Legal Citation

Legal Citation

Legal citations are the references in the text or in footnotes to the primary source of the rule being used, the source of proof or authority.

In the United States

In the United States, if you are searching for a legal citation you must use the precise format shown below, including exact punctuation. For other types of references such as newspaper and magazine articles, see the article on References Citation .

In the UK

In the Uk, generally the legal citation standard is the OSCOLA (the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) style, which is in keeping with legal practice in the UK and other countries. OSCOLA is a footnote1 style; it does not use in-text citations or endnotes.

The Law Reports series are regarded as the most authoritative reports and if a case is reported in this series, it should generally be cited in preference to any other report. If a judgment is not reported in the Law Reports, cite the Weekly Law Reports or the All England Law Reports. If a judgment is not reported in any of these general series, then cite a specialist series, such as the Family Law Reports or the Criminal Appeal Reports.

In the European Union

Since 1989, EU cases have been numbered according to whether they were registered at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) or the Court of First Instance (CFI) and given the prefix C- (for ECJ cases) or T- (for CFI cases). Cases prior to 1989 have no prefix.

In citing European Union case law, it is advisable to refer to the European Court Reports (ECR). ECJ cases are reported in volume one (ECR I-) and CFI cases are reported in volume two (ECR II-). If an ECR reference is not available, you may use the Common Market Law Reports (CMLR). Some cases are also reported in the Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports and/or the All England Law Reports (European Cases).

For unreported cases, academics, students and the European Union institutions cite the notice in the Official Journal (OJ). If the case is not yet reported in the OJ, it is possible to cite the case number and case name, followed by the court and date of judgment in brackets.

When use pinpoints in EU legal citation, use ‘para’ pr ‘paras’ after a comma.

When citing an opinion of an Advocate General, add the words ‘opinion of AG *name+’ after the case citation and a comma, and before any pinpoint.

In Canada

In Canada, you can use the Canadian Quicklaw™ Citation Formats. In this case you can search also for Canadian legal material on the following content:
• Canadian Cases
• Canadian Legislation
• Canadian Law Journals

When typing in a citation in these canadian legal citation format it is not necessary to enter brackets, punctuation, capitalization or spaces. But exceptions to this rule include the FC citation, and some older Ontario Reports citations. FC can stand for the Federal Court Reports or the Federal Court neutral citation. Some older Ontario Reports citations do not have a volume/edition number, and therefore can be confused with other citations. Be sure to always enter spaces, capitals and/or periods when using these citations.

Legal citation of Lawi Encyclopedia

Because Lawi is an electronic source, the citations of Lawi and other legal source of information which are only available electronically should end with the web address (URL) in angled brackets followed by the date of most recent access.

Cite the Lawi encyclopedia as you would a book, but exclude the author or editor and publisher and include the edition and year of issue or reissue. Pinpoints to paragraphs come after the publication information.

Remember that some of the publication details (such as page numbers) are not be available. Citation advice is offered by the Lawi Encyclopedia. Please follow it.



See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

American Legal Systems: A Resource and Reference Guide, Annotations, Briefs in Law, Court Reports, History of Citation Indexing, Law Journals, Legal Abbreviations, Historical 2, Legal Abbreviations, Historical 3, Legal Abbreviations, Historical, Legal citation and the Encyclopedia, Legal research: Law of Libraries and Archives, References Citation, The Year Books.

Law is our Passion

This entry about Legal Citation has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) licence, which permits unrestricted use and reproduction, provided the author or authors of the Legal Citation entry and the Encyclopedia of Law are in each case credited as the source of the Legal Citation entry. Please note this CC BY licence applies to some textual content of Legal Citation, and that some images and other textual or non-textual elements may be covered by special copyright arrangements. For guidance on citing Legal Citation (giving attribution as required by the CC BY licence), please see below our recommendation of "Cite this Entry".

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  • Article Name: Legal Citation
  • Author: international
  • Description: ContentsLegal CitationIn the United StatesIn the UKIn the European UnionIn CanadaLegal citation of Lawi [...]

This entry was last modified: July 5, 2012

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