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Researching Tanzanian Law: Getting Started


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.

Image result for flag of tanzania


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

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.

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. 


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.