This Portal provides details on free-only resources that law investigators, cases officers and researchers in related field(s) and interested individuals can have access to for legal, academic and research purposes.


JSTOR is a digital library for the intellectually curious that helps everyone discover, share and connect valuable ideas. This platform provides access to more than 12 million journal articles, books, images, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.

JSTOR helps you explore a wide range of scholarly content through a powerful research and teaching platform. They collaborate with the academic community to help libraries connect students and faculty to vital content while lowering costs and increasing shelf space, provide independent researchers with free and low-cost access to scholarship, and help publishers reach new audiences and preserve their content for future generations.

JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Artstor, Ithaka S+R, and Portico.

Research4Life provides institutions in low-and middle-income countries with online access to academic and professional peer-reviewed content. We aim to improve teaching, research and policymaking in health, agriculture, the environment and other life, physical and social sciences.

Since 2002, Research4Life has provided researchers at more than 11,000 institutions in over 125 lower- and middle-income countries with free or low-cost online access to up to 205,000 leading journals and books in the fields of health, agriculture, environment, applied sciences, and legal information.

We do this in partnership with organizations in the fields of scholarly communications, technology, and international development: WHO, FAO, UNEP, WIPO, ILO; Cornell and Yale Universities; the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers, and more than 200 international publishing partners.

There are five content collections: Research for Health (Hinari), Research in Agriculture (AGORA), Research in the Environment (OARE), Research for Development and Innovation (ARDI) and Research for Global Justice (GOALI).

Home – Research4Life

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (also known as the Banjul Charter) is an international human rights instrument that is intended to promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in the African continent.

The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) forms a critical part of Ghana’s historical artefacts. It was setup to improve literacy outcomes, which is key to the development of the country.

This includes the provision of information services which seek to improve reading outcomes, leading to increased public awareness as a critical component of the overall strategy towards tackling illiteracy, poverty, disease and unemployment related problems. 

The Canadian Human Rights Reporter Inc. (CHRR) is a not-for-profit organization established to promote access to human rights law in Canada.

This includes published decisions of tribunals, boards of inquiry and courts from all jurisdictions, as well as the appeals which flow from them. Many of the decisions published by CHRR are not available from any other source. CHRR also publishes human rights legislation from all jurisdictions.

Their work is funded entirely by paid subscriptions to services provided by CHRR.

The African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) is a leading peer-reviewed journal focused on human rights related topics of relevance to Africa, Africans, and scholars of Africa. As democratic practices and the protection of human rights struggle to become rooted in Africa, the Journal aims to contribute towards strengthening indigenous African scholarship.

The AHRLJ is published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) which took over from Juta as publisher in 2013. It is published in association with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. All journal content, dating back to the first issue of 2001, is available and will be maintained on the Journal’s web site

The AHRLJ still publishes a small number of printed copies for each volume, which are sent out to the required Legal Depository addresses as per the Legal Deposit Act, Act 54 of 1997.  All journal content, dating back to the first issue of 2001, is available and will be maintained on the Journal’s web site ( The Journal is published only in English.

The Constitutional Court Review (CCR) is an international journal of record that tracks the work of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

The compilation of long essays, replies, articles and case comments use recent decisions to navigate more general currents in the Court’s jurisprudence. The Journal follows a strict double-blind, peer-reviewed editorial process. The CCR invites contributions from outstanding scholars but also considers unsolicited submissions that fit with the aims and scope of the Journal. It is published annually. Articles are published Open Access under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). 

JLSD seeks to address various socio-economic, legal, and political research issues, such as democracy and society, to find its proper niche and its feet to help the community it serves to understand these issues. It also aims to forge a path towards inclusive epistemological discussions and debate in South Africa and the world at large.

This platform consists of articles that resort in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the exact sciences, or political science and which are relevant to the theme of law, society and development are invited for inclusion. 

Just Africa, which was previously published by the ALL AFRICA CRIMINAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (ACJUS) (first published in 2014).  Co-published with Southern Business School (SBS). Just Africa is a peer-reviewed academic journal that promotes academic and professional discourse and the publishing of research results about crime and criminal justice and other crime-related phenomena in the broad Criminological Sciences and applied field of criminal justice.

It also addresses other crime-related phenomena in the broad criminological sciences and applied field of criminal justice.

The MLJ is a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes cutting-edge, original and previously unpublished work.

It accepts articles that explore the interface, tension and congruence between law, human rights, democracy, and development in Malawi and other African countries. Articles of a comparative nature, which are locally relevant, and those dealing with current legal issues of regional importance are also considered.

All journal content, dating back to the first issue of 2001, is available and will be maintained on the Journal’s web site 

The Obiter is published under the auspices of the Faculty of Law, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. It is a fully accredited journal publishing articles on topical legal issues and legal research.

Obiter publishes contributions relevant to the development of South African law.  It welcomes contributions relating to all branches of South African law.  Contributions of a comparative nature from any part of the world are also invited on the basis that the lessons drawn from the comparison are focused on South African Law.

Obiter is published tri-annually and welcomes contributions in English. Additional special editions are published periodically.

All journal content is available and will be maintained on the Journal’s website  Obiter (

The South African Law Journal is South Africa’s premier law journal. It publishes articles, notes on cases, and book reviews by prominent members of the legal profession and academics. Founded in 1884, it is the oldest law journal of its kind in the world.

The South African Law Journal is the legal showcase for new ideas, changing attitudes and shifting emphases in South African law. Those who are interested in these changes and developments will find this journal stimulating reading.

All journal content is available and will be maintained on this web site

BAILII, based at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, contains British and Irish case law & legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material. BAILII continues to assist The National Archives in developing their new service for judgments from England and Wales. Alongside other charitable endeavors, BAILII will continue to provide free access to a wide range of legal materials, including judgments from England and Wales as well as other jurisdictions – Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and European courts, and the Commonwealth.

All journal content can be found on this web site British and Irish Legal Information Institute (

The University of Calgary Press is a university publishing house that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Calgary. Located in Calgary, Alberta, it publishes peer-reviewed scholarly books that connect local experiences to global communities.

The publishing specialties of the University of Calgary Press include: African Studies; Arctic and Northern Studies; Contemporary Canadian Art and Architecture; Energy, Ecology and Sustainability; Film Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Military and Strategic Studies; and The West.

The Advocates for Human Rights carries out monitoring and fact-finding in partnership with activists around the world, publishing reports that seek to uncover the truth of human rights violations wherever they occur. Those reports drive legal reforms, domestic and United Nations advocacy, protections for asylum seekers, and training on combating and documenting human rights violations.

Their resources include publications and training programs for Human Rights advocates, educators, and volunteers.

Publications – The Advocates for Human Rights


The University of Ghana Law Journal is Ghana’s leading and oldest law journal. It was founded in 1964 by the then Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, to publish articles, notes and book reviews by legal academics and other prominent members of the legal profession.

The University of Ghana identified six “core” law journals:

  • The Law Quarterly Review
  • Criminal Law Review
  • Modern Law Review
  • American Journal of International Law
  • Journal of African Law
  • African Journal of International and Comparative Law

African LII is a program of the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town. They help individuals, organizations, and governments build and maintain sustainable free access to law portals and reach the people of Africa and beyond.  They convene a network of 16 African LIIs – a collaborative group of organizations and individuals in Africa, dedicated to free access to law on our continent.

Free Access to Law, or LII, websites are indispensable sources of legal information for the justice sector and citizens of the countries LIIs serve.  Often, there is no commercial alternative.

We also provide a Pan-African legal search engine and host regional legal materials for free access.

The following are law journals that can be accessed free of charge.

African Legal Information Institute | Access and Shape African Law (

The University of Botswana Law Journal is a peer refereed journal published twice a year. It provides a forum for scholars and practitioners to reflect on diverse legal issues of national reginal and international significance and of local and regional relevance.

University of Botswana Law Journal (

According to the editor in chief, Dr. Biko Agozino, this journal is the official organ of the African Criminology and Justice Association, but the opinions expressed in the journal are those of the authors and not necessarily representative of the views of the association. The journal is here to fill a void in existing knowledge by exposing the discipline to knowledge about and from Africa and Africans worldwide that could enrich the discipline in a progressive direction. For too long has criminology continued as a discipline designed almost exclusively by others with little or no acknowledgement of the contributions, actual and potential, from African sources.”

African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies | African Legal Information Institute (

The Journal is a platform for the scholarly analysis of Kenyan law and interdisciplinary academic research on the law. It serves as a platform where prominent scholars share their views on various aspects of the law.

Kenya Law | Product Catalogue


Justia is an American website specializing in legal information retrieval. It was founded in 2003 by Tim Stanley, formerly of FindLaw, and is one of the largest online databases of legal cases. Justia provides the community with open and free access to the law. We strongly believe that the law belongs to all of us and that everyone should have access to the laws that touch and affect our lives. The website offers free case law, codes, opinion summaries, and other basic legal texts, with paid services for its attorney directory and webhosting.

FindLaw offers a database of case law from the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as several state supreme courts. It also has a section named ‘Learn About the Law’ which features informational articles about a wide variety of legal topics, as well as specific information about subjects such as how to hire an attorney and understanding your state’s unique laws.

Judy Legal is a comprehensive database of African case law that automatically mines and aggregates recaps of cases written by judges in their final judgments. This provides a multifaceted summary for any given case as seen through the eyes of the most important stakeholders: the judges.


This Manual provides a comprehensive overview of the key skills that NHRI investigators require in order to conduct effective investigations. For example, interviews are an almost universal element of all human rights investigations. Accordingly, the Manual devotes considerable attention to planning and conducting interviews with witnesses. There is also a strong focus on emerging areas of human rights investigation, such as collecting and preserving evidence from digital and online sources. While the Manual includes examples of good practice from NHRIs and other State oversight agencies, one case study has been used throughout to illustrate what can happen when investigators do not follow good investigative processes.

This manual was written by Gareth Jones who is the Director of the Special Ombudsman Response Team (SORT) at the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario. You may find the manual at the website below:

This guide is to share knowledge about best practices developed by Ombudsman institutions around the world. It aims to provide personnel of Ombudsman institutions with accessible guidelines on the rules and approaches for examining complaints and most importantly, for conducting investigations. More specifically, the guide contains best practices on policies regarding the receipt of complaints, decisions to investigate or not, how they are investigated and how the results of those investigations are presented to the complainant, the subject of the investigation, the public and the media. At the same time it does not consider the specific types of complaints or complainants, specific subjects, media relation other than concerning investigations, alternative dispute resolutions or evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of an Ombudsman institution.

Guide for Ombudsman Institutions: How to Conduct Investigations | United Nations Development Programme (

The present publication also includes a selection of good national practices which highlight the application of these standards in Europe. The selected practices provide numerous examples of how the European 4 States implement the principles which are vital for each ombudsman institution, including independence; impartiality, objectivity and fairness; integrity and high moral authority; a comprehensive mandate; accessibility; and effectiveness. The publication is intended for wide dissemination in Europe and beyond in order to assist the States, and indeed the Ombudsman community itself, in maximizing the positive role of the Ombudsman institutions in modern societies.

This article can be found at the link below:

1680a13325 (

There are many online sources of free legal information that will aid in research. There are databases of judicial decisions and legislation. As well, many websites have articles on various legal issues. There are manuals covering how to conduct investigations, best practices and thousands of scholarly journals.

This outline is intended to serve as an overview of the available resources and a first step toward an extensive online legal library.


Some countries and organizations are members of the Legal Information Institute and have a collection of databases, often identified by the name or abbreviation of the country followed by “”. The databases are court decisions from  various courts, legislative instruments and sometimes law journals. The databases are usually open access. 


Caselaw is best searched on the website Cases from all the countries with a Lii can be searched as a single database. The search can be filtered by website, content type, year of judgment, court name and tags. Tags are a broad indication of the subject matter of a court decision. Some countries do not have their own Liis. If their courts’ judgments are published, they can be found on Select “All Databases” on the homepage. Scroll down to “Other African Databases” on the left side. To find the country of interest. 


Links to information about the law in specific African countries can be found at Under the tab “Regional Law”. African countries are listed in alphabetical order after the heading “Regional Law”. Links to the country’s legal databases can be found by clicking on the country’s name. 

WHERE TO FIND DATABASES OF CASE LAW 2000-2011. Legal decisions by the UN human rights treaty bodies, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court, and subregional and national courts of relevance to human rights laws in Africa. 



Ghana:;, older cases at 



Madagascar:, more decisions in English at 

Malawi:, for decisions of the Industrial Relations Court 2000-2003 

Mauritius: access case law at  

  • Using the search bar at the top right of the home page, type the name of the court whose decisions you want to see: District Court, Independent Commission Against Corruption, Industrial Court or Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from 1982 to 2009 are available on also.  
  • Rulings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption from 2014 to date can be found at 

Mozambique: supreme court decisions 1992 – 2007 are available at 




South Africa: 



Uganda:, Selected decisions of in English of Uganda Supreme Court are at 

  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) COMESA Court of Justice decisions from 2000 to date are available at 
  • East African Community (EAC) 2005 to date, has both a court of first instance and an appellate division. Decisions are available at 
  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice (CCJ) decisions from 2001 to date are available at 
  • African Court of Human and Peoples Rights . Cases decided by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights from 2006 to date. 
  • African Human Rights Law Reports. selected cases from human rights and national courts across Africa relating to human rights, 2005 – 2011 
  • African Journals Online, search the category “Political Science and Law” for “free to read” journals. 
  • Research for Life, sign-in using CHRAJ’s username and password to search hundreds of law-related journals in the GOALI collection. 


  • African Disability Rights Yearbook – peer reviewed, published annually, 2013 to date, available on 
  • African Human Rights Law Journal – peer reviewed, published 2 times/year, 2010 to date, available on 
  • Botswana Law Journal peer-reviewed, published twice/year  
  • Law, Democracy and Development Law Journal – peer reviewed, articles published as soon as approved 1997 to date, available on 
  • Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal – peer reviewed. Articles published as soon as approved 2005 to date. Concerned with the intersection of constitutional law and development, available on 
  • Constitutional Court Review – peer reviewed, published annually, 2008 – date. Commentary on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, available on 
  • SADC Law Journal – peer reviewed, published annually, articles relevant to issues facing the South African Development Community, available on 
  • Speculum Juris – peer reviewed, articles published as soon as approved 2012 to date – scholarly articles covering issues of contemporary relevance, available on 
  • African Law Review, peer reviewed, published 4 times/year, 2018-date, Covers current legal issues, available on 
  • De Jure peer-reviewed, published annually, 2011 to date, available on 
  • African Human Rights Yearbook – peer-reviewed, published annually 2017 to date, provides a “forum for constructive engagement about the African human rights system”. Available at: under the tab “Publications”. 
  • East African Community Law Journal, peer reviewed, published once every two years, issues relevant to the EAC. 
  • Obiter Peer reviewed; articles published when approved. Publishes articles relevant to the development of South African law. Available at 
  • The website study-on-line, in the A-Z section has short articles on various legal topics. There is caselaw, and legislation on the site. Most of it is in the Amharic language and script or another language other than English. 
  • has articles and the Kenya Law Journal (which does not appear to be peer-reviewed) under the tab “Publications”. 


  • The has practical guides to investigation and enforcement under the “Resources” tab in the subsection “For Human Rights Defenders.” 


Papers on best practice: 

  • Conference papers 2009, 2012 
  • Occasional papers 1979- 2008 

The University sent us a link to all its open access publications. Not all will be useful, but there are likely some needles in the haystack.

The African Union has links to free content in the popular press on its website.  

  1. go
  2. under “more resources” click “AU Library
  3. under the tab labelled “e-resources” click “Press Reader – daily newspapers
  4. on the top left of the page, click “catalog”.

You will see all the newspapers and magazines that you can access. Just click on the one you want!