Since its inception in 1991 by the Law Library of Congress, GLIN has grown from two founding members—Mexico and Brazil—to 46 member nations and international organizations representing Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Initially, GLIN included statutory materials such as constitutions, laws and regulations. It now incorporates additional types of legal information such as judicial decisions, legislative records and legal literature.
The database is accessible in 13 different languages and provides multilingual search capabilities. Member nations contribute the official full texts of published documents to the database in their original language. Each document is accompanied by a summary in English and subject terms selected from GLIN’s multilingual index. Documents on the GLIN database are open to the public, with the exception of the full text of laws of some countries that are not in the public domain; those texts are accessible to member nations.