Public services

Reference service

For all your questions concerning research in our collections, you can:

  • Ask your question by e-mail:
  • Contact us by telephone, Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm, on +41 (0)21 692 49 11
  • If you are on site at the Institute, ask for a reference librarian available upon request at the reception desk
  • You can also make an appointment with one of our experts for an introduction to our collections and our databases

Email enquiries can only be dealt with if they require short, specific answers. For example, we can:

  • Locate documents
  • Advise on the contents of our collections
  • Verify bibliographic citation information
  • Identify legal acronyms and abbreviations

Important reminder: Requests for legal advice and enquiries concerning legal information are to be addressed exclusively to our secretariat.

Interlibrary loan and Document Delivery


The Library of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law is a so-called "consultation library". This means that no books can be borrowed. Nevertheless, recognising the need for mutual assistance, we do provide Interlibrary and International Loans (ILL).

The delivery costs of international loans are covered by the requesting library. The fees are to be paid exclusively with IFLA Vouchers.

We can lend documents from our collections, with the exception of the following:

  • Reference books
  • Periodicals
  • Loose leafs
  • Ancient books
  • Certain rare books (usually irreplaceable in the event of loss, i.e. some works from Latin America, Asia, Africa)

You can contact us by email at the following address: or by telephone +41 (0)21 692 49 13.


For all our documents, photocopies can be sent subject to the following fees: for foreign libraries, one full IFLA Voucher per article or per contribution in a collective work, regardless of the number of pages.

We also take part in the Service ILL RERO, open to Swiss and foreign libraries. The registration form is available online.

Work space reservation

The Institute offers researchers the possibility of reserving a workplace in the library.

The work space reservation is possible for every Swiss and foreign student and researcher in Law. Please contact our supporting research services.