FootnotesRepeated referencesBibliography
Law reportNeutral citationPre-1865 caseUnreported caseJudicial opinionEU caseEU unreported caseOpinion of Advocate GeneralDecision of the European CommissionECHR caseECHR unreported case
BillStatute (Act of Parliament)Statutory instrument (SI)EU treatyEU regulation/directive (etc)
Law Commission report/paperCommand PaperSelect Committee reportHansard (Parliamentary debates)European COM Docs
Book with one authorBook with two authorsBook with three authorsBook with more than three authorsEdited bookContribution to an edited bookEncyclopediaMax Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
Journal articleNewspaper articleWorking paper
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BU Guide to Citing UK & EU Law References   Tags: referencing; law; oscola; academic skills  

Last Updated: Mar 17, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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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.


OSCOLA tutorial

'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.

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