Cyprus.
This page discusses the digitized collection from the Law Library of Congress.
This report discusses the pending criminal charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his family members, the potential penalties for those charges, and the applicable burden of proof.
This report examines the legal approach to gun control—including ownership and possession, licensing and registration, background checks, training, storage, weapons bans, and related issues—in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, and the European Union. A Comparative Analysis and Bibliography of Selected English-Language Materials on the subject are included.
This report outlines foreign aid allocation in the European Union as well as in Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
On January 26, 2010, the President of the National Assembly published on the Assembly website the report prepared by the Parliamentary Commission to Study the Wearing of the Full Veil in France. This page presents selected highlights from the report.
This report provides an overview of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, the most substantive legislative change in the British welfare system since the 1940s.
This report by the Law Library of Congress discusses the implementation of government procurement agreements, including the World Trade Organization Plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (WTO-GPA), and the domestic laws that regulate government procurement in Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, and the Russian Federation. It includes a comparative summary.
This report discusses guest worker programs in thirteen countries—including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. It also provides information on the European Union’s Proposal for a Directive on Seasonal Employment, the Association Agreement between the European Union and Turkey regarding migrants of Turkish origin, and the Multilateral Framework of the International Labour Organization on the admission of guest workers. A bibliography is provided.
This report analyzes the right available to persons in Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Kingdom, and Yemen to challenge the legality of their arrest or detention.
This Law Library of Congress collection contains the following Haitian law titles. The titles in the public domain will be digitized.
This page discusses the legal authority for removal of an elected president in Honduras, and its application to the case against President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, in which the Honduran Congress interpreted the power to disapprove of the conduct of the President to encompass the power to remove him from office.
A list of authorities prepared by the staff of the Law Library of Congress identifies Honduran legal documents considered relevant to the events of the summer of 2009, which resulted in the removal of a sitting President.
This page includes information about laws in Indonesia that affect the ability of people from different religious backgrounds to marry.
This report discusses the intercountry adoption systems employed by Turkey and the United States. The individual country surveys reveal that both countries are parties to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, though Turkish adoptions are governed by national law, while US adoption procedures are left to the states. Otherwise, both countries require probationary periods before adoptions are finalized, as well as the consent of the biological parents and the children involved, with certain exceptions. In both countries the adoption must be determined to be in the best interests of the child and adopted children obtain all rights of biological children, including inheritance rights. (PDF, 160KB)
International Relations under Islamic Law (Shari’a): Dar al-Harb (House of War) vs. Dar al-Islam (House of Islam)
This report provides an overview of the Islamic concepts of Dar al-Harb (House of War), Dar al-Islam (House of Peace), and Dar al-Aman (House of Safety).
This page highlights moments in the history of the governance of the area formerly known as Mesopotamia that may be seen as significant with respect to the legal heritage and traditions of Iraq.
Find information on the tribunal and its historical background with articles related to key legal issues. It includes print and Web citations to relevant treaties, laws, and references on the subject.
Israel: Criminal and Ethical Aspects of Municipal Rabbis' Letter Concerning the Sale or Rental of Property in Israel to Non-Jews
This report analyzes the criminal and ethical aspects of a letter published by fifty municipal rabbis in Israel alleging that Jewish law prohibits the sale or rental of property in Israel to non-Jews.
This report discusses the agreements made by Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Yisrael Beiteinu faction with the Hatnua, Yesh Atid, and Habayit Hayehudi parties in order to form a coalition government following Israel’s 2013 parliamentary elections. Besides establishing guidelines for adopting government policies, the agreements focus on forming a ministerial committee for peace negotiations with the Palestinians and reforming the country’s military, civilian national service, and electoral system.
This report discusses the laws in Israel that relate to the ability of victims of terrorism offenses to participate in criminal trials and appeals.
This report analyzes Israel's approach to reproductive care and discusses the governing law as well as the allocation of funding for this purpose. (PDF, 121KB)
This report analyzes the background and current status of Israel's law regarding deferment of compulsory military service, and how it has affected the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community in particular.
This research report analyzes Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and its possible amendment.
This page discusses Japanese post-WWII plaintiffs’ compensation claims against the Japanese government, which were rejected under the theory of war damages. The page also notes what the Japanese government paid to other countries to compensate for damages related to WWII. Additional links are provided on various aspects related to these cases.
In 1770 young lawyer John Adams, future President of the United States, served as defense counsel in the trial of eight British soldiers accused of murder during a riot in Boston. Adams's impassioned speech in defense of the soldiers resulted in their acquittal. This page shows the covers of five reports and transcripts of the court proceedings, and includes the full text of three of these items from the Law Library of Congress's Rare Book Collection.
The investigation and potential prosecution of those involved in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon, could become a case study in the rapid development of international criminal law. In addressing such issues, the Law Library of Congress provides information and legal analysis reflecting the actual state of international law.
The Lebanese constitution of 1926, as amended, is still in force today. Its main feature is the representation given to the various religious communities in public employment, the formation of government, and the selection of the legislature. It guarantees basic individual rights and freedoms and provides for a parliamentary form of government.
Lebanon may face its first major constitutional crisis since its creation in 1920, following World War I in which the Ottoman Empire lost its Arab provinces to the Allied Forces. This page discusses the approaching crisis and provides links to related information.
Many Arabic-speaking countries in recent years have experienced a significant influx of refugees with Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan hosting the largest numbers of refugees. This report provides a general overview of the legal measures adopted by these four countries to regulate the status of refugees and the types of benefits they offer to refugees.
This report analyzes medical malpractice liability regulations in Canada, England and Wales, Germany, and India. While these countries approach the issue of medical liability differently, there are some commonalities in terms of scope and implementation procedures. The report analyzes the countries’ medical malpractice liability insurance programs, grounds for medical malpractice liability, types and amounts of damages awarded by the courts, and certain procedural details.
These two reports examine the military justice systems of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom. The first report, “Adjudication of Sexual Offenses,” addresses how sexual misconduct is treated within the military justice systems of Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, and the United Kingdom. Most of these countries incorporate independent elements and have moved towards more flexibility in the choice of civilian or military courts for adjudications. The second report, “France: Military Justice System,” provides a general overview of the military justice system in France, which aims to treat military personnel in the same manner as ordinary civilians with some exceptions.
This report discusses the features of the Modern Migration Policy and National Visa Acts in the Netherlands, both of which took effect in June 2013. The former focuses on strengthening sponsorship rules and accelerating immigration procedures, while the latter introduces new visa provisions. In addition, an amendment to the Aliens Decree 2000, effective in October 2012, makes other changes in Dutch immigration policy pertaining to restrictions on family reunification, the criminalization of illegal residence, and the strengthening of public order and national security.
This report provides information on the conduct of general elections in New Zealand. It includes discussion of the “mixed member proportional” electoral system, voter registration and eligibility rules, voting processes, the existence of separate electoral districts and an electoral role for Māori voters, campaign finance and advertising laws, and responsibilities for electoral administration and oversight.
In New Zealand, Māori claims regarding rights to “guardianship” of their cultural knowledge have been expressed in the context of the guarantees in the Treaty of Waitangi.
In preparation for the 2011 elections, Nigeria has made various changes to laws governing elections, mainly the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
This report examines some of the current legal provisions in Norwegian law that may apply in the Anders Breivik case and concludes with a look at some of the possible social outcomes that have been posited.
This report discusses the scope of liability of offshore oil facility operators for oil spills and the regulatory regime that monitors such facilities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Specifically, information on the governing constitutional principles, potential civil and criminal liabilities, insurance requirements, safety standards, and the role of regulatory bodies in the countries surveyed is provided.
These reports describe the data protection laws of the European Union (Part I) and of selected foreign countries (Part II). They describe the legal framework for the collection, use, and transfer of data, and examine whether existing laws are adequate to deal with online privacy in an era of rapid technological development and globalization.
Find information and analysis of the suspension and subsequent reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.
This page discusses the events leading up to the crisis in Pakistan following General Pervez Musharraf's resignation from the presidency in 2008, the election of Asif Ali Zardari less than a month later, and related issues. Links are provided to related topics.
On November 3, 2007, General Pervez Musharraf, then Chief of Army Staff and the President of Pakistan, issued a Proclamation of Emergency in Pakistan. This page presents an analysis of the constitutionality of the Proclamation, along with links to related topics.
The Law Library of Congress has digitized its collection of pre-1923 piracy trials. This historical collection of piracy trials is critical for understanding how the various nations of the world handled piracy issues before the year 1900.
Austria, France, Germany, India, Slovenia, and Switzerland are countries in which edelweiss, the alpine wildflower, grows and receives protection. This report uses the example of edelweiss, which is in danger of becoming extinct because of climate change, to illustrate how conservation laws are applied in the selected jurisdictions, the interplay between protection at the national and local levels, the complexity of the governing frameworks, and the differences in the extent of protection afforded in the various jurisdictions.
This report discusses the points-based selection processes used by Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom within the context of the immigration systems of these countries. The individual country surveys reveal that Australia operates a hybrid system for skilled migration that involves employer sponsorship and a points-based visa program that was revised in 2012. The UK’s points-based program, introduced in 2003, provides for five different immigrant tiers. Canada uses a points-based selection process for its Federal Skilled Workers Program, which is one of several programs within its “economic class” of immigration. The specific criteria considered within the points-based programs of the countries surveyed vary but can include such factors as the applicant’s age, educational background, language abilities, experience, employment arrangements, and general adaptability, among others. All of the countries surveyed appear to emphasize labor market needs in their current selection processes.
This report surveys the different legal approaches taken by twenty-one countries and the European Union in regulating the private possession of big cats. All the countries surveyed are members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Among them, China, India, Malaysia, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are tiger range countries where tigers still exist in the wild. China, India, and Russia were found to designate wild tigers as state property.
This report concerns laws and policies governing the return of indigenous remains and cultural items in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
This report discusses the role played by Islamic law in drafting the new Tunisian Constitution and passing domestic legislation following the Arab Spring civil uprisings. Heated contention characterized debates from February 2012 through early 2013 between Islamic political groups and secular movements over the role of Islamic law in Tunisia’s Constitution and domestic legislation, the prohibition of blasphemy in both the Constitution and the Penal Code, and the constitutional and legal rights of women. Ultimately, the Islamic political parties failed in their attempts to implement a stronger role for Islamic law as a result of fierce opposition from secular forces not only in the Constituent Assembly itself, but also in the streets of the country in the form of public protests.
This report reviews legal aspects of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and Russia’s recognition of Georgia’s separatist enclaves’ independence. The report includes an analysis of relevant aspects of international law and Russian domestic law, as well as an evaluation of Russia’s legal justification for its actions. The report also provides historic background of the conflict and commentaries on related laws.
On December 2, 2007, elections for the State Duma (lower house of the legislature) were held in Russia. For the first time in Russian history, all 450 parliamentary seats were divided among representatives of political parties elected by federal and regional party lists under a proportional electoral system. This page presents a report on the topic. (PDF, 61KB)
This page includes a series of reports summarizing recent developments in economic stimulus packages in selected foreign jurisdictions, such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
This report analyzes the legislative and regulatory framework surrounding sustainability criteria for biofuels and proposals for related studies in Australia, France, Germany, and Switzerland. The discussion covers taxation and grant incentive programs, quotas for the addition of biofuels, and European Union guidance on the topic while referencing the specific laws and regulations of the countries surveyed.
United Kingdom: Bribery Act 2010 - Anti-Corruption Legislation with Significant Jurisdictional Reach
This report discusses the enactment in the United Kingdom of the Bribery Act 2010, which replaces the old and fragmented legal structure where bribery was criminalized under the common law and the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889–1916. The objective of the new Act, which came into force on July 1, 2011, is to provide modern legislation dealing with the increasingly sophisticated, cross-border use of bribery and to make the prosecution of such crimes easier.
This page includes a discussion of how general elections are held in the United Kingdom; information on voting criteria, processes, and oversight; privacy concerns related to the electoral register; multilingual ballots; campaign financing; and the possibility of a "hung Parliament."
This page discusses the United Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to balance national security concerns and protection of civil liberties as it faces the issue of terrorism. Links are provided to related topics.
This page discusses the U.S. Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which will test the constitutionality of important elements of federal campaign finance legislation.
Assembled here are books, articles, and congressional testimony regarding separation of power issues in the United States: constitutional interpretation, executive privilege, military tribunals, national security whistleblowers, presidential inherent powers, presidential signing statements, second amendment, state secrets privilege, war powers, and, war powers resolution.
Law Library of Congress page on the Fourteenth Amendment and the history of the citizenship clause.
As the national debate on health care continues, state laws provide small-scale models of legislation that might be implemented on a larger scale. This page provides an overview of related legislation in Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont as well as links to state codes.
This page provides links to selected resources, nomination documents, and Web resources related to the nomination process.
This report describes the regulatory framework relating to wildlife trafficking and poaching in seven African jurisdictions: Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania. Included in the report are discussions of laws that criminalize poaching and trafficking in wildlife, the penalties imposed for such crimes, and the state institutions tasked with enforcing the laws.
Last Updated: 12/09/2013