How to search

Unfortunately there are no international databases for law that contain all the important publications and documents. Most databases are limited to a specific country or geographical area, containing both legislation, jurisdiction and legal doctrine for that region. Therefor you will have to thoroughly consider which database(s) to consult. In the overview of databases you can find a list of all the databases available at the university. The most important ones are listed again on the webpage ‘Databases in detail’ with more detailed information on their content and use.

When searching for law literature, the Discovery Service doesn’t always provide a good solution because many law databases aren’t included. A search in the Discovery Service can certainly yield interesting information but will never provide a complete overview of existing literature. It will also not contain any legislation or jurisdiction. You will therefore often have to supplement the Discovery Service with a query in other databases. More information on the use and contents of the Discovery Service can be found under Searching the collection.

When looking for a specific journal (article) or a book, you can best use the catalogue, which will guide you to the correct database or website. As explained above, in the field of Law, the Discovery Service is not a reliable tool to use in this case. More detailed information on how to use the catalogue can be found under Searching a book and Searching an article.

Finally, when looking for a good textbook on a specific law specialty, the online guide for legal searches by the KULeuven,, can be of some help. You can look up the titles you find there in our catalogue to see whether we have a copy in the library.