Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.