Researching the civil and temporal laws of the Vatican City State (VCS) can be both frustrating and challenging. The frustration lies in the inevitable intertwining of the State’s laws with the laws that govern the Roman Catholic Church in the identity of the Holy See, while the challenge is to separate the two. Ultimately, given the constitutional makeup of the nation and the sovereign powers accorded the Supreme Pontiff, there is a limit to the extent to which one can identify and separate the two legal systems. It is therefore very important for a researcher in this area to distinguish between sources referring to the Holy See (Canon law) and sources referring to the
A more extensive research guide is Stephen Young & Alison Shea, Separating State from Church: A Research Guide to the Law of the Vatican City State, 99 L. Lib. J. 589 (2007).
An abbreviated version of the guide was updated in 2012 by Alison Shea on Globalex.