Finding the Law - the Micro-States and Small Jurisdictions of Europe:

Andorra, Cyprus, Northern Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Vatican State; UK European dependencies: Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man; Faroe Islands and Greenland


By Andrew Grossman



Andrew Grossman is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served in Seoul, Abidjan, London, Tehran, Algiers and Geneva. He holds the degrees of B.A. in Economics (Clark), LL.B. (Columbia), M.A. in L.I.S. (University College London) and of Licencié en droit européen et international, Maître & Docteur en droit (Louvain) and is a member of the New York Bar. He lives in London, where he writes on private international law issues, especially in the fields of nationality, bankruptcy and tax. Among his publications are " Conflict of Laws in the Discharge of Debts in Bankruptcy", 5 Int’l Insolvency Rev. 1 (1996), " Nationality and the Unrecognised State " , 50 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 849 (2001), " Gender and National Inclusion " 2001-1 Law, Social Justice and Global Development and " ‘Islamic land’: Group Rights, National Identity and Law ", 3 UCLA J. Islamic & Near E.L. (2004). His current work in process is entitled "Conflicts in the Cross-border Enforcement of Tax Claims".


Published January/February 2015

(A thoroughly update to an article previously published on on October 1, 2001 and, as revised, on GlobaLex on February 2005)
Read the Update!


This article aims to provide an introduction to finding the sources of primary and secondary law for the "small jurisdictions" of Europe: the distinct European political entities having a population under one million persons. We have omitted three Eastern European sub-jurisdictions included in the first edition of this study (Republika Srpska, Kosovo and Transnistria) that appeared in an addendum to the original survey, but which exceed our population threshold. We have not considered the special status of non-sovereign enclaves with particular special tax concessions trans-border legal situations, including Campione d’Italia , Buesingen , Llívia , and Baarle . Also omitted are Ceuta , Melilla (enclaves sometimes called migration " gateways to Europe ") and other autonomous nearby but non-European territories of European states. On the other hand, we have included the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which have autonomous government and legal systems and are outside the European Union, plus Iceland, which did not appear in the original article. Suggested readings have been added to the listings for each jurisdiction based on their value to research in comparative law, and many citations and links to cited cases and works have been added. More than the original article it replaces, this version concentrates on the law and practice in those sectors that distinguish particular micro-states as legal and economic entities: bank secrecy, flexibility in trust management, tax sparing, asset protection, shipping, and political and juridical stability.


No attempt has been made to make the country sections entirely parallel. The first priority has been to identify online and print sources of primary law. Beyond that, secondary sources and commentary are provided when they are known to the author and when it is believed a bibliography would be difficult to develop by simple query on one of the OPACs listed below. Nordic, NATO and similar multilateral documents and links are generally listed only once, on the assumption that a reader interested in, say, the Faroe Islands will read through the Greenland and Iceland sections as well. All links were visited during the December 2014. Some links, especially links to internal pages and those intended for student downloads, may have limited life spans . [i]



Country or Area

Approx. Population [ii]



Cyprus (Republic) [iii]

865,900 [iv]

Northern Cyprus [v]


Faroe Islands
















San Marino


Vatican State [vi]








Isle of Man





The micro-states and juridical-autonomous small jurisdictions of Europe owe their existence to historical anomalies; vested interests seem to have assured their survival. Of the 13 jurisdictions covered, only nine possess internationally recognized sovereignty. At least in the case of North Cyprus, lack of such recognition may impede foreign courts from giving force to its administrative and juridical acts and recognition to the status of inhabitants abroad except insofar as a "subordinate level of government theory" [vii] or a pragmatic or sympathetic legal approach intervenes. For this reason, conflict of laws and foreign relations law need to be reviewed. In the United States, the case law on alienage jurisdiction has sometimes yielded curious results with respect to the bringing of cases by or against nationals of non-sovereign political entities in federal court; thus: Matimak Trading Co. v. Khalily , 118 F3d 76 (2d Cir 1997), cert. denied 522 U.S. 1091 (1998) (Hong Kong, pre-reversion; holding abrogated by JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Traffic Stream (BVI) Infrastructure Ltd , 536 U.S. 88 (2002). The access to U.S. courts of unrecognized states and territories and their nationals (such as North Cyprus) remains problematic. Inhabitants of breakaway provinces, including Transnistria and perhaps Kosovo, may face similar difficulties to the degree that their nationality laws recognize as citizens persons who are excluded as such under the laws of the recognized state. Such territories also raise interesting questions of treaty law and status with respect to international organizations, and the researcher may wish to look at relevant data sources. Many micro-states have powerful advocates with access to the government and legislature of a nearby, protecting or sovereign power; the dynamics of tax-law legislation [viii] and the international-law principle of sovereign equality [ix] are important factors behind their viability.


The economically-active jurisdictions covered depend on flight capital, entity hosting, trusts, shipping and tax advantages or some combination of these for their economic survival The issues have been extensively debated in international organizations and discussed in the legal literature. Eight of the sovereign states reviewed here (i.e, excluding the Holy See) are members of the Council of Europe. In addition, because they are associated in varying degrees to the European Union, EU law may need to be reviewed in relation to issues concerning the non-sovereign European UK territories, plus at least Malta and Cyprus. Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar (and other UK dependencies) are within of the British Commonwealth [x] , which can have particular relevance to the application of UK tax and immigration law . See the British Nationality Act 1981 , the Immigration Act 1971 , and the Immigration Act 1988 ; for the history of British nationality, see Clive Parry, British Nationality Law and the Law of Naturalisation (1954).


Luxembourg is a member state of the European Union and is the seat of the European Court of Justice; the Republic of Cyprus and Malta became EU member states on May 1, 2004. The legal system of Andorra was discussed in a 1970 article in the American Journal of Legal History; it has a number of arrangements with the European Union . Liechtenstein and Iceland are member states of the European Economic Area. With respect to Liechtenstein , Monaco , San Marino and the Vatican , relationships with the respective "protecting" powers (France, Spain, Switzerland and Italy), and with the European Union, are governed by treaties which may need to be examined; some of these treaties are cited below. Iceland is a member of the Nordic Council . The Iceland Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a Web page on Icelandic cooperation with other Nordic countries. See also the European Commission page on the use of the euro outside the euro area .


The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has a functioning body of laws and legal system, but as it is recognized de jure only by Turkey; its inhabitants may be treated by other countries as Cypriots, Turks or stateless, depending upon facts and circumstances in each case. Turkish law may apply for certain transactions: the shipping, banking and financial, postal and communications systems are integrated with those of Turkey.


Finding print sources of primary law


Where available and relevant, the name and URL (or street address) is provided of one or more major national law library(ies). In addition, the laws of many (but not all) the jurisdictions are available for consultation at major repositories of foreign law, including:

•         Swiss Institute of Comparative Law , Lausanne

•         Bodleian Law Library , Oxford

•         Los Angeles County Law Library

•         European Commission Library (ECLAS) , Brussels

•         Institute of Advanced Legal Studies , London

•         Max-Planck-Institut for Comparative Law , Hamburg

•         Peace Palace Library , The Hague.

•         The United Nations Library , Geneva

•         Center for Research Libraries , Chicago


In the United States, the Center for Research Libraries has undertaken historical collection of foreign official gazettes (shelf code: FOG). Other recommended sources of official gazettes are the

•         Law Library of Congress

•         Dag Hammarskjold Library (Annotated list of holdings as of 1986: Part I ; Part II )

•         Harvard Law Library


Especially for historical legal materials, researchers may also wish to consult:

•         RLIN

•         O CLC

•         COPAC

•         FLARE

•         Karlsruhe Virtual Catalogue

•         Bibliothèque nationale de France


Most British Library historical holdings of official gazettes are not now reflected in the British Library OPAC ; they are recorded in card file in the Science, Technology and Business Reading Rooms. Current issues are more likely to be found in the UK at

•         IALS

•         British Library of Political & Economic Science at LSE and

•         Bodleian

also see

•         Government gazettes online


For non-UK European materials:

•         The Swiss Institute of Comparative Law

•         Max-Planck-Institut


Present and former UK dependencies

•         Institute of Commonwealth Studies

•         Institute of Historical Research

•         British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service

•         British Library

•         National Archives


Sources of law on particular subjects


The Council of Europe requires its member states to provide translations and summaries of various laws (in English or French translation), and researchers may contact the relevant CoE office for details and, in some cases, copies of the resulting work product. The CoE site is an important source of primary and secondary law. Other international organizations which may be sources of legal materials are:

•         WIPO

•         UNHCR (including REF-WORLD )

•         WTO

•         IBFD

•         ILO (including NORMLEX )

•         IMO

•         Interights

•         UNIDROIT , material relating to unification of law.

•         EURLex (Official source of European Union law)

•         European Union Topical Index

•         Asser Institute, European Environmental Law Network

•         Internet Business Law Services, Internet Law



Immigration: Schengen Area issues

•         Visas

•         European Commission reports on the state of the Schengen Area

•         " Strengthening the Schengen Area "

•         Legal documents concerning the Schengen Area


Conflict of laws rules


The common-law jurisdictions reviewed will follow, generally Dicey & Morris on the Conflict of Laws , now in 13th edition (2000). However, where European Union law, specifically the Brussels and Lugano rules, do not apply, the common law rules last set out and annotated in the 11th edition (1987), superseded in England, should be considered.


For civil law jurisdictions, finding guidance is more complex in the absence of a specific statute. Such statutes and/or treatises dealing with the subject on a national scope are included in the descriptions of each jurisdiction. See also the paper prepared for Seminar für Internationales Privatrecht, Wirtschaftsrecht und Verfahrensrecht (MS Word, 64 kb) including a list of statutes on page 15). Batiffol & Lagarde , Droit international privé ( 7th ed. 1984, 8th ed. 1993) is a good starting point for researching civil-law practice generally. On Brussels and Lugano, see Rodrigo Rodriguez, Die Revision des Brüssels und Lugano-Übereinkommens im Kontext der Europäisierung von IPR und IZPR (PDF, 452 kb) (2002).


See also:

Hague Conference on Private International Law and Symeon Symeonides, Private International Law at the End of the 20th Century, Progress or Regress? (Kluwer Law/Aspen 2000)

EU Law and Private International Law: The Interrelationship in Contractual Obligations (Brill 2012)

European Code on Private International Law (European Parliament 2013) (PDF 325 kb.)


Note: This is a compilation of sources of the law based on personal visits to all the jurisdictions and national libraries listed (except for Iceland and Malta), and on consultation with law librarians. Small countries have come to appreciate that easy access to their law is an important element of commercial prestige and recognition and further development in collections of digital information can be expected. While we have concentrated upon online resources, some print resources are listed, especially for those jurisdictions that are largely ignored by many major libraries.


General Sources, Common to More than One of the Jurisdictions under Study


European integration

•         European Union, treaties and constitution

•         Jean Monnet Programme

•         Werner Schroeder, European Union and Communities (Jean Monnet Program, Feb. 2003) (addressing the distinction and blurred frontier between Union and Communities) (RTF, 7 pp.)

•         Council of Europe links to legal information databases

•         European Union Mission to the U.S.A.: discussion and links, member state offshore dependencies

•         Hague Conference on Private International Law : Cyprus and Malta are members

•         European Union EUR-LEX site

•         Europa SCADPlus (summary of EU legislation, by subject)

•         European Court of Justice site

•         European law explanatory site

•         European Judicial Network

•         European Free Trade Area site

•         EFTA Court

and see

·          UC Berkeley Library, European Government Information

•         University of Exeter European Information links


International organizations

•         International Maritime Organization

•         International Organization for Migration

•         UN High Commissioner for Refugees


Legal databases

•         Association des Cours Constitutionnelles databank

•         Conference of European Constitutional Courts

•         Cultural property laws, conventions and agreements

•         Institut français de micropatrologie as of Aug. 26, 2004, archived 2009; this link valid Dec. 2014 ; and search engine list of micronations references

•         Heafey Law Library Intellectual property law Internet Resources

• : UN Human Rights Treaties

•         U.S. Social Security Administration, Social Security Programs Around the World

•         Selected judgments of various international tribunals

•         Transparency International (integrity in government)

•         U.S. Department of State human rights reports

•         U.S. Department of State Freedom of Information Act pages (include post reports, Foreign Affairs Manual instructions regarding visas, availability of birth, death, marriage, military, police and other documents).


Jus commune ( droit commun , law based on Roman law, canon law, and the interpretations of glossators and commentators and common to Europe at the beginning of the Renaissance. Cf. common law ):

•         P edro A. Malavet, The Reception of the Jus Commune in Europe (search engine list)

•         Société de Législation Comparée, Pensée juridique française et harmonisation européenne du droit (PDF 68 kb)

•         Origins in canon law: Stéphane Boiron & Franck Roumy, Chronique d’histoire du droit canonique ( archived PDF copy )

•         A search-engine and Index to Legal Periodicals search on "jus commune" and "ius commune" will yield other scholarly studies of the origins of law in Andorra and San Marino and similar jurisdictions.

•         George Mason University links to primary sources in Western European History


•           Official government Web sites, by country


European integration


Luxembourg (and since May 1, 2004 Cyprus and Malta) are member states of the European Union; Liechtenstein and Iceland are members of the European Economic Area. Gibraltar is within the EU for some purposes, including free movement of persons. It is not within the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or its customs union. This is stated in the UK Treaty of Accession (OJEC 1972 L-73/201). However, that agreement is otherwise unclear on the subject and there is limited law on point; so the extent that EU law on free movement of goods applies remains arguable. The ECJ decision of Sept. 23, 2003 in case C-30/01, Commission v. United Kingdom (non-implementation of directives on dangerous chemical substances, noise emission, packaging waste and genetically-modified organisms) discusses the subject in some depth. On immigration issues, see Regina v. Director of Labour and Social Security, ex parte Amimi Mohamed , [1992] 3 C.M.L.R. 481 (Sup. Ct. Gib.; application of EEC-Morocco cooperation agreement). A history of financial scandals including the Barlow-Clowes affair ( Regina v. Clowes , [1994] 2 All E.R. 316 (C.A. Crim.)) has called attention to the nature of financial services regulation. The Lloyd’s of London cases illustrate the dynamics of pre-empting, out of comity, the "interests" and rules of the investor’s jurisdiction by those of the securities-issuing jurisdiction [xi] . The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are subject to certain EU laws; the extent of this is open to some debate; see:

•         Department of Health and Social Security v. Barr and Montrose Holdings Limited , [1991] ECR I-4379

•         Rui Alberto Pereira Roque v. Lieutenant Governor of Jersey , [1998] E.C.R. I-4607

•         Course Outline, Jersey law , 2013-14

Other references are listed in the relevant country outlines, below.


With respect to EEA member states, note particularly the acquis regarding the relationship with member states of the EU (PDF, 256 kb) and the Lugano Convention [xii] on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.


Guides to finding European Union law include

•         Marylin J. Raisch, Electronic Resource Guide, European Union Law (American Society of International Law 2014) (PDF, 326 kb) ( archived copy )

Duncan E. Alford, Update: European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User’s Guide (GlobaLex 2011) and the linked original 2005 article

•         Sheffield University's Useful Web Sites for the European Union

The leading print text is Trevor C. Hartley, The Foundations of European Union Law (8th ed. 2014).


The European Free Trade Area is comprised of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein; see the Web site for details of the Secretariat, Surveillance Authority and Court, and the EFTA Court site for case reports and legal texts. The European Economic Area includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.


Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican (among the jurisdictions under study) are part of the European Central Bank (euro) currency union. See:

•         Legal Documents relating to the European Central Bank

•         Opinion of ECB relating to the Vatican State (PDF, 86.9 kb)

•         Monetary Agreement between the Italian Republic, on behalf of the European Community, and the Vatican City State and, on its behalf, the Holy See (PDF, 34.8 kb)

•         Agreements on monetary relations (Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican)

•         Commission document on euro coins issued pursuant to Council Regulations EC No 974/98 & 975/98 (PDF, 675 kb)

•         Monetary and Exchange Rate Agreements between the European Community and Third Countries (Sept. 2006)


A search of EUR-LEX will yield a substantial number of documents and communications on the subject, such as the written parliamentary question of Daniel Féret, Oct. 10, 1998 (Note that the euro is the de facto currency of the successor states of Yugoslavia (via currency boards and euro notes in circulation) and of the CFA ( BCEAO Web site ), the CFP ( IEOM Web site ) zones and other French Overseas Territories and Departments with linked currencies; and that the euro currency provisions constitute part of the acquis [xiii] and the new member states of the EU will be required to adopt the currency in due course). As to the history of the European monetary system, see

•         Web site of the Belgian Ministry of the French community

•         " A Balkan euro zone: still a lot of funny money ", The Economist , v. 362, Jan. 10, 2002, at p. 46

  •        European Commission History of European monetary union

•         " The Eastward Enlargement of the Euro Zone " and

•         other papers published at the Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence .

•         External Aspects of Economic and Monetary Union (RePEc, Research Papers in Economics)

•         Karis Muller, " European Monetary Union in Africa " (PDF, 110 kb)

•         EC Treaty: Protocol No. 27 (French prerogative in monetary matters relating to its overseas territories, 1992)


All the jurisdictions considered except North Cyprus and the Vatican are member states (or subordinate entities of member states) of the Council of Europe ; certain European Court of Human Rights cases (see below) have treated Turkey (a signatory state) as responsible for some acts of the North Cyprus administration. The CoE site includes a searchable database of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.


Taxation and finance


Much of the attractiveness of the micro-states derives from their tax position. The importance of tax law and policy to the European micro-states is apparent from the European Union policy statements; thus, an article by EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein, published Feb. 14, 2003, " Tax reforms and European and international co-ordination of taxation: the main issues ", and the European Commission Web page " EU Tax Policy Strategy " . The challenge for the micro-states is that their economic viability may depend upon their ability to serve as safe havens and secure "vectors" for capital. Online tax law resources (fee based; but larger university law libraries are likely to subscribe to one or more) include:

•         International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation

•         IBFD European Tax Treaties Database

•         Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

•         Tax Analysts

•         Thomson Reuters RIA and WG&L

•         Wolters Kluwer CCH

•         GlobaLex Research Guide on International Tax Law by Christopher C. Dykes

•         Duncan Campbell, " Havens that have become a tax on the world's poor ", The Guardian , Sept. 21, 2004, p. 14

•         Congressional Research Service, Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

•         OECD: List of Uncooperative Tax Havens

•         OECD: " Harmful Tax Competition, An Emerging Global Issue " ( archived copy ) (PDF, 226 kb.)


Although the US Treasury has seemingly retreated from its prior support of the OECD project against tax havens [xiv] , the OECD has continued its project with European Union support, and its archives may be a source of useful material. The US and UK tax authorities are no less active in the pursuit of holders of unreported offshore accounts:

•         " Now Inland Revenue is Getting Serious ", Daily Telegraph , Nov. 17, 2003 ( archived copy )


FATCA , the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and the resulting U.S. disclosure agreements (IGAs; link is to a KPMG 2014 update) with many countries and registration by foreign financial services providers, and the European Union Savings Directive are among recent initiatives that have seriously impacted economics and banking in offshore jurisdictions, including most of the countries and territories under review here. The United States claims an exorbitant jurisdiction to tax, including its citizens by descent who may never have been documented as such, never visited the United States, and never had any assets or income based there. Current (2014) draft revisions to tax and extradition treaties could extend the reach of the U.S. authorities and generate conflict with treaty partner countries, as has already occurred with respect to terrorism-based extradition provisions when used to extradite British citizens accused of cyber- and financial crimes . To some extent tax crimes have already been assimilated to common-law fraud and money laundering, enabling extradition under existing law, but new provisions would eliminate the dual criminality rule , already seen with respect to the European Arrest Warrant for listed offenses.


•         From the EU Savings Directive to the US FATCA, Taxing Cross Border Savings Income (M. Gérard and L. Granelli)


Tax havens remain a means of reducing corporate and trust taxation, however, subject to rules relating to "shadow directors" (effective control); see

•         R. v. Dimsey , [2001] U.K.H.L. 46

•         R. v. Allen , [2001] U.K.H.L. 45.

•         R. v. Inland Revenue Comm’rs, ex parte Lorimer , [2000] S.T.C. 751 (beneficial ownership and legal privilege)


Conflict in tax matters with micro-states, and offshore jurisdictions generally, may result not only from contrived jurisdiction through as trusts and legal entities but from facts, and occasionally doubt, in matters of domicile, residence, ordinary residence, habitual residence and nationality. Dual residence may give rise to anomalies as well: Caron v. The Queen , Docket No. 95-4210-IT-I (Can. Tax. Ct. 1998) (French and Canadian residence; taxpayer employed in France, family resident in Quebec).


On the matter of offshore incorporation of trading entities (corporate inversions, expatriation) as a tax sparing measure, see:

•         CRS Report for Congress, " Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues " (PDF, 305 kb) (Sept. 25, 2014)

•         Thomas L. Hungerford, " Policy Responses to Corporate Inversions " (Sept. 8, 2014)

•         Search engine results for corporate inversions tax policy implications

•         GAO, Internal Revenue Service: Challenges Remain in Combating Abusive Tax Schemes , Report GAO-04-50, November 19, 2003 (PDF, 356 kb)

•         GAO, " Information on Federal Contractors That Are Incorporated Offshore ", Report GAO-03-194R (PDF, 104 kb) .


As the New Zealand Winebox case showed (in that case in connection with the Cook Islands) it is not unknown for a foreign sovereign government to be complicit in a tax evasion scheme:

•         Controller and Auditor-General v. Davison , [1996] 2 N.Z.L.R. 278

•         Controller and Auditor-General v. Davison , [1996] N.Z.A.R. 145

•         Peters v. Davison , [1998] N.Z.A.R. 309

•         Peters v. Davison , [1999] 2 N.Z.L.R. 164

•         Peters v. Davison , [1999] 3 N.Z.L.R. 744.

•         Michael Byers, Introductory Note , 36 I.L.M. 721 (1997)


There is a general concern and distrust in relation to offshore jurisdictions where bank secrecy and lack of surveillance make tracing of funds difficult and facilitates not only tax evasion but organized crime; the essence of money laundering. See Jack A. Blum et al., Financial Havens, Bank Secrecy and Money Laundering , United Nations Global Programme Against Money Laundering, Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (1998?) (PDF, 556 kb). The Internal Revenue Service , Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and European Commission Web sites have an extensive coverage of money laundering crimes and Transparency International has published a report, has a page of links entitled " Anti-Money Laundering: Tougher Oversight Required " (Dec. 12, 2014). An update under way of this writer's 2006 GlobaLex article on laws relating to terrorism will include a discussion of the expansion of the scope of anti-terrorism legislation and practice to include many financial crimes.


There is also a substantial economic literature on tax evasion and tax competition, e.g., Eckhard Janeba and Wolfgang Peters, " Tax Evasion, Tax Competition and the Gains from Nondiscrimination: The Case of Interest Taxation in Europe " 109 Econ. J. 93 (1999) (PDF, 383 kb). Two bibliographic and work-in-progress databases for law-and-economics generally are:

•         University of Connecticut RePEc

•         University of Pittsburgh JURIST


Readers with an interest in tax matters may wish to research the Internal Revenue Service site concerning the Qualified Intermediary requirements for overseas financial institutions.


Print resources, some also available online

•         Tax Notes International

•         Tax Laws of the World (also partly online for subscribers)

•         European Taxation published by the IBFD and also indexed online through Dow Jones and Westlaw (as EUROTAX)

•         Thomas Azzara, Tax Havens of the World and a search engine query on the same subject

•         Juris-classeur de droit fiscal international (Paris: Editions Techniques, loose-leaf, 1962- )

•         International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, loose-leaf series on taxation of corporations, companies and "patents, royalties, dividends and interest" in Europe

•         Jean Schaffner, Droit fiscal international , Editions Promoculture, Luxembourg


A number of private firms and organizations offer tax data, although the reader will need to judge for him- or herself the reliability of the information provider:

•         International Tax Planning Association

• and

•         Tax and Accounting Sites Directory

•         Taxation Web

•         Confédération fiscale européenne

•         Offshore Institute


Additional sources

•         The Bora Laskin Law Library, University of Toronto , has a page of law-related Internet tax sources.

•         World Trade Organization ( Cyprus , Iceland , Liechtenstein , Luxembourg and Malta are members)

•         European Patent Office


Shipping and the Sea


Shipping and open registries (flags of convenience)

•         UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Dec. 10, 1982)

•         Global Policy Forum

•         International Transport Workers Federation

•         European Parliament document on flags of convenience in the fisheries sector (PDF, 22.7 kb)

•         UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea: G-8 Action Plan on marine environment and tanker safety

•         European Union legislative summary:   Oceans and Law of the Sea

•         FAO " Rome Declaration " (March 1999)

•         FAO Internet resources, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Policy issues


A few private organizations are concerned with policy matters in relation to the states under review or with democracy or anti-corruption generally; an Internet search under " micro-states", "microstates" and "mini-states " should yield additional hits.

•         Global Policy Forum , New York

•         Transparency International (2003 Report discusses, among countries covered here, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg)

•         Council on Foreign Relations (Note particularly the report of a 2001 conference on economics and democracy; albeit mostly unrated, it is interesting to note the micro-states in context)


A list of real and imagined micro-states was developed by the late Professor Fabrice O’Driscoll, author of " Ils ne siègent pas à l'ONU ". The most prominent of these in case law and law review articles has been Sealand :

•         In re Duchy of Sealand , case 9K2565/77, Admin. Court of Cologne, May 3, 1978, DVBl. , 1978, p. 510, Fontes Iuris Gentium , Ser. A, sect. II, Tom. 8, 1976-80, p. 312, 80 I.L.R. 683

•         Frank B. Arenas, "Cyberspace Jurisdiction and the Implications of Sealand", 88 Iowa L. Rev. 1165 (2003)

•         Trevor A. Dennis, " The Principality of Sealand: Nation Building by Individuals ", 10 Tulsa J, Comp & Intl’l L. 261 (2002) (includes many references on sovereignty, non-recognition, international law)

•         Samuel Pyeatt Menafee, "‘Republics of the Reefs’, Nation-Building on the Continental Shelf and in the World’s Oceans’, 25 Cal. W. Int. L.J. 81 (1994)

•         Simson Garfinkel, " Welcome to Sealand. Now Bugger Off ", Wired , July 2000


See, in general: François Taglioni, " Insularity, Political Status and Small Insular Spaces " (PDF 884 kb) ( archived here )

A private anti-fraud project, the "Microfreedom Index" links to various micr0-state and sovereignty efforts


Some of the matters raised by Sealand are familiar to those who know the history of Radio Caroline , now updated by new developments in intellectual property, communications and data storage and handling. The question of micro-states is considered generally in Jorri C. Duursma’s book Fragmentation and the International Relations of Micro-states (Cambridge University Press 1996; reviewed at 9 Eur. J. Int’l L. 763 (1998) and 12 Am. U. J. Int’l J.L. & Pol’y 629 (1997)). It is extensively discussed in books such as James Crawford, The Creation of New States (1979) and Thomas D. Grant, The Recognition of States: Law and Practice in Debate and Evolution (1999), and in many law review articles. A brief summary of the issues appears on the Swiss Government web site. The economic aspect is discussed in Armstrong & Reed, " Western European micro-states and EU autonomous regions: the advantages of size and sovereignty ", 23 World Devel. 1229 (1995) [xv] .


A Web search on "offshore" will yield, in addition to the inevitable scams and tax-evasion schemes, a number of hints for further research on company, LLC, trust and tax law. The OECD and the European Union in particular have undertaken to pressure these micro-states, and other jurisdictions which they consider to be tax havens and money-laundering venues, to tighten their laws and to cooperate in providing banking information to foreign law-enforcement agencies. (Compare the issue of tax competition within the EU, European Parliament, Working Paper ECON-105 , including especially Luxembourg; and see Akiko Hishikawa, " The Death of Tax Havens? ", 15 B.C. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 389 (2002); for a list of European Parliament economic papers see this link .)


Pathfinders, bibliographic references and general sources of law online

(in random order)


•         Saarbrücken Law Web Saarbrücken

•         Principles, Definitions and Model Rules of European Private Law , Christian von Bar, Eric Clive & Hans Schulte-Nölke, eds.

•         Exeter University, European private law homepage

•         GLIN , the Library of Congress-supported database. The search facility and summaries of laws are freely accessible; access to the full text of laws is restricted to participating and sponsoring organizations and governments.

•         University of Houston Law Library Locating Key Foreign & International Law Sources

•         Columbia Law School Arthur W. Diamond Law Library Finding Foreign Law Resources on the Internet

•         Harvard Law School Library Research Guides

•         Washington  University School of Law Library, Foreign Law Research

         Charlotte School of Law A-Z Listing of Electronic Resources

•         Mirela Roznovschi, NYU Law Library, LLRX Guide to European Legal Databases (2000)

•         Mirela Roznovschi, Guide to Foreign and International Legal Databases

•         Lyonette Louis-Jacques, University of Chicago Law Library, Legal Research on International Issues Using the Internet

           GlobaLex International, Foreign and Comparative Law Research tools

•         Duke University, Research Guide to Foreign and Comparative Law

•         Law Library of Congress, Guide to Law Online and their online sources of law

•         WORLDLII World Law Index

•         The Maritime Law Association of the United States, Web Links to sources of admiralty and maritime law

•         Infotrieve (formerly PUBLIST ) information retrieval service

•         Marci Hoffman, Revised Guide to International Trade Law Sources on the Internet (LLRX 2002)

         Pace University CISG Database, Related Links

         JSTOR , by subscription or accessible through many university and public libraries, database includes many law reviews

         National libraries of the world


Cases of foreign and international interest may be reported in the International Law Reports . has a number of research guides, both by country and by subject. (Because of the short life span of Web pages, readers confronted with a "404 Not Found" message or an obsolete page should run a search engine query using appropriate key words.)


Other sources of laws of the jurisdictions under review, by type


Print compilations of law and doctrine include:

•         Commercial Laws of the World ("Published for members of the Foreign Tax Law Association" (Ormond Beach, FL)

•         International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (by subject and by jurisdiction) (Kluwer), scholarly in approach, available in most major university law libraries

•                Trademark Practice Throughout the World (Intellectual Property Library)

•                B. Singer, Trade Mark Laws of the World and Unfair Trade (1997)

•                Martindale-Hubbell Law Digest




•         University of Michigan

•         Hein Online World Constitutions Illustrated (subscription service, accessible at many university libraries around the world)



•         Nationality l aws (not all the linked laws are up to date)

•         " Birthright citizenship " (paper submitted by this writer to the Council of Europe Conference on Nationality and the Child, Oct. 11-12, 2004)


Arbitration Law:


Banking Laws

•         World Bank/IMF (Global Banking Law Database; none of the jurisdictions under review is included in the database as of the date of writing)

•         New York University Center for the Study of Financial Institutions (formerly Center for the Study of Central Banks)


Insurance Law: see European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law and the EU insurance and pension directives , which have been influential throughout Europe, well beyond EU frontiers. (See also the EU report on the status of implementation in accession countries including Cyprus and Malta (PDF, 62 kb).)


The Bora Laskin Law Library and University of York (among other law faculty sites ) have links to other legal sites, by topic. Also see Leuven Centre for a Common Law of Europe . The Jacob Burns Law Library at George Washington University has an Annotated Guide to Selected International/Foreign Law Internet Resources (PDF, 216 kb) that lists numerous links to foreign laws collected by topic. (Tip: if accessed as a Google cache file , the links within the GWU document become active and may be clicked on to reach the desired URL.)


A number of private sites collect laws and links to statutes on women’s rights, same-sex partnership, gaming, sports and hobbies of various kinds, the environment, animal welfare and other interest groups. These can be found with any search engine.


Orthography and digitization – non-standard characters


There may be problems in displaying, transcribing and printing Icelandic text with non-Icelandic Macs (especially), PCs, word processors and browsers. Most PCs include modern (but not multi-diacritical (PDF 87.7 kb)) Greek, Cyrillic, Turkish and Slavic fonts. Most Macs, except those sold in the relevant country, do not. As for Icelandic, specifically the letters Đ, ð (eth) and Þ, þ (thorn) in upper and lower case, see:

•         HTML document character set

•         Thorn and eth: how to get them right

Modern laws published or reprinted in Greece and Cyprus use modern fonts ; when photoprinted from pre-1980s official gazettes, however, they will be in old fonts and occasionally isolated old characters appear in modern transcriptions of or citations to old laws. Neither PCs nor Macs will display or print the "lightning bolt" koppa (PDF 346 kb), used, for example, on one occasion in the Greek nationality code in referring to a prior law. This can be dealt with, if crudely, by a workaround: inserting a drawn or copied mini-picture at the character’s location in a document or Web page. Another workaround is to transmit files that must be read in a multi-platform environment as a PDF file with fonts embedded using Adobe Acrobat software . Some versions of Microsoft Office have this capability.


The micro-states and small jurisdictions of Europe

(in alphabetical order; United Kingdom offshore jurisdictions are listed together last)


Our visits to national and parliamentary libraries in the jurisdictions under review, substantive research and extensive Web and OPAC searches yielded the sources shown below, by country and territory.




The Andorra Constitution is online at several locations in English translation.


The primary source of law is the official gazette, Butlletí Oficial del Principat d’Andorra , published by Butlletí Oficial, Av. Santa Coloma, 91, Andorra la Vella, Tel. +376 861 400, Fax +376 864 300. The official gazette is available online. Since 1995 it has also been published and sold in CD-ROM format.


It and other Andorran legal resources can be consulted at the Biblioteca Nacional in Andorra la Vella. While not legally trained, the staff is helpful and multi-lingual. Researchers might also consult the law library at the University of Barcelona . A search on the Catálogo colectivo de las universidades de Cataluña under various permutations of "Andorra" and "dret" or "derecho" yielded a number of works, particularly on constitutional law. For collections from a French perspective, the researcher might search (under "Andorre" and "droit") on the OPAC of one of the major French university collections, such as SCD Paris X Nanterre , or the Bibliothèque nationale de France . Except for treaty documents Andorran legal materials are almost entirely drafted in Catalan .


Catalan (i.e., Andorran customary) law: codification, Compilación del derecho civil especial de Cataluña , Law 40/1960 of July 21, 1960 ( 1960 Boletín oficial del estado 10,215); and see, regarding inheritance and succession, Tarragona i Coromina, Miquel, com. art. 123, in Lluís Jou Mirabent (ed.), Comentarios al Código de Sucesiones de Cataluña , v. I, & Disposición transitoria , art. 3 of Law 40/1960, v. II (1994)


As for the Andorran court system, Reynolds and Flores ( Foreign Law Guide ) implicitly underline the frailty of Andorran sovereignty and the democratic deficit: "Just as legislative and governmental power in Andorra is bifurcated, so is the court system. One of the courts is a local court of first instance known as the Batlle (apparently derived from the same root as the English bailiff), whose judges are nominated by both co-princes (the litigants may choose either the French or episcopal court). The same judges also sit in Andorra in an appellate capacity. Final appeals are either to the Tribunal Superieur de Perpignan in France, a chamber of the Tribunal de Grand Instance de Perpignan, where French judges interpret and apply Andorran law, or to the clerical counterpart in Urgell, the Tribunal Superior de la Mitra para el Principado de Andorra. Criminal matters are handled locally by the Corts, constituted as the two veguers and other elected judges." This is discussed in the European Court of Human Rights case Drozd and Janousek v. France and Spain , (1992, A/240) 14 E.H.R.R. 745 (1992) or WORLDLII summary . The nature of the legal system, encompassing French Napoleonic and Spanish clerical, arguably Canonic, law, means that the philosophic and juristic understanding of the lawyer may play a greater role than black-letter law in the outcome of litigation. The outcome of the current European Court of Human Rights case, Pla and Puncernau v. Andorra (application No. 69498/01) may bring this little-understood quality of Andorran law to outside scrutiny.


Treaty references:

•         Provisions for circulation and establishment among France, Spain and Andorra ( another copy )

•         French National Assembly report

•         Decision No. 1/2003 of the EC-Andorra Joint Committee of Sept. 3, 2003 relating to the customs union ( archived copy ) (PDF, 196 kb)

•         EU Customs Unions and Preferential Arrangements


Private international law

•         Ramón Viñas Farré, Dret Internacional Prviat del Principat d’Andorra (Marcial Pons 2002)


Human Rights

•         Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Andorra report

•         State Department Human Rights Report on Andorra (2013) (for later reports, check the State Department Human Rights Country Reports page)

•         Council of Europe report by Alvaro Gil-Robles (PDF, 38 kb) (2001)


Online sources (in approximate order of relevance) include:

•         Consell General Principat d’Andorra (the two co-princes are the Prefect of the Departement des Pyrenées Orientales in Perpignan and the Vicar General of the Diocese of Urgell in Cataluñia)

•         Govern d’Andorra, Notícies

•         Copríncep Francés

•         Tribunal Constitucional d'Andorra "

•         Financial system

•         Andorra Customs and Excise

•         Directory of government offices (as of 2001, courtesy of Gunnar Anzinger)

•         Catalan language issues

•         Transport and other issues

•         Social Security


Cardiff University Country Information Guide


Compilations and translations include:

•         Recopilació: ordinacions, decrets, acords, avisos, lleis, reglaments del M.I. Consell General, M.I. Govern, I Jurisprudència de les M.I. Delegacions Permanents, 1866-1988, Andorra Govern, Conselleria de Serveis Públics

•         Manuel Digest , Antoni Fiter i Rossell (1987), Consell General de les Valls d’Andorra

(transcription of volume first published in 1748)

•         J. Bartemeu i Cassany (ed.), L’Estat Andorra. Recull de textos legislatius i constitucionals d’Andorra. (Andorra, Casal i Vall, 1977)

•         N. Marqués (ed.), Lleis y resolucions dels Coprínceps i del seus Delegats, 1900–1979. (Andorra, Casal i Vall, 1979)

•         A. Sabater i Tomás, Legislació civil (Andorra la Vella, Erosa, 1981)

•         A. Sabater i Tomás, Legislació penal (Andorra la Vella, Erosa, 1982)

•         A. Sabater i Tomás (ed.), Estudios recopilados de legislación y jurisprudencia correspondientes al derecho civil del principado de Andorra (Barcelona, Colegio de Notarios de Barcelona, 1986)


Compilations of court decisions with commentary:

•         Tribunal Constitucional, Secretaria General, Jurisprudència Constitucional , series, Edita: Tribunal Constitucional del Principat d’Andorra, Impremta Solber

•         C. Obiols i Taberner, Jurisprudéncia civil andorrana: Jutjat d’apellaciones, 1945–1966. (Andorra, Casal i Vall, 1969)

•         Paul Ourliac. La jurisprudence civile d’Andorre: arrêts du tribunal supérieur de Perpiganan, 1947–1970, (Andorra, Ed. Casal i Vall, 1972) (found, among other sites, in the New York University Law Library)


Secondary sources and analytical works, mostly dated:

•         J. Anglada Vilardebo, "Andorra" (1970), International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. I, "National reports," sect. A

•         A.H. Angelo, " Andorra: Introduction to a Customary Legal System ." 14 American Journal of Legal History 95 (1970)

•         Antoni Fiter i Rossel, Manual digest de las Valls neutras de Andorra (1748)

•         J.A. Brutails, La coutume d’Andorre (Paris, Leroux, 1904).

•         P. Raton, Le statut juridique de l’Andorre (Andorra la Vella, Casa de la Vall, 1984)

•         R. Viñas Farré, "Regimen de la nacionalidad y de la extranjera en el derecho andorrano" in Andorra en el ambito jurídico europeo . (Madrid, M. Pons, 1996)

•         Asociacion Española de Profesores de Derecho Internacional y Relaciones Internacionales. Jornadas 16es: 1995, Andorra, Andorra en el ámbito jurídico europeo: XVI Jornadas de la Asociación Española de Profesores de Derecho Internacional y Relaciones Internacionales : Principado de Andorra, 21-23 de septiembre de 1995 (Andorra: Jefatura del Estado Andorrano. Copríncipe Episcopal, Madrid: Marcial Pons, 1996)


The reader should be aware that there have been significant constitutional changes since the 1970s in Andorra as in other European, and especially smaller European, jurisdictions. Council of Europe and European Union influences have been very significant. See especially the European Treaty Series ; the CoE Web site allows users to view all treaties acceded to by a specific member state, or to view the ratification status of any particular treaty.


The Library of Congress Law Library site has an Andorra page . The German-language "Andorra-intern" Bibliographie-Recht collects news reports and texts on legal, economic and political issues.


For those corresponding with Andorran publishers and government offices, it may be useful to note that Andorra has no postal service of its own; postal facilities are provided equally by the French and the Spanish postal services. As a practical matter, correspondence may be in Catalan (official language), Spanish or French. The University of Laval (Quebec) site discusses the language issues (in French). Basque (Euskadi) is a minority language. See the Endangered Languages Project and the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages (closed 2010; Web site archived) for language policy issues, and Glenn Fulcher and Fred Davidson, Language Testing and Assessment, An Advanced Resource Book .




The status and the law of the Republic of Cyprus are governed, in principle, by the Constitution of 1959 , (HMSO, London, Cmnd. 1093); for an analysis of the founding treaties, see , including the Treaty of Establishment of Aug. 16, 1960 (382 UNTS 8, No. 5476). Hellenic Resources Network has a Web page of documents relating to Cypriot constitutional issues, including relevant documents. Constitutional protections were to be granted to the two separate linguistic/cultural/religious communities, and personal status of individuals would depend upon their affiliation to one or the other. This was a continuation of Ottoman law [xvi] and colonial practice. Following independence laws were to be published in the Greek and Turkish official languages. In fact, the inter-Communal strife and the de facto division of the island led to anomalies of law, municipal and international, that are beyond the scope of this paper. However, laws and court decisions from the mid-1970s were no longer published in either English or Turkish, but in Greek only. A complete collection of Cyprus laws and regulations (official gazettes, published documents, case law, law reviews, and other secondary sources) is at the Cyprus Library ( Kypriake Vivliotheke ), Eleftherias Square, Nicosia, at the National Parliamentary Library , and at the Bodleian Law Library . (The Milli Arsiv in Kyrenia contains much of the same materials, at least through the mid 1970s.) The University of Cyprus library has a Web site. LEGINET is a searchable database of Cyprus legislation and case law.


Until 1974, most Cyprus laws and a considerable number of case reports and secondary sources were published in English. That is no longer the case. Unofficial English translations of statutes may be available from the Ministry of Justice in Nicosia. Some commercial , intellectual property , shipping , securities and tax laws have been summarized, translated or published privately. (The Tax Department site includes a useful FAQ.) The Web site of the law office of Dr. K. Chrysostomides & Co . offers publications on a number of legal subjects. offers a "non-exhaustive list of the main Cyprus statutes affecting offshore business" with English-language summaries.


The British Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia [xvii] (98 square miles total area) retained special status, and British personnel were and are governed by legislative acts specific to those areas. British control of the area was fixed under Appendix A (PDF, 68.3 kb) of the Treaty Concerning the Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus. See the Privy Council site for its jurisdiction to hear appeals from those areas, and the Cyprus Government site regarding their future status in relation to European Union accession. See below regarding the British Sovereign Base Areas, and see the Declaration of H.M. Government on its law-making policy ( Appendix O of the Constitution).


Statutes available online in English:

•         Cyprus Act 1960 (UK)

•         Cyprus nationality law (PDF, 36 kb)

See also:

•         Descriptive notes on shipping law

•         Social Security


Laws of the British Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (statutory instruments):

•         Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) (Sovereign Base Areas) (Amendment) Order 1998, SI 1068

•         Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) (Sovereign Base Areas) Order 1997, SI 2587

•         Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections) (Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order 1991, 1991 No 2290

•         Merchant Shipping Act 1979 (Sovereign Base Areas) Order 1980, SI 1518

•         Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) (Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order 1978, SI 1920

•         Extradition (Sovereign Base Area of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order in Council 1970, SI 818 (Repealed or expired)

•         Fugitive Offenders (Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order 1967, SI 1916 (Repealed by SI 2002/1823, art 3(1), Sch 5)

•         Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Boundaries) Order in Council 1962, SI 396

•         Visiting Forces (Designation) (Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia) Order 1962, SI 1639

•         Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Appeals to Privy Council) Order in Council 1961, SI 59 (See Privy Council Practice Direction )

•         Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Order in Council, 1960 , (spent, not in force)


Print collections:

•         Laws of the Sovereign Base Areas

•         Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Gazette

(at LSE, Bodleian and Trinity College Dublin)


Military and treaty law may be applicable to the status of UNFICYP , the UN Forces monitoring the Green Line. Diplomats accredited to the Republic of Cyprus are granted pragmatic and expedient status in North Cyprus (where a number of missions maintain satellite offices) and may cross the border at will.


The official source for primary law is the Ep’isemi Ephimer’ida tes Kypriak’es Demokrat’ias [xviii] (Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus), published by Printing Office of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicosia, Tel. +357 22302202. Until 1960, a semi-official translation of the Official Gazette was produced (mimeograph) by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Copies of these old gazettes are included in the materials of the former FCO library now on deposit at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies , London. Some historical materials may be found at the School of Oriental and African Studies , London, the British Library , and the National Archives , Kew. More recent materials are on deposit in the Bodleian Law Library .


The Web Portal of the Republic of Cyprus has links to a number of translated statutes. LEGINET is a subscription service for access to statutes and cases.


Some informal legal information (including translated statutes mentioned above and the Official Gazette) may be available online at the Cyprus Government Web Portal . A " Legal Guide for Cyprus " (PDF, 64.8 kb) is was published by Chr. Chrysanthou & Associates firm around 1999-2000, but it has not been updated and like most of what is available gratis on Cyprus it is probably inadequate to the needs of the serious legal researcher except as a very first introduction to the subject. From the standpoint of this writer, it is one of the tragedies of the Cyprus conflict that the two legal systems that have established themselves since 1974 have grown provincial, inward-looking and non-transparent. Access is further hindered by linguistic and orthographic facts and the limited availability of translations of laws into world languages, something that may be said, too, of Greece and Turkey.


The U.S. State Department site has a page on judicial assistance and a page on reciprocal consular treatment in Cyprus


In addition to the sites linked here and in the TRNC section below, Greek and Turkish government sites contain documentation and treaties, as well as substantial polemic. See also relevant parts of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960 , on the U.S. Department of State Web site, and documents collected online for the Avalon Project at Yale University.


The Cyprus Stock Exchange site discusses the financial services regulatory scheme.


Some statutes have been collected in the form of codes and some have been translated. Among those codes and collections included in common bibliographies:

•         Civil Code

•         Code of Civil Procedure Peri politikes dikonomias nomos . Law 11 of 1965. Reprinted and translated, as of 1986, by Hyperesia Anatheoreseo Kai Henopoieseos tes Kypriakes Nomothesias (Services for Revision and Consolidation of the Cyprus Legislation in Nicosia), 1986.

•         Commercial Code

•         Criminal Code (Chapter 154, Statute laws of Cyprus)

•         Code of Criminal Procedure, Peri poinikes dikonomias nomos

•         Criminal procedure law, Chapter 155

•         Cyprus merchant shipping legislation (English translation of the main Cyprus merchant shipping laws consolidated up to 30 April 1996)


Statute laws of Cyprus


Statutes that have not been consolidated into Codes may be unwieldy due to multiple amendments, especially for the reader not fluent in Greek. Pre-independence statutes are in The Statute Laws of Cyprus: In Force on the 1st Day of April, 1959 . In the author’s experience, English translations of at least some and perhaps most current laws may be obtained from the Ministry of Justice in Nicosia. The author has used a Cyprus secretarial service (see Cyprus Yellow Pages ) to transcribe into modern (post 1982) Greek orthography [xix] Cypriot statute law from copies of the official gazette.


Unfortunately, official translation of the general body of Cypriot law into Turkish (and perhaps English), while envisaged by the Treaty of Guarantee of Aug. 16, 1960 and Constitution , has fallen victim to politics and demographic reality. The text of Cyprus treaties and diplomatic correspondence can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site. Some good sources for generating a current bibliography would be the OPACs of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law , the United Nations Library at Geneva , and the Bodleian Law Library . On linguistic and demographic issues, see the University of Laval site. Both the political and the linguistic environments are changing, however, with EU accession. One cannot know the content of diplomatic talks, but the opening of the Green Line, the new access of Turkish Cypriots to employment in the South and a sudden interest in Turkish language study there hold promise. See:

•         Cyprus Mail

•         Hellenic Resources Network , also HRI archived articles from Oct. 1997 through July 2003


The Greek point of view (see below for the Turkish) on international- and constitutional-law questions is stated in: Kypros Chrysostomidis, The Republic of Cyprus: a Study in International Law (Kluwer Law International, 2000). On a proposed confederal solution, see Nanette Neuwahl, Cyprus, Which Way? - In Pursuit of a Confederal Solution in Europe , Harvard Jean Monnet Working Paper 4/00 (2000). For an examination of the respective roles of Greece and Turkey in prolonging the dispute through the EU accession process, see Neophytos G. Loizides, " Greek-Turkish Dilemmas and the Cyprus EU Accession Process " (PDF, 290 kb).


Case Reports: Reynolds and Flores list the historical Cyprus Law Reports, published in English and local language until independence. The Necatigil book (below) describes the forcible removal of non-Greek jurists from the court system, which thereafter largely ceased to operate in English and Turkish. IALS London holds:

•         Cyprus Law Reports, vol. 1 (1883 to 1890) - vol. 24 (1959-1960)

•         Epitheorese kupriakou dikaiou = Cyprus Law Review (last issue received at IALS and Bodleian libraries, 1996).

•         Cyprus law reports and monthly publication of judgments of the Supreme Court of Cyprus, 1956-1976, Panayiotis Kallis, ed.

These apparently came from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office library when it was disbanded some years ago. Because IALS does not normally collect materials in non-Roman alphabets, later materials will be found in the Bodleian Library.

The Bodleian and ISDC have, in addition:

•         Cyprus law reports: cases decided by the Supreme Court, Anotaton Dikasterion, 1969-1989


ECHR cases:

•         Serghides and Christoforou v. Cyprus , No.44730/98, Nov. 5, 2002, (2003) 37 E.H.R.R. 44

•         Louka v. Cyprus , No. 42946/98, Aug. 2, 2000 ( HTML version )

•         Egmez v. Cyprus , No. 30873/96, Dec. 21, 2000, (1998) 25 E.H.R.R. 491 ( HTML version )

•         Larkos v. Cyprus (MS Word, 123 kb), No. 29515/95, Feb. 18, 1999, (2000) 30 E.H.R.R. 597

•         Andronicou and Constantinou v. Cyprus , No. 25052/94, Oct. 9, 1997, (1998) 25 E.H.R.R. 491

•         Marangos v. Cyprus , No. 31106/96, May 20, 1997, (1997) 23 E.H.R.R. CD192

•         Mavronichis v. Cyprus , No. 28054/95, Apr. 27, 1998, (2001) 31 E.H.R.R. 54

•         Modinos v. Cyprus , No. 15070/89, Ser. A, No. 259, Apr. 22, 1993, (1993) 16 E.H.R.R. 485 ( HTML )


For a general survey: Andreas Neocleous & Co., Introduction to Cyprus Law , Center for International Legal Studies (Yorkhill Law Publishing, 2000). A recent historical review of post-war human rights and British decolonization with extensive treatment of Cyprus is Prof. A.W. Brian Simpson’s Human Rights and the End of Empire (review, PDF, 14 kb) (OUP, 2001).


Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus


While unrecognized internationally except by Turkey, the international community has taken a pragmatic approach administratively to the division of the island. Researchers who review the more hysterical Internet forum postings might have despaired of peaceful coexistence ever again occurring and wonder how soon reunification in democratic conditions under the internationally-recognized Cyprus government is likely to occur. Yet, with the recent opening of the Green Line, peaceful encounters have proved possible, and reconciliation may be in sight. Whatever the position of foreign and international tribunals with respects to claims (mostly by ethnic Greeks for lost property) the existence of an economy, a polity and a legal system argues for a pragmatic approach to the jurisdiction, at least in matters of librarianship and comparative law.


The status of the TRNC, as well as its inhabitants -- nationals [xx] , ressortissants [xxi] , belongers [xxii] and migrants from mainland Turkey -- and TRNC legal acts have been the subject of a number of important foreign and international legal cases concerning taxes, nationality, refugee status and insolvency that researchers concerned with matters relating to persons, property and transactions in the North of the Island may need to consult. These include:

•         R. v. Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, ex parte S P Anastasiou (Pissouri) Ltd [2001] U.K.H.L. 71; earlier hearing on referral to the ECJ, [1999] 3 C.M.L.R. 469 ; European Court of Justice decision at [1994] E.C.R. I-3087.

•         Loizidou v. Turkey , ECHR, No. 15318/89, 1998-IV, July 28, 1998 (MS Word *.docx, 133 kb), (1998) 26 E.H.R.R. CD5 , Nov. 28, 1996, (1997) 23 E.H.R.R. 513 , Mar. 23, 1995, (1995) 20 E.H.R.R. 99 ; Cyprus Government summary of case at Press and Information Office site

•         Cyprus v. Turkey , ECHR, No. 25781/94, May 12, 2001, (2002) 35 E.H.R.R. 30 and three prior ECHR judgments: No. 2581/94 (1997), (1997) 23 E.H.R.R. 244; No. 8007/77 (Oct. 4, 1983), (1993) 15 E.H.R.R. 509; Nos. 6780/74 and 6950/75 (July 10, 1976), (1982) 4 E.H.R.R. 482.

•         Caglar v. Billingham (Inspector of Taxes) , [1996] S.T.C. (S.C.D.) 150, [1996] 1 L.R.C. 526, discussed at 92 Am. J. Int’l L. 305 (1998) and in David Turns, "Statutory Construction and ‘Basic Public Policy’ in Foreign Relations: Tax Exemption for ‘Official Agents’ of an Unrecognised State in the United Kingdom", 22 Liverpool L. Rev. 253 (1998)

•         Autocephalous Greek-Orthodox Church of Cyprus v. Goldberg and Feldman Fine Arts, Inc. , 917 F.2d 278 (7th Cir. 1990), aff’g 717 F.Supp. 1374 (S.D.Ind.1989) (standing of the recognised sovereign to claim property purloined from church in the territory of the unrecognized government in North Cyprus)

•         Re Polly Peck International plc (in administration) (No 2) , [1998] 3 All E.R. 812, [1998] 2 B.C.L.C. 185 (C.A.); numerous other proceedings concerning Asil Nadir and the English firm he founded can be found on Lexis and Westlaw UK. A Google or Nexis search on "Asil Nadir" will provide background.


(The Caglar case, by implication, underlines the problem of status of the inhabitants of Northern Cyprus, immigrants from Turkey and their descendants, who have no status as Cypriots under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus. This is an issue that will need to be settled upon reunification, and one that can create choice-of-law anomalies in cases that reach courts abroad.)


One must mention, if only in order to dismiss, Reynolds and Flores gratuitous (because unsupported) assertion that "[a]s far as can be discerned, most of the legislation being applied to or in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus originates in Ankara." The function of this article, as should be that of any work intended for law librarians and researchers, is not to put forward or support any particular ethnic or political agenda but to provide guidance on finding the law that rules lives and commerce and to point to legal rulings by others. The TRNC has a functioning legislature, and this author has met and corresponded professionally with some of its parliamentarians and law librarians. It has a multitude of political parties and holds democratic elections . [xxiii] The notion of refusing recognition to status created by unrecognized states despite social realities and notwithstanding personal hardship, has been several times before the English courts. Adams v. Adams [xxiv] , in refusing recognition to a divorce pronounced by an unrecognized judge in a court of an unrecognized state, pushed the principle to absurdity. The non-recognition of governmental acts relating to status is no longer so strictly maintained as in Adams [xxv] and the jurisdictional point has been rendered largely moot by statute. [xxvi] The principle of non-recognition was rejected in an insolvency and fraud matter by Lord Denning, M.R. in In re Jame s [xxvii] . See R.D. Leslie, "Unrecognised Governments in the Conflict of Laws: Lord Denning’s Contribution", 14 Comp. & Int’l L.J.S. Africa. 165 (1981) and, more generally, Sir Lawrence Collins, " Foreign Relations and the Judiciary ", 51 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 485 (2002).


Documents issued by the TRNC Government are not, in principle, treated as valid governmental documents. Thus most consular offices, including those of the United States , will not issue a visa into a TRNC passport. The passport may be viewed as proof of identity but the visa, if issued, is entered onto a consular form by a United States and many or most other consular officers.


Without entering into an extensive discussion of the substance of Cypriot law, it might be mentioned here that before independence, and under the Constitution of 1959/1960, the Cypriot legal system applied legal pluralism: the personal law of the individual depended upon his or her membership in a religious community, Greek or Turkish. See Constitution, Art. 2 (Greek and Turkish Communities defined), Art. 22 (Marriage and the Family), Art. 23 (Property). Compare the British Order in Council of 1922 , still in force in Israel. Legal pluralism, the assignment of personal law according to religion or ethnic group, was common in the colonial and protectorate context and exists today in many Muslim and multi-ethnic jurisdictions. Researchers may wish to review:

•         M. B. Hooker, Legal Pluralism: an Introduction to Colonial and Neo-colonial Laws (1975)

•         B. Dupret, Legal Pluralism in the Arab World (1999)

•         Warwick Tie, Legal Pluralism: Toward a Multicultural Conception of Law (1999)

•         Baudouin Dupret, Maurits Berger, Laila al-Zwaini, eds., Legal Pluralism in the Arab World (1999)

•         Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law (UCLA)

•         John Gilissen, ed., Le pluralisme juridique (1971)

•         L.I. de Winter, "Nationality or Domicile? The Present State of Affairs", 128 Rec. des Cours , 347 (1969-III)


The basic source of TRNC primary law is the official gazette, the Resmî Gazete KKTC , which can be consulted at the Milli Arsiv ve Arastırma Dairesi Müdürlüglü (Cyprus Turkish National Archives and Research Centre), PK 175, Girne (Kyrenia), KKTC (postal address: "via Mersin 10, Turkey") and at the Parliamentary Library, Room 008, Osman Pasa Caddesi, Lefkosa (Nicosia) (postal address also "via Mersin 10, Turkey"); at least some issues are in the Harvard University Law Library. A project has been under way since 1999 to post all laws in force on the Internet (in Turkish). An index to TRNC legislation (also pending bills ) (in Turkish), maintained at the parliamentary site of the Cumhuriyet Meclisi , is accessible online (click on MECLiS ["assembly"] and then on YASALAR ["laws" = kanunlar ]). The parliamentary librarian has been helpful in the past in providing requested documentation by e-mail.


Other TRNC government sites:

•         TRNC foreign representative office s.

•         TRNC Office of the Presidency

•         The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site archives diplomatic materials, in Turkish and in English, on the Cyprus dispute and on the TRNC.

For example, TRNC Government statement of Dec. 14, 1997 regarding Cypriot entry into the European Union

•         Unofficial TRNC Government English-language information

•         Ministry of Information

•         Kibris Sorunu ("the Cyprus problem")

•         Another d irectory of TRNC government sites

•         News site " Cyprusscene "

•         Mustafa Sagsan and Mete Yıldız, " E-government in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus "


English translations of the TRNC constitution ( archived copy , PDF, 2.3 mb) and its nationality law are available online.


The former Attorney General of the TRNC has written treatises in Turkish and in English on the subject of constitutional and political law (as well as pre-1974 treatises on Cypriot law; Dr. Necatigil also appeared as an expert witness in the Caglar case, and he provided us with the nationality law translation):

•         Zaim M. Necatigil, The Cyprus Question and the Turkish Position in International Law (2nd ed., OUP 1998)

•         Zaim M. Necatigil, Kuzey Kibris Türk Comhuriyetinde Anayasa ve Yönetim Hukukui (1988)


Faroe Islands (Føroyar, Færøerne)


The Faroe Islands are an autonomous overseas district of Denmark, not part of the European Union. While the CIA World Factbook, and dozens of Web sites which draw from it, assert that "the legal system of the Faroe Islands is Danish" that is a considerable oversimplification. Note the following declaration by Denmark in connection with its adherence to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, Aarhus, Denmark, June 25, 1998:


"Both the Faroe Islands and Greenland are self-governing under Home Rule Acts, which implies inter alia that environmental affairs in general and the areas covered by the Convention are governed by the right of self-determination. In both the Faroe and the Greenland Home Rule Governments there is great political interest in promoting the fundamental ideas and principles embodied in the Convention to the extent possible. However, as the Convention is prepared with a view to European countries with relatively large populations and corresponding administrative and social structures, it is not a matter of course that the Convention is in all respects suitable for the scarcely populated and far less diverse societies of the Faroe Islands and of Greenland. Thus, full implementation of the Convention in these areas may imply needless and inadequate bureaucratization. The authorities of the Faroe Islands and of Greenland will analyse this question thoroughly."


Unfortunately, no thorough overview of the Faroes legal system exists other than those written in Faroese or in Danish, and an original undertaking is beyond the scope of this guide. What we can provide are sources of primary and secondary law and political and economic data, online and in print, for those who might want to undertake such a project or who need to find a specific law or legal principle as applied in the Faroe Islands. Some brief commercial and government descriptive material


The following statement was provided to us in 2004 by the Mission of the Faroe Islands to the United Kingdom for the preparation of an earlier version of this article: "The Faroes are a part of the Danish Kingdom and the Danish judicial system; the Danish Supreme Court is also the court of last instance in Faroese matters. The Danish judicial system is comprised of many city courts as tribunals of first instance. There are two High Courts, East and West. The East High Court (Østre Landsret), which is to be found in Copenhagen, can be also be found on the Faroe Islands. The final court of appeal, the Supreme Court, is in Copenhagen."


For links to NATO documents, see the entry for Iceland. Denmark and Iceland have been ratifying signatories to the Treaty of Brussels (Mar. 17, 1948) and member states of NATO since 1949.


Constitution (Denmark)

•         in Danish

•         in English ( another translation )

•         " Form of Government "

•         Statsministeriet  (Prime Minster's Office), " The Faroe Islands Self-Government Arrangement "

•         " The Faroese Parliament " (2005)


Statutes and regulations

•         " Legislation Timeline " (compiled by José Manuel Ávalos Morer )

•         Statutes database

•         Full text of European Union agreements and other documents relating to Faroe Islands (PDF, 33 kb)

•         Law of Faroe Islands on access to residence permits for certain occupations

•         History of the Faaroese Parliament (1998)

•         a law firm's brief description of the Faroese legal system

•         a private research firm's description of the Faroese political system

•         Faroese taxation (unofficial)


and see:

•         Danish legislation

•         Danish Parliament: Selected statutes and legal materials in English

•         Selected Danish laws in English

•         Danish Companies Act in English

•         Essay: "Right to a Home" in Danish law

•         Forlaget Thomson - Karnov online (Westlaw affiliate, fee-based [xxviii] )

•         Faroes Home Rule Act (Danish Law No. 137 of March 23, 1948)  ( another copy )

•         Faroes Home Rule Act (Faroes Law No. 11 of March 31, 1948 - Færø Amts Kundgørelse Nr. 11 af 31.03.1948 af Lov om Færøernes Hjemmestyre ) ( "Wayback Machine" version, Feb. 8, 2005)


Print sources of law

•         Faroese Official Gazette: Lógbók fyri Føroya

•         Danish Official Gazettes: Lovtidende for Kongeriget Danmark ; Ministerialtidende for Kongeriget Danmark

•         Karnovs lovsamling (published by Thomson/Karnov)

•         Faroese Law Review ( Føroyskt Lógar Rit) (2001- ), a law journal, in English and Faroese

•         Faroes Budget: Løgtingsfíggjarlóg


Danish private international law (international privatret)

•         Joseph Lookofsky, "Danish Private International Law in the Third Millennium: Where are We Going? Where Have We Been?", in Peter Blume (ed.), Legal issues at the dawn of the millennium (1999)

•         Allan Philip, American-Danish Private International Law (Oceana 1957)


Government Web sites

•         General territorial government site

•         Prime Ministry

•         Parliamentary site (Løgtingi ð )

•         Faroe Islands Customs and Tax Authority

•         Ministry of Finance

•         Maritime Services

•         Nordic cooperation


Online directories of official sites

•         Directory of Danish and regional political sites (last update: 2006)

•         Government directory

•         Law Library of Congress page

•         Landsbanki Føroya ( Governmental Bank), " The Faroe Islands " (2009)


Libraries and institutions; legal bookstore

•         National Library of the Faroe Islands (Føroya Landsbókasavn)

•         Danish National Library

•         University of the Faroe Islands (no law faculty)

•         Hjalmar Jacobsen Sp/f bookstore


Selected references:

•         Kári á Rógvi, Faroese Business Law , (Dania, 1998)

•         Jorgen Albaek Jensen , "Denmark: The Position of Greenland and the Faroe Islands Within the Danish Realm", 9 Education, Public Law and the Individual 170 (2003)

•         Tax incentives (FaroeLink, Inc.: "Wayback Machine" capture of page as of Feb. 25, 2005)

•         State Bank memorandum (PDF, 453 kb)

•         Historical outline of the Løgting (PDF, 1 mb)

•         Pär Olausson, " Autonomy and the European Island Regions in Europe " (2002), (PDF, 72.4 kb)


Greenland (Grønland)


(See the introductory remarks for the entry on the Faroe Islands )


•         Government of Greenland Web portal

•         Parliament (Inatsisartut)


Selected basic laws, online

•         Lovgivning - Database of statutes from 1979 to current year (in Danish)

•         another Lovgivning site

•         Constitutional Act of Denmark (1953) (see Faroe Islands section for link to Danish-language authoritative version)

•         Greenland Home Rule Act (Danish original version) ( another copy )

•         Greenland Home Rule Act, No. 577 of 1978 (English translation) ( archived copy )

•         National Bank of Denmark Act (PDF, 29.5 kb) ( archived copy )

•         Act on Self-Government ( archived copy )



•         Treaty amending the treaties establishing the European Communities to exclude Greenland, Brussels, March 13, 1985, OJEC L 029/1-4 ( French-language original version ) (See also: Single European Act ("Treaties establishing the European Communities; Treaties amending these treaties; Resolutions, declarations, 1987")

•         Prior status of Greenland : Commission opinion, Commission communication presented to the Council on 2 February 1983 ( archived copy )

•         Treaty on the defense of Greenland, U.S. and Denmark

•         OECD Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters , and see Danish declaration


Selected government sites

•         High Commissioner of Greenland (Rigsombudsmanden)

•         Greenland Parliament site


Memoranda and reports

•         Commission on Self-Government in Greenland , Memorandum on international law issues and Greenland self-government ( archived copy )

Greenland self-government ( Prime Minister's Office explanation )

•         Federal Government authority in Greenland

•         Human Rights statement of Denmark to the Council of Europe

•         Contribution by the Islands Commission of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe Governance and the Islands (PDF, 38 kb)

•         Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs Documents on Greenland

•         Kingdom of Denmark, Strategy for the Arctic 2011-2020 (PDF 2.8 mb) ( archived copy )

•         Ministry of Finance and Domestic Affairs, 2013 Annual Report

Greenland Fisheries ( European Union agreement )


Another site of law-related links:

•         Law Library of Congress Guide to Law Online


Selected references

•         Frederik Harhoff, "Grønlands og Færøernes stilling i dansk udenrigspolitik", 1990 Dansk udenrigspolitisk årbog 57-68 (Foreign policy; Greenland and Faroe Island autonomy in EU context)

•         Finn Lynge, Selvstændighed for Grønland? (1999)

•         Nikolaj Petersen, Grønland i dansk sikkerhedspolitik (1988)

•         Friedl Weiss, Greenland’s withdrawal from the European Communities (1985)

•         Nils Oervik, Greenland: the politics of a new northern nation (1984)

•         Natalia Lukacheva, Autonomy of Legal Systems in Greenland and Nunavut (PDF, 65.4 kb) ( archived copy )

•         Jens Dahl, Greenland: Political Structure of Self-Government (originally published in Arctic Anthropology , Vol. 23, No. 1/2 (1986), pp. 315-324)




See Wikipedia and Iceland Gateway for Iceland’s historical background. As it became fully independent only in 1944, a review of the law of state succession may be relevant.


The Iceland Constitution , as amended, is available in English translation on the principal government site.


Iceland Government sites:

•         General site, " Iceland on the Web "

•         Government site (Ministerial offices, Stjórnarráð)

•         Iceland Ministry for Foreign Affairs

•         Ministry of the Interior

•         Prime Minister's Office

•         Parliament

•         Iceland Official Gazette: Stjórnartíðindi (law and ministerial gazette); Lögbirtingabla ð (legal gazette)

•         Supreme Court


•         Various laws and regulations translated into English (Interior Ministry site)

•         Civil Protection Act , No. 82, June 12, 2008 ( archived copy )

•         Act on the Icelandic Government Offices , No. 73 of May 28, 1969 ( archived copy )


Nordic Council

•         General site

•         History and explanation of Nordic cooperation  (Nordic Union site)

•         Swedish government explanation of Nordic cooperation (Oct. 2014)

•         Nordic Council of Ministers Action Plan for 2014 (focus on gender equality)

•         "Nordic cooperation" (Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


EU and the Schengen acquis

•         Iceland and Schengen border controls

•         Treaty between the EU and Iceland

•         Protocol (No 19) Integrating the Schengen Acquis into the Framework of the European Union (Dec. 13, 2007)


EFTA Court

•         Karl K. Karlsson HF. v. Iceland , Case E-4/01, May 30, 2002, [2002] 2 C.M.L.R. 60

•         Viggósdóttir v. Iceland Post Limited , Case E-3/01, Mar. 22, 2002[2002] 2 C.M.L.R. 18

•         Einarsson v. Iceland , Case E-1/01, Feb. 22, 2002, [2002] 2 C.M.L.R. 2

•         Halla Helgadóttir v. DanÍel Hjaltason , Case E-7/00, June 14, 2001, [2001] 3 C.M.L.R. 27

•         Fagtun Ehf v. Byggingarnefnd Borgarholtsskola , (MS Word *.doc) Case E-5/98, May 12, 1999, [1999] 2 C.M.L.R. 960

•         Federation of Icelandic Trade v. Iceland , Case No. E-2/98, Nov. 24, 1998, [1999] 1 C.M.L.R. 907

•         Erla MarÍa Sveinbjörnsdóttir v. Iceland , Case E-9/97, Dec. 10, 1998, [1999] 1 C.M.L.R. 884


ECHR cases

•         Sigur ð ur A. Sigurjónsson v. Iceland , Ser. A, No. 264, App. No. 16130/90, June 30, 1993, (1993) 16 E.H.R.R. 462              

•         Thorgeir Thorgeirson v. Iceland , Ser. A, No. 239, App. No. 13778/88, June 25, 1992, (1992) 14 E.H.R.R. 843

•         Jón Kristinsson v. Iceland (PDF, 163 kb), App. No. 12170/86, Ser. A, No. 171-B, Mar. 1, 1990, (1991) 13 E.H.R.R. 238



•         Nordic treaties can be found on the UN Treaty database and the Nordic Council site

•         The status of Iceland with respect to Council of Europe treaties in ETS series can be found on the CoE site and the Council Web site's Iceland page

•         Treaty of cooperation between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden signed in Helsinki on March 23rd, 1962 as amended on February 13th, 1971

•         CCPR status

•         Economic, Social and Cultural rights treaty status

•         European Union Iceland issues and accession status

•         " Brussels II " EC Regulation on Jurisdiction, Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Matrimonial Matters; relationship to Nordic treaty of 1931 on marriage, adoption and custody

•         Judicial cooperation (extradition and surrender procedure; EUROCRIM site)

•         Provisions for free movement of workers (Iceland Ministry of Welfare)

•         Draft Arctic treaty (Canadian Arctic Resources Committee site)

•         Denmark-Iceland agreement on the return of the Icelandic Manuscripts (PDF, 133 kb)

•         Convention against torture (Icelandic Human Rights Centre site)


Statute law

•         Laws and regulations , in Icelandic

•         Selected laws in English translation

•         Nordic Investment Bank statutes for the Cooperation Council

•         GlobaLex: Researching Icelandic Law


Arbitration: Nordic Arbitration Center of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce


Multicultural Information Center: Laws and Regulations in Iceland



•         Iceland Shelf large marine ecosystem (Encyclopedia of Earth)

•         Oceans and Law of the Sea (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

         U.K. v. Iceland , fisheries jurisdiction (The Hague Justice Portal)

         Germany v. Iceland , fisheries jurisdiction case (ICJ)

         Council Regulation (EC) No. 669/97 as concerns fishing opportunities in Greenland, Faroese and Icelandic waters and fishing for cod in the North Sea

         EU fisheries agreements with nonmember states including Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway

         EU fisheries policy including Northeast Atlantic fisheries

         EU Common Fisheries Policy on fisheries policy

         In the Wake of Politics: The Political and Economic Construction of Fisheries Biology, 1860–1970 (Jennifer Hubbard, Isis, Vol. 105, No. 2, June 2014, pp. 364-378) ( archived copy )



•         International Whaling Commission

•         OceanLaw

•         Commentary on Iceland Government reservation on re-joining the IWC (PDF, 125 kb)

•         U.S. Department of State archived materials on Iceland whaling

•         High North Alliance, Whaling and International Law (1997) (from, Wayback Machine)

•         " Special Report: Whaling - A Bloody War ", The Economist , v. 370, Jan. 3, 2004, p. 56

•         Am. J. Int'l L., " I nternational Whaling Commission Fails to Reach Agreement on Commercial Whaling; United States Sees Commission as Increasingly Ineffective " (Vol. 104, No. 3, July 2010, pp. 498-500)

•         Sidney J. Holt, " Whaling and International Law and Order " (Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 38, Issue 7, July 1999, Pages 531–534) ( archived copy )


NATO issues

•         The North Atlantic Treaty

•         Icelandic delegation to NATO, Brussels

•         At Crossroads: Iceland's Defense and Security Relations, 1940-2011 (Einar Benediktsson, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Aug. 18, 2011)

•         U.S.-Iceland mutual defense treaty

•         Iceland position paper (Nov. 2002) (PDF, 128 kb)

•         Bilateral Relations, U.S. and Iceland (Embassy of Iceland, Washington D.C.)


Library collections

•         National and University Library of Iceland

•         The New York Public Library has a major historical collection of Nordic documents and serials.


Selected texts:

•         Alastair H. Thomas, "The Concept of the Nordic Region and the Parameters of Nordic Cooperation", in Lee Miles, ed., The European Union and the Nordic Countries (Routledge 1996)

•         Vinding Kruse, (Else Giersing, transl.), A Nordic Draft Code (1963)

•         Stefán Már Stefánsson, The EEA agreement and its adoption into Icelandic law (1997)

•         Ring, Gerhard, Einführung in das skandinavische Recht (1999)

•         Pétur G. Thorsteinsson (ed.), Manual for Honorary Consuls of Iceland , Reykjavik, Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2d ed., Sept. 1995)

•         Ólafur Jóhannesson, Lög og réttur (Law and Rights) (1975)

•         Joakim Nergelius, ed., Nordic and Other European Constitutional Traditions (2006)


Commercial environment; trade policy

•         Ministry of Foreign Affairs

•         EFTA "Facts and Figures" (PDF, 160 kb)

•         Company Laws (English translation)

•         Invest in Iceland Agency

•         U.S. Commercial Service Country Commercial Guide

•         Statistical agency

•         Taxation of capital and income in Iceland




Introductory note


"Prevailing Liechtenstein laws date to a great extent from the 19th Century. Liechtenstein law originates from Swiss and Austrian law. Of Austrian origin are civil and criminal court procedures, criminal law, succession and family law, and the law pertaining to contracts, torts and rights in personam . Swiss law pertaining to civil status, property, and to an extent, rights in personam has been adopted. The last twenty years have seen amendments to many laws." [xxix] In fact, the manner in which laws are published on paper and online unsurprisingly parallels the Swiss and to a lesser extent the Austrian practice. Substantively, laws, especially those relating to establishment and to economic activity, have been greatly affected by the European Union acquis through Liechtenstein’s membership in the European Economic Area. The European Union , and the EEA/EFTA Web sites, and others cited in the introductory section of this article, will be sources of further information. As Switzerland is responsible for management of Liechtenstein’s foreign affairs and its communications and monetary system, the Swiss government Web site may be useful as well.


General government portal

Court system   (Fürstliche Gerichte)



Statute law databases

•         C ollected laws

•         Gesetzesdatenbank LILEX (Landesgesetzblatt)

•         Recht Portal (GMJ Juris Verlag subscription database, "Systematische Gesetzessammlung")


Particular laws

•         Asset Protection , Universität Liechtenstein

•         2003 amended Constitution (brief history ) ( archived copy )

•         Council of Europe discussion on the amended constitution, Government submission (Jan. 2003)

•         Law of 26 November 2004 on Professional Due Diligence in Financial Transactions (Due Diligence Act, DDA)  (PDF, 107 kb) (unofficial English translation)

•         Law of Sept. 14, 2000 concerning the Amendment of the Law on Professional Due Diligence when Accepting Assets – Executive Order

•         Gesetz vom 19 September 1996 über das internationale Privatrecht [1996/194] (PIL, conflict of laws rules)

•         Stiftung (private foundation) law

•         Discussion of new Liechtenstein tax law (2011) ( another professional site )

•         Law of June 26, 2009 on the Amendment of the Persons and Companies Act

•         " Commentaries and Treatises on Liechtenstein and International Law Edited by Dr Markus H Wanger, Vol. 18 " ( archived copy )


Relations with Switzerland with list of treaties, including:

•         Monetary accord

•         Reciprocal enforcement of judgments

•         Other agreements



•         Wille v. Liechtenstein , App. No. 28396/95, Oct. 28, 1999, (2000) 30 E.H.R.R. 558 (following a public lecture the applicant had given on issues of constitutional law, the Prince of Liechtenstein, as announced in a letter, decided not to appoint him to public office)


Print sources of law: The primary law of Liechtenstein appears in the Landesgesetzblatt (LGBl.) and is then consolidated and reprinted in the loose-leaf Systematische Sammlung der Liechtensteinische Rechtsverschriften . Reprints of the laws can be purchased over the counter from the Ministry of Justice (Liechtensteinische Regierunskanzlei) Städtle 49, FL-9490 Vaduz. Subscriptions to the Systematische 7bh--Sammlung are available from GMG Verlag xcv tb, Landstr. 30, FL-9494 Schaan, tel. +423 238 1166.


The Liechtensteinische Juristenzeitung (LJZ) is the authoritative legal journal and source of commentary and case reports. It is found in many libraries overseas.


The Liechtensteinische Landesbibliothek , Gerberweg 5, FL-9490 Vaduz maintains a complete collection of Liechtenstein legal materials, along with comparative-law documentation of contiguous jurisdictions. Liechtenstein laws and regulations are sold over the counter at the Liechtensteinische Regierungskanzlei, Städtle 49, FL-9490 Vaduz, and the staff will sort them by subject so that an up-to-date state of the law is provided.


Selected online articles, documents and sites

•         EU Relations with Liechtenstein

•         On trusts , a statutory creation within the Liechtenstein civil-law environment (from a tax-avoidance site) ( another article )

•         A Thomson Reuters overview of private client law in Liechtenstein

•         Exchange of data concerning tax matters (on a Liechtenstein law firm site)

•         List of laws relating to trusts

•         Residence control

•         Washington Times advertising supplement of August 17, 1998, article on lawyers in Liechtenstein (archived on site)

•         Persons and companies law (surveys in English)

•         Department of State Background Note: Liechtenstein

•         WIPO legislative profile (28 kb, PDF)

•         Roger Frick, The Foundation and Trust in Liechtenstein – their use in the international field (Nov. 2003)

•         Liechtenstein Report to the Council of Europe on human rights and national minorities 1999

•         Liechtenstein and EFTA

•         Social Security


A note about Liechtenstein and an aspect of international law: Liechtenstein was party to the Nottebohm case ( Liechtenstein v. Guatemala ) that created the concept of "effective nationality"; a concept now somewhat eroded in view of changes in nationality law, human rights law (notably gender equality but also the evolution of nationality as primarily a source of rights rather than of obligations), and supranational arrangements. See, e.g., Micheletti v. Delegación del Gobierno en Cantabria , [1992] E.C.R. I-4239.


Some secondary sources

•         W. Brauneder, "175 Jahre Allgemeines burgerliches Gesetzbuch in Liechtenstein", 9 Liechtensteinische Juristenzeitung 94 (1988), pg. 102.

•         H. Batliner. "Liechtenstein", 4 Modern Legal System Cyclopedia. (loose-leaf) (Hein, 1988+).

•         Companies and Taxes in Liechtenstein, 7th.ed. (Vaduz, M.G. Kieber, 1992)

•         F.L. Trending, The Trust in Liechtenstein Law (1988)

•         F.L. Trending, A closely held Company Structure: The Establishment in Liechtenstein Law (1996)


Some articles of interest

•         Andrea Gattini, " A Trojan Horse For Sudeten Claims? On Some Implications Of The Prince Of Liechtenstein V. Germany " 13 Eur. J. Int’l L. 513 (2002)

•         Haig Simonian, " Liechtenstein buys new look ", Financial Times , Aug. 26, 2004

•         CNN International, Aug. 15, 2004, Liechtenstein welcomes new ruler

•         Liechtenstein Company Laws and Regulations Handbook (World Law Business Library, 2009)


This survey of Liechtenstein legal resources was drafted with the kind assistance of Lic. iur. Johann Jakob , Audina Treuhand AG , Vaduz, Liechtenstein. [xxx]




Luxembourg is a trilingual State, and this is reflected in the parliamentary ( Chambre des Députés ) debates recorded in the Procès-Verbaux du Bureau de la Chambre des Députés .


The Constitution , (PDF, 526 kb, in French) as amended, is downloadable in French in PDF format with case-law annotations. An English translation is available from the University of Berne but does not include the 1999 amendments. See the Wikipedia page for a complete list of versions, with links to the relevant official gazettes.


The official gazette ( Mémorial ), Statutes and most secondary sources are published in French. The site includes a searchable database of laws, reports, official gazettes and documents published since 1945.


The Government portal and the Legilux database have links to other official sites and to sources of official documentation. These sites had been in the final stages of planning when the author called on the Ministry in 2001.


Printed documentation is published and sold commercially by Service central de législation , 43 Bd. F.-D. Roosevelt, L-2450 Luxembourg. They sell the periodic Repertoire analytique . Other periodicals are listed on their web site. A private bookstore, Librarie um Fieldgen , sells law and tax materials and has an on-line bibliography and price list .


The Legilux web site has undergone continuous improvement over the years. Earlier, a Luxembourg legal database (IJUS) was maintained by CREDOC (Belgium). See also the list of CD-ROMs prepared by the Universität des Saarlandes. There is a proprietary online service of the Code fiscal and LexGo provides a number of laws and legal articles in English and French. has materials in English, French and German.


The Mémorial ( Amstblatt ) is available in CD-ROM format from Imprimerie de la Cour Victor Buck , 6, rue François Hogenberg, L-1735 Luxembourg. Back issues are maintained in a number of libraries in Europe and the USA, including the Université catholique de Louvain . Luxembourg law students study at Belgian universities as well as the University of Luxembourg and Luxembourg juridical methods to a certain extent follow the Belgian pattern. See also the site of the Institut universitaire international de Luxembourg .


The Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés site contains information about the corporate registry.


Bibliographic searches across the OPACs of all major Belgian university libraries can be conducted on LIBIS on the Web site of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven .


The major published case reporter and digest is the Pasicrisie luxembourgeoise . An alternative source of laws and decrees is the Pasinomie luxembourgeoise. Recueil des Lois spéciales annoté d’après la jurisprudence is published by Imprimerie Saint Paul, S.A., Luxembourg. Répertoire analytique de la jurisprudence administrative du Conseil d’Etat (Guy Glodt, ed.) is pubished by the Ministry of Justice.


Law codes (see the IALS catalog) are individually compiled and published under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, we were told at the Service Central de Législation , "as and when the need arises and time permits". These include civil, criminal, commercial and procedural codes, which can be found in many libraries.


GlobaLex: Luxembourg – Description of the Legal System and Legal Research


Private international law

•         Hague Conference

•         Fernand Schockweiler & Jean-Claude Wiwinius, Les conflits de lois et les conflits de juridictions en droit international privé luxembourgeois (3rd ed. 2011)


•         Social Security



•         Benelux Secretariat

•         Le traité d’union Benelux (Nov. 1, 1960) (PDF, 153 kb)

•         The history of Benelux (Fernand Jadoul)

•         Article 306, EC Treaty

•         Conseil interparlementaire consultatif Benelux (Nov. 5, 1955)

•         Towards a Rebirth of Benelux? (Jan Wouters and Maarten Vidal, KUL)

•         " Towards a New Benelux Treaty " (2010) (See mention of Treaty of Rome (1957) article 306 "enabling clause" allowing for the continuation of the Benelux regional union.)


Secondary sources:

•         Annales du droit luxembourgeois (Bruylant)

•         Numerous titles published by Bruylant and Bauer

•         Judge Pierre Pescatore wrote the section on Luxembourg in the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. I, "National reports," sect. "L/M." (Mohr, 1974)

•         M. Calcoen, "The legal system of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg", Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia (Buffalo, Hein, 1982)

•         Nicolas Majerus, Histoire du droit dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Imp. Sant-Paul, 1949)

•         Kathryn Anne Davis, Language Planning in Multilingual Contexts (language usage in Luxembourg) (1994), and see:

•         Miriam Aziz and Philippe van Parijs, " Linguistic Legislation for XXIst Century Europe " (PDF, 82.2 kb) (2002)

•         General bibliography (PDF, 56 kb) (2000)




Maltese statutes are published in English and in Maltese, in print and online at the Ministry of Justice site and its Court Services page . The official source for primary law is the Atti Tal-Parlament - Acts of Parliament and the Legislazzjoni Sussidjarjai , both published and sold by the Department of Information, Publications Office, Castille Place, Valletta. The starting point for research is the Maltese government portal . A number of Codes (civil, commercial, penal, procedural) have been consolidated and published separately.


The Government Gazette is available online, apparently for recent issues only. At the time of writing (October 2004), issues from June 2003 may be accessed.


The Ministry of Justice and Local Government, Palazzo Verdelin, Archbishop’s Street, Valletta publishes from time to time Laws of Malta - Analyzed Index of Titles .


See: Administrative Reform in the Mediterranean Region, Summary of Malta on the reform process of Malta's governmental institutional framework ( archived copy ) (PDF, 121 kb.)


Case reports

•         Collezione di decisioni dei tribunali di Malta. (19th Century cases)

•         Collezione di decisioni delle corti superior dell’ Isola de Malta (title varies: Collezione di decisioni del tribunali superior; later title Decizjonijet tal grati superjari ta Malta )

•         Some digests of court decisions (in Maltese) are published by Għaqda Studenti Tal-Liġi, the Law Students' Society-University of Malta.


Under Malta’s language law (PDF, 169 kb), any party to a case may require that it be heard in Maltese rather than in English.


ECHR cases

•         Kadem v. Malta , App. No.55263/00, Jan. 9, 2003, (2003) 37 E.H.R.R. 18

•         Sabeur Ben Ali v. Malta (PDF, 140 kb.), App. No. 35892/97, June 29, 2000, (2002) 34 E.H.R.R. 26

•         TW v. Malta (PDF, 195 kb.) and Aquilina v. Malta , App. Nos 25644/94 & 25642/94, Apr. 29, 1999, (2000) 29 E.H.R.R. 185

         Grech and Montanaro v. Malta , App. No. 29473/95, Jan. 21, 1997, (1997) 23 E.H.R.R. CD176

         DeBono v. Malta (PDF, 256 kb.), App. No. 20608/92, 1993, (1993) 15 E.H.R.R. CD112

•         Demicoli v. Malta , App. No. 13057/87, Ser. A, No. 210, Aug. 27, 1991, (1992) 14 E.H.R.R. 47


Secondary sources:

•         C.A. Charles, "The Legal System of Malta", Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia , vol. 4 (revised) (Hein, 1988).

•         E. Busuttil, "Malta," International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. I, "National Reports," sect. "M." (Mohr, 1974)


•         Social Security




The official government Web portal , with links to ministries’ and government offices’ sites


Journal de Monaco (official gazette, beginning with 1999, laws accessible in HTML but with a clunky search facility)


Legimonaco is a searchable database of statute and case law.


LexisNexis publishes the Code Monégasque , 4th edition, 2014 Codes et lois de la Principauté de Monaco were formerly published by Imprimerie du Sud, Toulouse (1958- ). LexisNexis also publishes Mongegasque case reports: Décisions du Tribunal Suprême and Décisions des Tribunaux judiciaires .


A complete collection of legal materials of the Principality is available for consultation and copying at the Bibliothèque Louis-Notari , Monaco. The national archives: Service d’Archives Centrales , Ministère d’État, Place de la Visitation, 98000 Monaco +377


Revue de droit monégasque is published by Palais de Justice de Monaco, B.P. 513, MC 98015 Monaco CEDEX


Some laws may be available online at the site of the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie; Droit francophone, " Portail du droit francophone ", notably via search engine query .

Adminet and Légifrance can be used to find the texts of bilateral agreements and arrangements between France and Monaco, thus Decree No. 2000-591 of June 29, 2000, amending the Frontier Convention of May 28, 1963. See also .


Secondary sources:

•         A.F. Hancock, "The Legal System of Monaco", Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia (1984).

•         M. Bettati, "Monaco", International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. I, "National reports," sect. "M."

•         P.J. Douvier, ed., Mémento pratique Francis Lefebvre. Communauté européenne: juridique, fiscal, social, comptable, financier, partially translated and reprinted as Monaco Tax and Legal Guide


The City Hall (Mairie) site includes a list of government agencies with addresses, and public services provided.


General description (in French) of Monegasque governmental institutions .


The Government portal includes descriptive material (in French) on the legal and judicial system


Other legal and institutional data, from international sites (non-exhaustive; to show the kind of sites that may be identified in a Web search)

•         social security (from International Social Security Association)

•         social security bilateral agreements (from Centre des liaisons internationales de sécurité sociale)

•         Private law firm's description of Monaco's judicial system


Particular doctrinal essays available online:

•         A discussion of banking laws

•         Money laundering issues (Council of Europe evaluation) ( archived copy )


A general search engine: Monaconet



Montenegro (Republika Crna Gora)


The Montenegro Constitution ("Ustav Republike Crne Gore") (1992) is available in Serbian and in English translation


Specific laws, unofficial English translations and explsnations

•         Montenegrin Citizenship Act (MS Word *.doc 107 kb.)

•         Foreign Investment Law (PDF, 131 kb.)

•         Law on Local Self-Government (PDF, 138 kb.)

•         Council on Foundations Survey of Montenegrin Law ( archived PDF version , 234 kb.)

•         Ministry of Finance, Guidebook Through Tax Law of Montenegro (PDF, 10.1 mb)


Several sites concern themselves with Montenegrin affairs, including:

•         Montenegro Parliament site

•         Montenegro Government site

•         Open Society Institute Montenegro

•         Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Minorities in Montenegro (PDF, 2.4 mb.)


European Union and International Organization issues

•         European Union External Relations

•         EU accession path

•         European Union accession questionnaire

•         European Commission, Progress Report on Montenegro (2013) ( archived copy )

•         " EU tells Serbia and Montenegro to move closer " European Voice , May 15, 2003

•         The Queen, ex parte Centro-Com Srl v. HM Treasury and Bank of England (PDF, 186 kb.), [1997] I-81 (sanctions case)

•         OCSE Mission

•         Council of Europe


On economic and currency issues (the euro), see

•         Breffni O’Rourke, Yugoslavia: Montenegro Adopts German Mark As Currency -- But With Risks , Radio Free Europe, Nov. 14, 2000

•         A Balkan euro zone: still a lot of funny money , The Economist , v. 362, Jan. 10, 2002, at p. 46

•         Something rotten: the prospects for Montenegro, whether independent or not, are bleak , The Economist , v. 368, July 17, 2003, at p. 40

•         John Williamson, What Role for Currency Boards? (Peterson Institute 1995)


A useful for the legal researcher is the index and ordering facility for the Official Gazette, Sluzbeni List Republike Crne Gore . The publisher has in the past been willing to provide copies of individual statutes in Serbian upon e-mail by non-subscribers.


Some private sites have selected Montenegrin laws in translation:

•         Montenet

•         Lexadin "World Law Guide"

•         EBRD " Commercial Laws of Montenegro "


Serbian resources relevant to this survey

•         Sluzbeni Glasnik Republike Srbije (official gazette)

•         Bar Association of Serbia

•         Serbia and Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs

•         ILO conventions

•         WIPO legislative profile (PDF, 152 kb)

•         U.S. trade relations policy statement (U.S. Embassy, Belgrade)

•         World Statesmen political summary

•         Ministry of Human and Minority Rights


Libraries and links

•         National Library of the Republic of Montenegro

•         Univerzitet Crne Gore

•         British Library: Montenegro Resources

•         Yale Slavic & East European Collections, Montenegro Resources

•         School of Slavic and East European Studies " Internet Resources on Montenegro "

•         Library of Congress Guide to Law Online: Montenegro


Some relevant Eastern Europe sources

•         East European Constitutional Review

•         Osteuropa-Recht (regularly translates Eastern European laws into German)

•         ABA Europe and Eurasian Initiative

•         Institut für Osteuropäisches Recht

•         Transitions Online

•         Review of Central and Eastern European Law

•         UNHCR, Internally Displaced Persons


San Marino


The official source of primary law is the Bollettino Ufficiale della Repubblica di San Marino , for which an annual index is available. Prior to their official publication, newly-enacted laws are available from the Ministry of Justice. Both versions may be consulted at the Biblioteca di Stato . The Bollettino Ufficiale is sold by the Dipartimento Affari Interni, 47890 San Marino, tel. +378 882 278, fax. +378 882 197.


The national archives are at the Biblioteca di Stato, Contrada Omerelli, 13, Palazzo Valloni, SM-47031 San Marino. (The Interior Ministry URL did not function as of early Oct. 2004)


Ministerial Web sites

•         Ministry of Foreign Affairs

•         Ministry of Finance

•         Territory and Environment

•         Ministry of Labor, Cooperation and Information


•         Ministry of the Interior and Justice


Published case law compilations

Giurisprudenza Sammarinese 1981-1990 ( Maggioli Editore, 1993)

Giurisprudenza Sammarinese Amministrativa dal 1990 al 1999 , vol. 1 (AIEP Editore, 2002)


An online database maintained by the Department of Internal Affairs for official use can be consulted by the public, and material printed or downloaded, at the Biblioteca di Stato. As of March 23, 1999 the database included laws through 1997. It might be worthwhile checking from time to time to see if Web access has been made available to this database. The Università degli Studi has a Dipartimento di Studi Giuridici .


A number of specific laws may be found on the Web servers of government agencies and international organizations, and may be located on Google or another search engine:

•         Ministry of Home Affairs

•         Ministry of Foreign Affairs

•         Labor law

•         L’Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino

•         Nationality law

•         EU relations with San Marino ( overview )

•         Council Decision of Feb. 28, 2002 on co-operation and customs union between the EEC and San Marino, OJEC 2002 L-84/41

•         Italy-San Marino commercial treaty , Mar. 31, 1939

•         A private site, Libertas includes directories of public offices, such as the Cogresso di Stato .


Some legal materials may be found on Italian web sites, including especially treaties and their implementing laws. The Council of Europe Human Rights Report on San Marino was published Nov. 4, 2003.


Recent ECHR cases:

•         Stefanelli v. San Marino , No. 35396/97, Feb. 8, 2000, (2001) 33 E.H.R.R. 16

•         Buscarini v. San Marino , No. 24645/94, Feb. 18, 1999, (2000) 30 E.H.R.R. 208

•         Tierce v. San Marino , Nos. 24954/94, 24971/94 & 24972/94, July 25, 2000, (2002) 34 E.H.R.R. 25


Vatican State (Holy See)


The modern status of the Holy See is governed by the Lateran Convention of 1929 ( facsimile copy , PDF, 841 kb). Ecclesiastical law is well documented in various editions of the Codex Canonici . Notices of importance from a Canon Law perspective are published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis which can be consulted in major theological institutions, such as Heythrop College (London), and in more than 200 other libraries for which holdings are recorded in OCLC.


We are principally concerned here not with the Vatican religious law, but its civil law. This is documented in the Vatican’s official gazette appendix, Acta Apostolicae Sedis Supplemento (per le leggi e disposizioni dello stato della Città del Vaticano) which is not included in the basic subscription to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis . Both are sold by the Vatican Publishing House , which has a catalog online. Older back issues are out of print and rare. The most important issue is Vol. 1, 1929, which was issued immediately following the implementation of the Lateran Convention (also online in English translation), signed by Pietro Cardinale Gasparri and Benito Mussolini on February 11, 1929. Vol. 1 includes the Italian text of that convention as well as the nationality law of the Vatican State. We found copies of this issue in the theology library of the Université catholique de Louvain [xxxi] and at the Vatican Library in Rome.


For recent amendments, see the Vatican Web site (Nuova legge fondamentale) (2000). And for a commentary, Francesco Clementi, " La nuova ‘Costituzione’ dello Stato della Città del Vaticano " (PDF, 84 kb) ( archived copy ).


For international affairs, see the Secretariat of State site and the UN Treaty collection database .


Some scholarly studies of Vatican and Canon Law:

Il diritto penale canonico: tra potere coercitivo e carità pastorale (Paola Fantelli) (PDF, 300 kb.) (Canon penal law)

Principi di diritto internazionale nella teologia cattolica (Giovanni Barberini) (PDF, 217 kb.)

Stato Città del Vaticano, Santa Sede e normativa antiriciclaggio. Produzione legislativa tra specificità funzionali e complessità strutturali (Giuseppe Rivetti) (PDF, 376 kb.) (on money-laundering legislation)

For others, see the Riviste UNIMI project


Numerous Web sources include texts of religious law, among them the principal Vatican site. The Vatican Library web site has some, mostly ecclesiastical, materials online. A bibliography of ecclesiastic and canon law can be found on the Web site of the Università degli Studi di Milano .


United Kingdom European Territories


The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are outside the European Union for most, but not all, purposes [xxxii] and have a unique constitutional status [xxxiii] . Gibraltar is inside the European Union for most purposes and British Dependent Territories Citizens (Gibraltar) are European Union citizens [xxxiv] . Rights of settlement and residence in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are founded alternatively on criteria of place of birth, paternity, employment and value of property occupied, conceived in such a manner as to benefit natives of the islands, those having a link by birth or ancestry [xxxv] ; persons who have British nationality by reason of a connection with those territories are not European Union citizens and do not have EU rights until and unless they have resided in Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Some United Kingdom laws apply to these territories and their inhabitants and guidance on how to find such laws can be found in Sara Carter’s A Guide to the UK Legal System (2005) 0n GlobaLex, and 2009 Update . This section deals only with legal resources unique to the territories named or which include laws directly relevant to them. (For historical cases, the researcher may want to browse through the delightful English Reports , a collection of old (1220-1865) case reporters.


London sources common to all the jurisdictions include:

•         The OPACs of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies , the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies .

•         The union catalog and OPAC of British and Irish universities, COPAC

•         The law libraries of the Inns of Court


Relevant serials, monographs and bibliographies include:

•         Law Reports of the Commonwealth

•         Annual Survey of Commonwealth Law (British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Butterworths)

•         Bibliography of Commonwealth law reports

•         Common Market Law Reports

•         The fee-based service Lawtel is a good source of case summaries (and in some case, the full text of decisions), especially those with some connection to English law. By way of example, in mid-2003 there were 29 hits on the name Gibraltar ; 74 on " Isle of Man "; 38 on Guernsey ; 5 on Alderney ; 2 on Sark . It goes without saying that not all the hits will be relevant or useful.

•         Banks, law and accounting and legal publishers have produced guides to the use of the Channel Islands (and other offshore jurisdictions) for trust and corporate purposes. Some, such as the periodic newsletters of Baker & Mackenzie, can be found online.

•         Olsens Group of Channel Islands law firms, Publications

•         The Channel Islands Family History Society (genealogy site)


European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights right of residence cases:

•         Rui Alberto Pereira Roque v. His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey , [1998] E.C.R. I-4607 (PDF 207 kb.)

•         Department of Health and Social Security v. Barr and Montrose Holdings Ltd , [1991] E.C.R. I-3479 (Isle of Man)

•         Gillow v. United Kingdom , 24 Nov. 1986, Ser. A, No. 109 (Guernsey).


United Kingdom web sites

•         The Stationery Office , public documents

•         Public document search facility

•         British Library

•         National Archives (formerly Public Record Office)

•         UK legislation

•         UK Public Acts search facility


The Supreme Court (formerly the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council , and to a lesser extent other well-reasoned decisions of tribunals in England, may be persuasive of many issues before Channel Islands courts, notwithstanding their judicial independence and the impact of customary law. Because of their "foreign" status for tax and domicile purposes, the Channel Islands are a flight destination for capital. Increasingly the courts have developed theories to bring the fruits of tax fraud within the reach of the British fisc, whether through insolvency proceedings or otherwise [xxxvi] . Compare the Statute of Elizabeth, the common-law fraudulent conveyance law described in a Trusts and Estates article by Philip Hobson. (The Statute of Elizabeth was applied in some U.S. jurisdictions prior to the adoption of the uniform laws , in the District of Columbia until 1995 [xxxvii] .)


Some references:

•         Michael Birt, QC, " Deportation From Jersey - EC Law - Application And Meaning Of Article 4, Protocol 3 To The UK Act Of Accession To The European Communities "

•         LePatourel, "Origins of the Channel Islands Legal System." 1 Solicitor Quarterly 198 (1962)

•         K.R. Simmonds, "United Kingdom", International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Vol. I, "National Reports", sect. "U" (Mohr, 1976), pp. v–104.

•         Richard Plender, " The Channel Islands’ Position in International Law ", 3 Jersey law review 136 (1999)

•         Review of Financial Regulation in the Crown Dependencies , Cm-4109 (Nov. 1988)

•         Island Life , " The [Guernsey] Legal System "

•         The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 1998: " Dark Clouds Close In on Utopian British Isle --- Sark's Corporate Secrecy and Lax Controls Draw World's Scrutiny "

•         Alastair Sutton, "Jersey's Changing Constitutional Relationship with Europe" , Jersey L. Rev., Feb. 2005

•         Ministry of Justice, Fact sheet on the UK’s relationship with the Crown Dependencies (PDF, 179 kb.) ( archived copy )

•         Ministry of Justice, Background Briefing on the Crown Dependences, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man (PDF, 85 kb.) ( archived copy )


One area that merits review in connection with the study of United Kingdom offshore jurisdictions is the expanding external reach of the UK, US and other courts in enforcement matters. This may be in money-laundering, bankruptcy, enforcement of judgment, contempt or criminal proceedings. A few references:

•         In re International Administrative Services, Inc . , 211 B.R. 88 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1997)

•         David Graham, "Tucker and the Taxman", Ian Fletcher, ed., Cross-Border Insolvency: Comparative Dimensions 205 (1990)

•         P. St.J. Smart, "International Insolvency and the Enforcement of Foreign Revenue Laws", 35 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 705 (1986)

•         In re Lawrence , 238 B.R. 498 & 251 B.R. 630 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 1999)

•         FTC v. Affordable Media , 179 F.3d 1228 (9th Cir.1999)

•         In re Portnoy , 201 B.R. 685 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1996)

•         Brown v. Higashi ( In re Brown) , 4 Ak. Br. Rpt. 279 (Bankr. D. Alaska 1995)

•         Riechers v. Riechers , 679 N.Y.S.2d 233 (Sup. Ct., West. Co., N.Y., 2d Judic. Dept. 1998)

•         Ronald Smothers, " Banker Outlines Money Laundering in Caymans ", N.Y. Times , Aug. 3, 1999, at 1, B6


and see

•         the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act

•         Jay Adkisson’s Fraudulent Transfers site


On the future direction of legal practice in the Channel Islands:

Lucy Hickman, "All revved up for taxing times ahead -- the streets of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man may be paved with gold but local solicitors are anxious to shrug off the traditional tax-haven image", 98 Law Soc’y Gazette 34 (2001) ("The islands’ larger law firms all quote their financial work - and associated referrals from London’s City firms - as generating most of their income.")




The official Government site and various law and sites of firms specializing in company formation provide brief summaries on the Web of Gibraltar’s constitutional and legal status. As the Barlow-Clowes case ( R. v. Clowes , [1994] 2 All E.R. 316 (C.A. Crim.)) demonstrated, although English law is the model for Gibraltar law, in specific areas, notably financial services, the law and practice are less rigorous in Gibraltar.


The Gibraltar Government portal has descriptive material but no substantive law content. See instead the site of the Gibraltar London Office .


On the constitutional status of Gibraltar, see House of Commons, Foreign Affairs, Fourth Report, June 8, 1999 ; on the current status of talks between Spain and the UK, " Britain Abandons Gibraltar Talks ", Daily Telegraph , June 9, 2003 ( archived copy ) . For a commentary, see Thomas D. Grant, " Gibraltar on the Rocks ", 116 Hoover Institution Policy Review (2002)


See also the Treaty of Utrecht .


On the personal status of the inhabitants of Gibraltar, see

•         White Paper, Partnership for Progress and Prosperity, Britain and the Overseas Territories (PDF, 3.8 mb), HMSO, Mar. 17, 1999, cm. 4264

•         British Overseas Territories Act 2002


On the EEC-Morocco Co-operation Agreement and Gibraltar immigration, see Regina v. Director of Labour and Social Security, ex parte. Amimi Mohamed , [1992] 3 C.M.L.R. 481.


On EU free movement rights: Gibraltar Association for European Rights, " Report on Gibraltar and the European Union’s Rules on the Free Movement of People " (1997)


EU state aids case: Gibraltar v. European Commission , Joined cases T-195/01 and T-207/01, Apr. 30, 2002; failure to transpose a directive: Commission v. United Kingdom , Case C-30/1, Sept. 23, 2003.


Privy Council case, discussion of the common law in Gibraltar: Almeda v. Attorney General for Gibraltar , [2003] U.K.P.C. 81, [2003] All E.R. (D) 335 (RTF Format, 111 kb) ( archived copy ).


Laws of Gibraltar are published as The Laws of Gibraltar and sold by Government Printer, Gibraltar (1984- ).


Case law is published as Gibraltar Law Reports , Government Printer, (1979- ) (most recent number on library shelves at time of writing is 1999/2000).


The Gibraltar Gazette is available at the British Library , the Center for Research Libraries and the Dag Hammarskjold Library, United Nations, New York. The address for sales and subscriptions is 6, Convent Place, Gibraltar.


Companies House maintains a site with legal materials and a searchable company registration database.


Some cases (of national and territorial, as well as European Union tribunals) relevant to European Union matters appear in Common Market Law Reports, in print and on Westlaw. Privy Council cases, decided in London, appear in the Appellate Cases series of the Law Reports, and decisions since 1999 (and a few selected earlier judgments) appear on the Bailli Web site collection of judgments of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.


Additional useful Web sites and online documents:

•         History and Heritage (Gibraltar London office)

•         Gibraltar news online

•         Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs: 11th Report, Conclusions and Recommendations

•         Chief Minister’s speech to House of Commons European Atlantic Group, Nov. 24, 1997 ( archived copy )



Guernsey, Alderney, Sark


Alderney and Sark, separate jurisdictions are administratively combined with Guernsey for some purposes. The Island of Sark briefly became well known in United States banking circles after 1968 following the "Bank of Sark" scam.

•         Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1971: " 3 indicted on perjury charges in loan probe " (PDF, 67 kb)

•         The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 1998, " Dark Clouds Close In on Utopian British Isle -- Sark's Corporate Secrecy and Lax Controls Draw World's Scrutiny "

•         The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11, 2005, " On Island of Sark, Twin British Brothers Joust With Feudalism "


The following are the principal official sources of law:

•         Ordinances of the States of Guernsey (found at Trinity College Dublin and at the Bodleian Law Library, Oxford)

•         Official government web site

•         Law Officers of the Crown

•         Guernsey Legal Resources (Royal Court of Guernsey and the Law Officers of the Crown)

•         Mondaq: Guernsey company law


There is an online daily newspaper, Panorama , which reports heavily on legal and commercial matters.


Other print sources:

•         Actes des Etats de l’Île de Guernsey. 1605–1815

•         Recueil d’ordonnances de la Cour royale de l’Isle de Guernsey, 1853–1931

•         Recueil d’ordres en Conseil d’un intérêt général enrigstrées sur les records de l’Ile de Guernsey depuis l’année 1800

•         Orders in Council and other matters of general interest registered on the records of the Island of Guernsey

•         Ordinances of the States of Guernsey (subsidiary legislation; title varies: Recueil d’ordonnances de la cour royale; Permanent ordinances of the States).

•         Guernsey Law Journal includes court reports and other legal material.




Online legal resources include:

•         States Assembly Web site

•         General Jersey government site

•         Jersey Legal Information Board (includes a searchable data base of court decisions; access to full-text of the decisions may require a login and password, freely given by return e-mail upon registration)

•         The Board also publishes an online law review

•         Judicial Greffe

•         Viscount’s Department , insolvency (désastre) proceedings

•         Immigration and Nationality (see an exchange of letters by a Channel Islander with the Home Office)

•         An article on " Deportation from Jersey and EC Law " appears at the Jersey Legal Information site, as well as an article by Richard Plender , QC on the rights of EU citizens

•         Bedell Cristin (a Jersey law firm) articles , briefings , legislation update and summaries of judgments .


Printed sources include, for current law:

•         Lois et règlements passés par les États de Jersey: revêtus de la sanction royale, et non compris dans le Code de 1771 (current to date)

•         Jersey, Regulations and Orders

•         Jersey Law Reports


And for documenting older law:

•         Ordres du Conseil et pièces analogues enrégistres à Jersey. 1536–1867

•         Recueil des lois de Jersey. 1771–1881 and various subsequent reprints and consolidations

•         Regulations and orders. Revised edition. 1939–1955

•         Ordres en Conseil, lois, etc. Liste des actes du Parlement, etc. d’intérêt public. 1771/1850–1964/65

•         Orders in Council, laws, etc., List of acts of Parliament of public interest. 1966–67

•         Judgments of the Royal Court of Jersey and the Court of Appeal of Jersey


Privy Council constitutional case, In the Matter of the Jersey Jurats , (1865-67) L.R. 1 P.C. 94


Secondary sources:

•         R. Southwell, "A Note on Sources of Jersey law", 1999 Jersey Law Review 213

•         R. Lemprière, "Constitution of the Bailiwick of Jersey", 1 Solicitor Quarterly 208 (1962)

•         A. Binnington, "Frozen in aspic? The Approach of the Jersey Courts to the Roots of the Island’s Common Law", 1 Jersey law Review 21 (1997)

•         R. Lemprière, "Constitution of the Bailiwick of Jersey", 1 Solicitor Quarterly 208 (1962)

•         A useful source of legal background on the bailiwick is: "Jersey: Constitutional Status", 12 Commonw. L. Bull. 556 (1986).


Isle of Man


Like the foregoing offshore United Kingdom jurisdictions, the Isle of Man derives its transnational juridical importance from its independent fiscal, financial services, trust and company law regimes. Latterly, its LLC law has attracted attention; LLCs, attractive in the United States for their informality of organization and management, may be useful internationally as hybrid entities. In the USA, "check the box" rules allow for option as to tax treatment; in the United Kingdom and many other countries (but not Switzerland) they are treated for tax purposes as corporations. Articles 75 and 76 of the UK Finance Act 2001 formalized policy in this regard (addressing the use of English limited liability partnerships to hold real property). (A Google search under "hybrid entity" will yield explanatory material on the tax advantages of the differential cross-border treatment.)


A general description of the Manx legal system appears at the Manx government Web site.


Print sources of law:

•         Statutes of the Isle of Man (several series)

•         Isle of Man statutes in force

•         Juta’s statutes of the Isle of Man (1999)

•         Manx Law Bulletin

•         Manx Law Reports


Online sources of law include:

•         Tynwald (parliament) Web site. Copies of Hansard (the Tynwald proceedings) may be found there in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

•         Government site

•         Attorney General's Chambers, Isle of Man legislation ; also on LexisNexis UK (available to UK academic users through Athens )

•         Manx Law Reports

•         Law Society site; and and see " Channel Islands and the Isle of Man Law: A research guide by the Law Society Library "

•         Manx ecclesiastical law , Kirk Braddan Web site

•         University of Liverpool Centre for Manx Studies


Note in particular:

•         Isle of Man LLC law (and see Kenan Mullis, " Check-the-Box and Hybrids: A Second Look at Elective U.S. Tax Classification for Foreign Entities" (Tax Analysts) ( archived copy ) and Treasury Regulation § 301.7701-1 , -2 & -3 )

•         Family Law Act 1986 and Family Law Act 1986 (Dependent Territories) Order 1991 (S.I. 1991/1723) (discussed in Charles A Cain, "The Family Law Act 1986 – A Critique" [xxxviii] 32 Fam. L.J. 39 (2002))


A general description of Manx company law is available at the Government site and at various proprietary sites (which should be treated with appropriate caution), such as the Middleton Katz site.


Similarly for Manx trust law (PDF, 30.7 kb) ( another survey ) (PDF, 94.1 kb). With respect to trusts, a particular caution is necessary in regard to any purported tax benefits for US and UK taxpayers; such benefits may in fact be nonexistent in view of current reporting and attribution rules based upon the nationality and domicile of the settlor or beneficiary; and, further, general information exchange programs between the UK Inland Revenue and third-country fiscal authorities. offers constitutional materials and information on general background information .


Private firms with useful material in IOM offshore transactions:

•         Fedelta (financial services and tax)

•         Cains solicitors


Selected references (in reverse date order)

•         Augur Pearce, " When Is A Colony Not A Colony? -- England And The Isle Of Man" [xxxix] , 32 Common L. World Rev. 368 (2003)

•         Tolley’s Taxation in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (regularly updated)

•         Peter W. Edge, Manx Public Law (1997)

•         Jane D. N. Bates, Isle of Man Companies Act 1992 (1992)

•         K.F.W. Gumbley, "Extension of acts of Parliament to the Isle of Man." 8 Manx Law Bull. 78 (1987)

•         Simon A. Horner, The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands: a Study of Their Status Under Constitutional, International and European Law (1984)

•         J. Uglow, "The Isle of Man" in W. Twining and J. Uglow, eds., Law Publishing and Legal information: Small Jurisdictions of the British Isles 119 (1981)

•         George V.C. Young, Subject Guide to, and Chronological Table of, the Subordinate Legislation of the United Kingdom Having Effect in the Isle of Man at the Beginning of 1976, 1865-1975 (1978)

•         United Kingdom National Committee of Comparative Law, A bibliographical guide to the law of the United Kingdom: the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (1973)

•         Report of the Joint Working Party on the Constitutional Relationship between the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom (HMSO 1969)

•         Index to Isle of Man statutes in operation on the 6th July, 1957 (1960)

•         Legal bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations , (Sweet & Maxwell, 1955- )

•         " British Dominions and Protectorates in Europe and Africa" 15 Commercial Laws of the World (1911)

•         Mark Anthony Mills, ed., Ancient Ordinances and Statute Laws of the Isle of Man (1821)


General sources of information on foreign, international and comparative law


A source of country-by-country bibliographies and legal-system overviews is the Reynolds and Flores Foreign Law Guide , although it is pricey considering that much of its contents is historical material or public-domain data available elsewhere on the Internet. It would also be helpful if the country introductions indicated the names of the relevant local legal expert, and the year of last update. [xl] Nevertheless, for those with access it is a good first stop for researchers new to a jurisdiction, especially those who lack the relevant language skills. Researchers without access to the online version can consult the same editors’ loose-leaf compilation Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World (below) and use the sources given here to develop much of the same bibliographic and background material.


Country Commercial Guides , U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets (formerly Background Notes ) and Human Rights Reports published by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State will generally mention economic and legal issues of concern to the U.S. Government. Other material appears in the Post Reports intended as guidance for U.S. Government employees assigned overseas and formerly published on the Department of State Web site, and the Foreign Affairs Manual , containing operational instructions and, 7 FAM, background information on local judicial and public records systems.


Researchers are also advised to look at the traditional comparative-law sources, such as those listed on the Georgetown University Law Center’s International & Foreign Legal Research guide to Researching Latin American Legal Systems , upon which the following list is based in part:

•         T. Reynolds & A. Flores, Foreign Law: Current Sources of Codes and Basic Legislation in Jurisdictions of the World (periodically updated)

•         J. Roberts, A Guide to Official Gazettes and Their Contents (rev. ed., Law Library of Congress, 1985) ( somewhat dated, but more widely available than the more complete bibliography which follows )

•         Dag Hammarskjold Library, Government Gazettes, An Annotated List of Gazettes held in the Dag Hammarskjold Library (rev. ed., 1986, United Nations, manuscript update to March 1992, Part I (100 pp., PDF, 784 kb) Part II (90 pp., PDF, 1478 kb)

•         R.A. Danner and M.H. Bernal, eds., Introduction to Foreign Legal Systems (1994)

•         Guide to International Legal Research (3rd ed., 1998)

•         International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (various dates)

•         Szladits’ Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law: Books and Articles in English (1995- )

•         Accidental Tourist on the New Frontier: An Introductory Guide to Global Legal Research (1998)

•         Martindale Hubbell International Law Digest (periodically updated)

•         Guide to Country Information in International Governmental Organization Publications (Congressional Information Service 1996)

•         Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries (2nd ed. CIS 1997)


For readers of French, several relevant loose-leaf publications with comparative-law content are published by Dalloz and by Juris-Classeur .


Additional sources may be found in print and online, thus:

•         Penn State University Comparative Commercial Law Research Guide and Bibliography


A list of European law faculties is on the Hieros Gamos site.


A Final Note


As official gazettes, parliamentary debates, consolidated statutes and case reports migrate to the Web, public, and especially foreign, access is rapidly expanding. One may consider that it is in the particular interest of smaller jurisdictions -– and most especially those whose sovereignty is in dispute and that want to promote an image of stability, commercial vitality and rule of law -– to make their laws readily available. Two obstacles remain: language and cost. In the course of the broader, Europe-wide research project underlying this report, we had mixed responses from national authorities. We received an immediate, positive response from the Jersey authorities, and positive help from parliamentary librarians when we met them in person. One might have hoped for a more robust response from lawyers and law librarians at commercial providers and private law firms with promising web sites, notably those in Cyprus.


A further problem underlying foreign and comparative-law research is that of language and official translations, which will be the subject of a later report. Of the jurisdictions reviewed, Luxembourg and the Republic of Cyprus have more than a single written language but in practice both use only one for statutes. Malta uses two languages in its judicial proceedings. Andorra and Luxembourg have three working languages each; Andorra’s use of Catalan and the Faroes’ of Faroese for written legal documentation may challenge many foreign researchers. The Danish translation of Faroese documents may not reduce the challenge by much. For passages written in "world languages" machine translations, translating search engines (such as Google Translate ) and online dictionaries may be helpful. There was a brief effort among law librarians to make available volunteer translating resources to assist in deciphering brief passages; a more satisfactory long-term solution might lie (if demand and financial resources would support it) in the intervention of a student employment service, along the lines of Columbia Tutoring and Translating Agency at Columbia University. The Agency's telephone number is 212 854 4888.



[i] The issues of copyright in laws and case reports, the " star pagination " issue (value added, something also addressed, but primarily as a matter of contract, in the Jurisline case) and infringement by digitization have been raised before in articles on The conflict of laws issue is not easily resolved in claims arising from the extension of copyright (PDF, 173 kb) to 70 years from the death of the author or (anonymous works and works for hire) 95 years from publication in the United States (17 U.S.C. §§ 302, 304): other countries have not followed suit, and potentially infringing works may be stored anywhere, even on the high seas (see Sealand , below). Or they may be stored "nowhere", and developments in peer-to-peer technology, high-speed communication, cheap data storage and effective search engines pose a great threat to the value-added claimed for the traditional legal database.

The impossibility of finding, 50 years after publication, literary heirs or business successors with respect to academic works for which profit was not the motivation has become a serious obstacle to access to doctrine and other secondary sources and led to rampant disregard for the law and a broad, self-serving interpretation of "fair use". Those wishing to pursue the issue may want to start with the HMSO "Dear Publisher" letter and Matthew Bender, & Co. Inc. v. Hyperlaw, Inc. , 158 F.3d 674 (2d Cir. 1998) cert. denied, 526 U.S. 1154 (1999) ("star pagination" case).

Another source of confusion of rights is the linking to internal references within a site rather than to a home page. Arguably, site owners have no particular right to insist that visitors enter their sites only through a home page and respect a system of frames or searching, only that no false claim of ownership or authorship is made. The argument is strengthened when the reference is for non-commercial purposes. Archiving and caching of web sites, the object of a number of academic and national-library projects and (at least ephemerally) an essential part of the work of search engines and web crawlers, is another potential source of conflict in matters of ownership and control. (In an effort to reduce the number of broken links, some of the information sites referred to in this article have been cached, complete with the original links, advertisements and references to GIFs and JPEGs. Some links are to articles and documents archived on university servers; the life span of such links is unpredictable.)

Copyright issues aside, a recent source of Internet deletions and disappearing documents, especially of U.S. Government publications, is political embarrassment, and the use of security justification to defeat FOIA arguments.

[ii] CIA World Factbook , accessed December 2014, except as otherwise noted.

[iii] The population figures for Cyprus are contentious and the grant of status to immigrants to North Cyprus and their progeny is discounted by the Republic of Cyprus Government and some international organizations as "contrary to international law" . The issues of vested interests and the status of offspring of refugees and migrants would seem to be a matter for diplomatic, rather than legal, analysis. See Report Submitted by Cyprus Pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities , Council of Europe, ACFC/SR(1999)002 rev., 1 March 1999. (PDF, 438 kb.) ( archived copy )

[viii] David Cay Johnston, Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich — And Cheat Everybody Else (2004) and "The Loophole Artist" , N.Y. Times Magazine , Dec. 21, 2003, p. 18 . Compare: Peter Vaines, "Note: Taxing Matters: Domicile", 143 New L.J. 1076 (1993) (" It would appear that the proposed changes to the law of domicile, which everybody has been going on about for so long, may have gone out of the window, rather in the manner perhaps of the proposals for the taxation of UK trusts. A Parliamentary question on May 27 extracted the statement that the Government has ‘no immediate plans to introduce legislation on the subject’.") .

[ix] R. P. Anand, "Sovereign equality of States in international law", 197 Rec. des Cours 9 (1986-II).

[x] Researchers may find useful case law of these jurisdictions reprinted in the series "Law Reports of the Commonwealth". Cases decided by the Privy Council will usually be in the Appellate Cases series of the Law Reports; also online to subscribers to Justis , Lexis and Westlaw . See also the Common Market Law Reports (bound volumes and online in subscription services) for cases touching on EU interests.

[xi] In the Lloyd’s matter the U.S. courts almost universally applied English law while the academic commentators universally argued for the application of American law.

[xii] See the Jenard Report , OJEC 1990 C-189/7.

[xiii] See the Maltese book Europe: Your Government’s Proposal , especially Chapter 4.

[xiv] The OECD project was discussed critically in Mason Gaffney, "A response to the OECD report Harmful Tax Competition: An Emerging Global Issue", 7 J. Int’l Trust & Corp. Planning 23 (1999).

[xv] The article discusses the economic viability of micro-states and autonomous regions (the areas under study here, plus the Spanish and Portuguese territories) in relation to 1989 GDP, but does not address the issue of legal autonomy and taxation.

[xvi] See George Young, Corps de droit ottoman (7 vols., 1905). George Young was vice-consul in Damascus at the time; he went on to have a distinguished career in UK government service.

[xvii] Mentioned in six UK statutes: Adoption and Children Act 2002 , Ch. 38 ; Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections) Act 1991, Ch. 41 ; Visiting Forces Act 1952, Ch. 67 ; British Overseas Territories Act 2002 , Ch. 8 ; Contracts (Applicable Law) Act 1990 , Ch. 36; British Nationality Act 1981 , Ch. 61.

[xviii] Catalogued as "Episemos ephemeris tes Kypriakes Demokratias" at the Center for Research Libraries; "Episemos ephemeris tes demokratia" at the Bodliean; "Episimi efimerida tis Kypriakis dimokratias" at ISDC.

[xix] Eliminating breathing marks and grave and circumflex accents.

[xx] R. v. Home Secretary ex parte Yurteri , CO/138/95, Q.B. Jan. 19, 1995, unreported.

[xxi] Difficult of translation, the Refugee Convention uses " country of origin ", Antonio Fortin, " The Meaning of ‘Protection’ in the Refugee Definition ", 12 Int’l J. Refugee L. 548, 557 (2000).

[xxii] See , e.g., Chagos Islanders v. Attorney General , [2003] E.W.H.C. 2222 (QB), [2003] All E.R. (D) 166; Luxemburg v. Goldfinger , [2002] U.K.P.C. 60 (P.C., Anguilla) (RTF file); R. v. Barnet London Borough Council, ex parte Shah , [1982] Q.B. 688 (C.A.).

[xxiii] The country’s pariah status, it is submitted, comes from elsewhere: the confusion inherent in standards for according sovereign title to land in the modern era, and pragmatic diplomacy that extends even into international-law forums, and which affect, to varying degrees, the treatment afforded the TRNC, Taiwan, Transnistria, Republika Srpska, Somaliland, Kosovo, Montenegro, among non-states with functioning legal systems worthy of study.

[xxiv] [1971] P. 188, 52 I.L.R. 45.

[xxv] Emin v. Yeldag [2002] 1 F.L.R. 956. distinguishing Adams v. Adams and B. v. B . (Divorce: Northern Cyprus), [2000] 2 F.L.R. 707, [2001] 3 F.C.R. 331.

[xxvi] SI 1972/1718 (repealed by Zimbabwe Act 1979, s. 6(3) afforded recognition to status effected by acts of Rhodesian authority; see also Family Law Act 1986 , art. 45 & 46. The English and United States cases concerning the Zeiss trademark addressed a comparable issue : Carl Zeiss Stiftung v. V.E.B. Carl Zeiss Jena, 293 F. Supp. 892 (S.D.N.Y., 1968); Kunstsammlungen zu Weimar v. Elicofon, 478 F.2d 231 (2d Cir. 1973); Carl Zeiss Stiftng v. Rayner & Keeler Ltd (No. 2), [1967] 1 A.C. 853 (H.L.) Other cases: Madzimbamuto v. Lardner-Burke, [1969] 1 A.C. 645 (treason; sovereignty of territory under control of a usurper); Bilang v. Rigg, [1972] N.Z.L.R. 954, 48 I.L.R. 30 (Rhodesian divorce; question of judge’s oath of office).

[xxvii] [1977] Ch. 41.

[xxviii] We have received the following statement from Karnov.DK, reproduced with permission:

" Karnov and UfR only cover Danish legislation and court decisions. Some of the laws are not in force in the Faroe Islands and Greenland or are in force in a modified form. The Karnov annotations specify this. Specific regulations issued by Danish governmental agencies or legislative bodies in the Faroe Island and Greenland are not published in Karnov.

"Karnov and UfR are only published in Danish.

"Karnov and UfR Online = Westlaw.DK is not available through Westlaw due to use of different technologies and business models. The demand from Westlaw customers for Danish legislation can not justify the costs of integrating the databases at this time, though Thomson strategy is in a 3-5 year perspective to have a common platform for all legal services.

"Westlaw.DK is available on a subscription basis only. The cost of a single-user license is approximately £750 per annum with high discount for additional users."

[xxx] Mr. Jakob’s comments follow: "Mein kurzer Kommentar: Die von Ihnen Zitierte Literatur kann mit Sicherheit nicht als massgebend bezeichnet werden. Auf jeden Fall kann die von Ihnen zitierte Literatur nicht als Leading Opinion bezeichnet werden. Bei der Literatur würde ich deshalb allein auf die Liechtensteinische Juristenzeitung verweisen. Darin sind neb st regelmässigen Artikeln auch Urteile von sämtlichen liechtensteinischen Gerichten wider gegeben.

"Im übrigen entspricht Ihr Text weiterhin der Realität. In juristischer Hinsight (staatspolitischer Art) ist vielleicht noch von aktueller Verfassung zu ändern. Er will, dass ihm mehr Macht eingeräumt wird (insbesondere auch bei der Wahl der richter; der Fürst hat gute Chancen zu gewinnen), die Gegner des Fürsten wollen demgegenüber bei der bisherigen Verfassung bleiben."

[xxxi] Interestingly, given to UCL as part of German reparations following World War II. The library was burned down by the German military in both wars. See P. Delannoy, " The Library of the University of Louvain ", 77 The Nineteenth Century 1061 (1915) and Ministère de la Justice, War Crimes Commission (Belgium), War crimes committed during the invasion of the national territory, May, 1940: the destruction of the library of the University of Louvain (Liège, 1946, 36 p.) and Nuremburg War Crimes Trial, hearing of Feb. 4, 1946 .

[xxxii] Department of Health and Social Security v. Barr , [1991] E.C.R. I-3479 (relationship with the Isle of Man; unstated in the published judgment was an underlying public-security motivation).

[xxxiii] Jersey: Constitutional Status, 12 Commonw. L. Bull . 556 (1986).

[xxxv] Gillow v. United Kingdom <\HEJUD\sift\78.txt >, ECHR, 24 Nov. 1986, Ser. A., No. 109 (Guernsey).

[xxxvi] In re Clore (dec’d), [1982] Fam. 113 ; Inland Revenue Comm’rs v. Stype Investments (Jersey) Ltd. , [1981] Ch. 367 (Ch. D.) ; allowing appeal of the Commissioners [1982] Ch. 456 (C.A.) ; Inland Revenue Comm’rs v. Stannard, [1984] 1 W.L.R. 1039 (Ch.D.) (following IRC v. Stype, holding testator’s personal representative liable for tax, although resident in Jersey).

[xxxvii] Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of 1995, Law 11-83, D.C. Code §§ 28-3101–28-3111 (2014) .

[xxxviii] "First, it p rovides for common rules of jurisdiction in respect of (essentially) private law applications concerning children throughout the UK and the Isle of Man. Secondly, it provides a system for the recognition and enforcement throughout the UK and Isle of Man of such orders (but note, there is nothing equivalent under this Act to recognising and enforcing ‘rights of custody’, as under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980) made in any one part of the UK or dependent territory."

[xxxix] "Manx emancipation from English tutelage still falls short of independence. Island courts’ and constitutionalists’ efforts to reconcile the continuing role of Crown and Parliament with insular aspirations are typified by dicta of the Staff of Government Division in Crookall v Isle of Man Harbour Board [[1981-83] Manx L.R. 266 (1982)] and Re CB Radio Distributors [[1981-83] Manx LR. 381 (1983)]."

[xl] The latter problem is illustrated by the description in the Isle of Man introductory section, in late 2003, of Juta’s Statutes of the Isle of Man , as "a 1996 compilation" when major law libraries hold a 1999 edition.