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Researching Tanzanian Law  

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page


The legal system of the United Republic of Tanzania is based largely on the English common law system. Keep in mind that, when approaching a question related to Tanzanian law (or foreign law generally), it is often advantageous to start with a secondary source.  There are several online guides that can serve as introductions to understanding and researching Tanzanian law. These resources are listed at right.



The following PowerPoint presentation was prepared for the LUC Law School course, "Comparative Law Seminar: Tanzania."

Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies

Located in Northwestern University's main library in Evanston, Illinois, the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies "is the largest separate Africana collection in existence." The Herskovits Library serves not only the Northwestern academic community, but also local and international scholars. See the Library's web page for more details on utilizing the collection. 

See also the Library's LibGuide for further information on the Herskovits Library's resources, as well as other recommendations for Africana research.


    Introductions to Tanzanian Law and Researching Tanzanian Law

    There are several websites that provide introductions to Tanzanian law and Tanzanian legal research.  Note that a number of U.S. law libraries offer webliographies for Tanzania.  Try Googling "legal research" and "Tanzania" to locate these pages.  See also the "Databases" tab for information on several commercial databases that also provide introductions and descriptions of Tanzanian law and legal resources.

    • GlobaLex: Guide to Tanzanian Legal System and Legal Research
      Originally published by Bahame Tom Nyanduga and Christabel Manning in 2006, and updated by Christabel Manning and Seka Kasera in 2010, this guide provides an introduction to the Tanzanian legal system, as well as information on research resources. An overview of the legal profession in Tanzania is also included.
    • International Team Project: Tanzanian Research Checklist
      This website was prepared for Northwestern Law School faculty and students who travelled to Tanzania during the spring semester of 2011.
    • Legal: Tanzania
      This is a brief introduction to the Tanzanian government structure and legal system, as posted on the Tanzanian government's official website.

    Online Translators

    Tanzania's principle languages are Swahili and English, but many local tribal languages are also spoken. English is used in the higher courts, and Tanzanian Acts of Parliament are available in English on the Parliament's website

    Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary.  Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage. Google Translate offers translation from Swahili into English. 



      Subject Guide

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      Julienne Grant
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      Philip H. Corboy Law Center
      Loyola Law Library
      25 E. Pearson
      Room 321
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      Print Research Guide

      Prepared in the summer of 2009, updated in February 2012, this 23-page guide offers instructions and tips on how to research foreign, comparative, and international law at the LUC Law Library.  The annotated guide lists print reference sources, subscription databases, free websites, and current awareness sources that may be useful when approaching foreign, comparative, and international law questions.


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