The Institute has always been very much concerned with fostering and supporting comparative research. Indeed, it was the desire to promote comparative research of legal systems that played such a significant role in the establishing of the Institute in the first place. It has long been the case that the Institute's library is one of the great comparative law libraries of the world and it is concerned to ensure that its collections justify its international reputation.

The Institute continues to receive a large number of visiting scholars from different legal traditions and, wherever feasible, attempts to support and encourage their work through involving them in its publications, seminar and conference and fellowships programmes.