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Referencing - UK & EU Law: Law report

How do I reference a case in a law report?

This guidance applies whether you found the law report in print or online.

case name | [year] OR (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first page | (court)

Footnote (if you HAVE given the case name in the text of your work):
e.g. [2001] 2 AC 550 (HL)

Footnote (if you HAVE NOT given the case name in the text of your work):
e.g. Barrett v Enfield LBC [2001] 2 AC 550 (HL)

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

To pinpoint, follow the citation with the page number. To pinpoint several pages, insert a dash between the page numbers:
e.g. Barrett v Enfield LBC [2001] 2 AC 550 (HL) 553

Case name

  • Always give party names in italics
  • Separate adverse parties with an italic v
  • Don't include and another
  • If multiple parties, name only the first claimant and the first defendant
  • If an individual, don't include forenames or initials
  • Use Re, not In re or In the matter of
  • Use Ex p, not Ex parte
  • Include terms indicating corporate status (Ltd, plc)
  • Abbreviate common words and phrases (see Oscola appendix 4.2.4).


The shape of the brackets around the year is important!

  • [square brackets] = year of publication
  • (round brackets) = year of judgment.

Law report abbreviation

  • Use a standard abbreviation for the title of a law report series (check the Cardiff Index)
  • No punctuation is needed - use AC not A.C.


Indicate the court using the following abbreviations:

  • (SC) - Supreme Court
  • (HL) - House of Lords
  • (CA) - Court of Appeal
  • (QB) or (Ch) or (F) - divisions of the High Court.