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Classification of Legal Materials

The EUI Library has partially reclassified the Law print collection, from the Steiner classification scheme to the Dewey Decimal classification scheme.

Print books on legal theory, public and private international law, EU Law and comparative law are now classified and shelved according to DDC (classes 340 to 349).

Print books on national legal systems are classified according to the Steiner classification scheme (classes F to Z) and will be gradually reclassified over the next months.

All new law books are classified with DDC. Specific signs have been prepared to guide users in this transition period. 

      The core of the law collection (monographs, legal reporting publications and loose-leaf publications) is kept on the upper floor of the Library and is classified according the
Steiner classification scheme
    for the law collection. This scheme was drawn up in 1981 for the EUI by W.A.F.P. Steiner, former librarian of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of London. Each class mark is composed of: 
  1. Jurisdiction: one or more capital letters, followed by
  2. Subject division: one or more small letters, followed by
  3. Form:  a number 

For example:

Dcj9 - International law -sources -monograph

ECcd9 - EU law - constitutional law - monograph

Lf4 - Germany - constitutional law- text



1. Jurisdictions i.e. main classes (capital letters)

The scheme provides for works on all jurisdictions. The following synopsis of main classes identifies only those on which the Law Library has a certain amount of material.

  • A - Legal reference works; dictionaries
  • B - Jurisprudence
  • D - Public international law
  • EC - European Union
  • F - Comparative law
  • HC - United Kingdom
  • HH - Republic of Ireland
  • JA - Netherlands
  • JC - Belgium
  • KC - France
  • L - Germany
  • LP - Austria
  • LT - Switzerland
  • M - Italy
  • NB - Denmark
  • P - Spain
  • PP - Portugal
  • Q - Greece
  • T - Central Europe
  • U - Asia
  • W - Africa
  • YC - United States of America

2. Subject divisions (small letters)

A common set of subject divisions is applied to all country jurisdictions (classes G-Z) and includes the differing requirements of common law and civil law jurisdictions. The following synopsis lists the main subject divisions of country jurisdictions:  

  • a - Not restricted as to subject
  • b - Legal history
  • c - Special aspects of the legal system
  • d - Administration of justice
  • e - Public law
  • f - Constitutional law
  • g - Constitutional position of individuals
  • h - Constitutional position of groups
  • j - Administrative law (general part)
  • k - Public regulation and provision of public services (administrative law applicable to specific matters)  
  • m - Tax law
  • n - Criminal law
  • p - Criminal procedure
  • q - Procedure in general; civil procedure
  • s - Private law
  • t - Private law; property
  • u - Private law; obligations
  • v - Commercial law
  • w - Commercial law; business organizations
  • x - Conflict of laws
  • y - Conflict of laws; property
  • z - Conflict of laws; obligations

Special subject divisions have been developed for the classes:

  • B - Jurisprudence
  • D - Public international law
  • EB - Council of Europe
  • EC - European Union

The Guide to the Steiner Classification Scheme can be consulted with Valentina Spiga for a more detailed description of these classes.


3. Form divisions (numbers)

A selection of the most used form divisions is given below (these are form divisions used for jurisdictional main classes i.e. G-Z. Special variations are provided for main classes A, C, D, E).

23 - Encyclopedias
32 - Parliamentary papers
34 - Conference proceedings
4 - Primary legislation
5 - Law reports and court records
6 - Cases
9 - Monographs
92 - Festschriften. Collections


Page last updated on 26 June 2024

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