OSCOLA Reference Guide

OSCOLA Reference Guide

It is critical to cite and reference your sources in any work you produce for your tasks. Citing is a method of recognizing that you have utilized the ideas of another author to compose your piece. It exhibits that you have embraced a suitable literature search and that you have read well. It empowers anybody perusing your work to look into your references and read them for themselves.

When to Cite?

If the facts are basic information, then there is no compelling reason to give a reference. However, if you are in any uncertainty, it is smarter to cite the source. Here are a couple of examples.

“The capital of the US is New York.” This is a typical truth and shouldn’t be cited.

“New York is the best city in the US.” This is an assessment. Who says as much? What setting? This should be cited appropriately to clarify your assertion.

What is OSCOLA?

OSCOLA refers to the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities. It is the Law referring to the framework made by Oxford University. In the event that you are a post-graduate law understudy, you are needed to utilize this referring system. In this system, references are placed in footnotes at the bottom of the page.

Additionally, OSCOLA (the Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities) is a method of citing and referencing lawful materials.

OSCOLA is a footnote referencing style. That implies that you have little superscript numbers in your content (for example 1, 2, 3, and so on), and these connect to references at the lower part of each page.

For longer reports, you might be asked to incorporate top-notch abbreviations and tables of cases, enactment, and other essential sources toward the beginning, and a book index of auxiliary sources toward the end. This is notwithstanding your footnotes.

How do I present a quotation within my document?

You will most likely need to incorporate statements from cases, books, and so on in your work. In the event that the quotation is short (up to 3 lines), you should place it into single quotes and consolidate it inside your content.

How Do I Use OSCOLA Referencing in Microsoft Word?

To embed a reference in the content go to the ‘References’ tab on the ribbon and snap-on ‘Addition Citation’ and ‘Add new source’. Select the ‘Kind of source’ and fill in the boxes.  Ensure you add all the references to your documents. Once you have completed, go to the end of your report and snap on the ‘bibliography’ option.

OSCOLA Reference Guidelines

Here are the OSCOLA reference guidelines.


Quotations that are three lines or more limited should be fused into the content. Use ‘single quotes’, but if you need to present your work to Turnitin, use “twofold quotes”.

Citations longer than three lines should be an indented paragraph. Try not to incorporate quotes.


Put the footnote marker toward the end of a sentence, except if for clearness it is important to put it straightforwardly after the word or expression to which it relates.

The superscript number should be after the full stop or comma, if applicable.

Where more than one citation is given in a single footnote reference, separate them with semi-colons

Author’s’ names

Give the author’s name precisely as it shows up in the publication. However, discard postnominals, such as QC.

If there are at least three authors, give the name of the main author followed by ‘and others.’

If no individual author is distinguished, yet an association or organization claims article obligation regarding the work, then refer to it as the writer.

In case no individual, association, or organization claims duty regarding the work, start the reference with the title.

In the footnote, the author’s first name or initial(s) go before their last name

In lists of sources, the family name starts things out, at that point the initial(s), followed by a comma


Italicize titles of books and similar publications, incorporating all publications with ISBNs

Any remaining titles should be inside single quotes and not in italics.

Capitalize the first letter in all significant words in a title

Minor words, for example, ‘for’, ‘and additionally’, and ‘the’, don’t take a capital except if they start the title or subtitle.


Pinpoints to parts, sections, pages, and passages come toward the finish of a citation.

For cases, pinpoint sections utilizing square sections, for example [23]. If you are pinpointing to more than one section, separate the passage numbers in square sections with a comma, for example [42], [45]. If you are citing spans of paragraphs, insert a dash between the first and last paragraph being cited, e.g. [1]-[37].

For everything other than cases, use ‘pt’ for a part, ‘ch’ for the chapter, and ‘para’ for a paragraph.

Page numbers independent, without ‘p’ or ‘pp’

If you are citing a section or part and page number, embed a comma before the page number.

Where conceivable, give a particular scope of pages; however if you should allude to an underlying page and a few unknown after pages, give the underlying page number followed promptly by ‘ff ‘ (eg ‘167ff ‘)

Electronic sources (this doesn’t have any significant bearing to cases and enactment)

In the event that you source a publication online which is likewise accessible in the printed version, refer to the printed copy form. There is no compelling reason to refer to an electronic source for such a publication.

References of publications that are accessible just electronically should end with the web address (or ‘URL’) in angled brackets (< >), followed by the date of latest access, communicated in the structure accessed on 2 January 2019′

Incorporate ‘HTTP://’ just if the web address doesn’t start with ‘www’


At the point when a full date is required, the configuration should be ‘1 January 2016’

There is no requirement for ‘st’ or ‘th’ after the day

In the event that something traverses over one year in the same century, the system is ‘1972-84’

Subsequent citations

If a citation is equivalent to the one preceding it, you can put ‘ibid’ (followed by any varying pinpoints) in the footnote.

If the reference is equivalent to another, you can utilize an abbreviated structure, followed by a reference to the commentary and any contrasting pinpoints, for example, Stevens (n 1) 110.


Case citations including neutral citations.

Case name | [year] | court | number, | [year] OR (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first page


Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884

Case citations without neutral citations

Case name | [year] OR (year) | volume | report shortened form | first page | (court)


Barrett v Enfield LBC [2001] 2 AC 550 (HL)


In the event that just a single volume was given during that specific year, don’t give a number

Utilize square brackets for the year a volume was given

Use round brackets for the year a judgment was given

If you incorporated the case name in the content, you don’t have to incorporate the case name in the footnote.

Where there are different parties, the name just the primary petitioner and first litigant. Where the parties are people, preclude forenames and initials.

What are neutral citations?

Numerous courts presently issue decisions with a nonpartisan reference that recognize the judgment autonomously of any law report. Impartial references give the time of judgment, the court, and the judgment number. The court is excluded from sections toward the finish of an impartial reference in light of the fact that the nonpartisan reference itself distinguishes the court.

Where a judgment with a neutral citation has not been accounted for, give just the nonpartisan reference.


Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1

Where such a judgment has been accounted for, give a neutral citation followed by a reference of the most definitive report, isolated by a comma.


Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884

UK primary legislation (Acts and Bills)

Cite an Act by its short title and year, utilizing capitals at the start of significant words, and without a comma before the year. Try not to utilize mainstream titles of Acts, for example, ‘Ruler Campbell’s Act’


Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Act 1995

On the off chance that few wards are examined in a work, it very well might be important to add the jurisdiction of the enactment in brackets toward the end of the citation.


Water Resources Act 1991 (UK)

In the event that the quotation is longer, it should be introduced in an indented section.

UK secondary legislation (statutory instruments)

Legal instruments (requests, guidelines or rules) are numbered sequentially consistently. The year joins with the chronic number to give a SI number that follows the contraction ‘SI’ and which is utilized to recognize the enactment. While referring to a legal instrument, give the name, year, and (after a comma) the SI number:

Punishments for Disorderly Behaviour (Amendment of Minimum Age) Order 2004, SI 2004/3166

Legal instruments used to be called legal standards and orders, and these are referred to by their title and SR and O number.

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and their predecessors, the Rules of the Supreme Court (RSC) and the County Court Rules (CCR), might be cited without reference to their SI number or year. Refer to any remaining court governs in full as legal instruments.



RSC Ord 24, r 14A

CPR Practice Directions (PD) is cited just by number, as indicated by the part or rule they supplement.


6A PD 4.1


Here is how to cite a book.

Author, | title | (extra data, | version, | publisher | year)


Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (OUP 2009)

Gareth Jones, Goff, and Jones: The Law of Restitution (first supp, seventh edn, Sweet and Maxwell 2009)

In the event that there is more than one author embed an ‘and’ before the last author’s name. The version should be incorporated where the book is in its subsequent release or past. If you are citing data from a particular page, add the page number straightforwardly after the reference.


Gareth Jones, Goff, and Jones: The Law of Restitution (1st supp, 7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2009)

If a book comprises of more than one volume, the volume number follows the publication details

Andrew Burrows, Remedies for Torts and Breach of Contract (third edn, OUP 2004) 317

If the publication details of the volumes vary, the volume number goes before them, and is isolated from the title by a comma:

Christian von Bar, The Common European Law of Torts, vol 2 (CH Beck 2000) para 76

Editors and translators

If there is no author, refer to the editor or translator as an author, including sections after their name ‘(ed)’ or ‘(tr)’, or ‘(eds)’ or ‘(trs)’ if there is multiple.

If the work has an author, however, an editor or translator is likewise recognized on the title page, cite the author in the usual way and attribute the editor or translator at the beginning of the publication information, within the brackets:

HLA Hart, Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law (John Gardner ed, second edn, OUP 2008)

Contributions to edited books

Writer, | ‘title’ | in editorial manager (ed), | book title | (extra information,| distributer | year)


John Cartwright, ‘The Fiction of the “Sensible Man”‘ in AG Castermans and others (eds), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009)


Cite an encyclopedia much as you would a book, however, excluding the writer or editorial manager and publisher and including the release and year of issue or reissue. If citing an online encyclopedia, give the web address and date of access.


Halsbury’s Laws (fifth edn, 2010) vol 57, para 53

Leslie Green, ‘Lawful Positivism’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall edn, 2009) <http://plato.stanford.edu/chronicles/fall2009/passages/legitimate positivism> got to 20 November 2009


writer, | ‘title’ | (year) | volume | diary name or contraction | first page of article

If only a single volume was published that year, utilize square brackets.

writer, | ‘title’ | [year] | journal name or abbreviation | first page of the article

Put a comma after the primary page of the article if there is a pinpoint (the particular page you are referring to).


JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64

Online articles

While citing journal articles that have been published just electronically, give publication details with respect to articles in printed copy journals.

Note that online journals may not have a portion of the distribution components (for instance, many do exclude page numbers).

In the event that reference exhortation is given by the online diary, follow it, eliminating full stops as important to consent to OSCOLA.

Follow the reference with the web address (in angled brackets) and the date you most recently accessed the article.

Utilize square sections for the year a volume was given

Use round brackets for the year a judgment was given

creator, | ‘title’ | [year] OR (year) | volume/issue | journal name or abbreviation | <web address> | date got to


Graham Greenleaf, ‘The Global Development of Free Access to Legal Information’ (2010) 1(1) EJLT <http://ejlt.org/article/see/17> got to 27 July 2010

Case notes

Treat case notes with titles as though they were journaling articles. Where there is no title, utilize the name of the case in italics all things being equal, and add (note) toward the finish of the reference.

Andrew Ashworth, ‘R (Singh) v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police’ [2006] Crim LR 441 (note)


HL Deb OR HC Deb | date, | volume, | segment

In the House of Commons, composed answers are shown by the postfix ‘W’ after the segment number; in the House of Lords, they are demonstrated by the prefix ‘WA’ before the section number.


HC Deb 3 February 1977, vol 389, cols 973–76

HL Deb 21 July 2005, vol 673, col WA261

Command papers

Command papers incorporate White and Green Papers, applicable deals, government reactions to choose board reports, and reports of panels of request. While citing a command paper, start the reference with the name of the division or other body that delivered the paper, and afterward give the title of the paper in italics, trailed by the order paper number and the year in brackets.


Home Office, Report of the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment (Cmd 8932, 1953) para 53

The abbreviation form going before an order paper number relies upon the time of distribution:

1833–69 (C (first series))

1870–99 (C (second series))

1900–18 (Cd)

1919–56 (Cmd)

1957–86 (Cmnd)


Sites and websites

Sarah Cole, ‘Virtual Friend Fires Employee’ (Naked Law, 1 May 2009) <www.nakedlaw.com/2009/05/index.html> got to 19 November 2009

In the event that there is no author distinguished, and it is fitting to refer to a mysterious source, start the reference with the title in a typical manner.

If there is no date of publication on the site, give just the date of access

Newspaper articles

creator, | ‘title’ | name of the paper | (city of publication, | date) | page whenever known


Jane Croft, ‘High Court Warns on Quality’ Financial Times (London, 1 July 2010) 3

Ian Loader, ‘The Great Victim of this Get Tough Hyperactivity is Labor’ The Guardian (London, 19 June 2008) <www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/19/justice.ukcrime> got to 19 November 2009


Interviewer if not yourself, | Interview with name, position, the foundation of interviewee | (area, date of meeting)


Interview with Irene Kull, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Law, Tartu University (Tartu, Estonia, 4 August 2003)

Timothy Endicott and John Gardner, Interview with Tony Honoré, Emeritus Regius Professor of Civil Law, University of (Oxford, 17 July 2007)

If the reference is to an editorial, cite the author as ‘Editorial’.

If you directed a meeting for the reasons for your paper, you don’t have to refer to it in your thesis. In case the records of your meetings are in your reference section, you can allude to your index in sections or a commentary, e.g.:

As per interviewee X (Appendix 1), the …

Or on the other hand, you could refer to it as an individual correspondence in a reference.

Personal communications

When you are citing individual correspondences, such as messages and letters, give the author and beneficiary of the correspondence, and the date. If you are yourself the creator or beneficiary of the correspondence, state ‘from author’ or ‘to author’ as proper.


Letter from Gordon Brown to Lady Ashton (20 November 2009)

Email from Amazon.co.uk to the author (16 December 2008)