What's in this guide
Purpose of this guide
This guide is based on the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) 4th edition (2012).
For a LAW assignment, you must cite references in two places:
If you wish to cite international legal materials, see BU Guide to Citing International Law References.
'Citing the Law' is an interactive tutorial on how to use OSCOLA, created by Cardiff University.
Who should use this guide
- If you are a LAW student, you should use this guide to help you cite ALL types of sources in your work. You should use the footnote system of referencing, which is conventional in legal academic writing.
- If you are NOT a law student, you should ONLY use this guide to help you cite legal materials (cases and legislation). You should NOT use the footnote system of referencing. The majority of courses at BU require you to use the Harvard system of referencing, see BU Guide to Citation and Referencing in the Harvard Style. Psychology students should follow APA.
Why you need to reference
- When writing a piece of work, you need to indicate in the text where you have referred to sources written or produced by others
- Consistency and accuracy of referencing is important to verify quotations, and enable readers to follow up and read cited author’s arguments
- Referencing is necessary to avoid plagiarism which is a serious offence against University rules
- You should follow the examples in this guide every time you cite and reference.