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: Neutral citation

How do I reference a case with a neutral citation?

Since 2001, some courts have issued judgments with a neutral citation. This is a case identifier which is independent of any published law report series.

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

case name | [year] | court | number

Footnote (if you HAVE given the case name in the text of your work):
e.g. [2010] UKSC 1

Footnote (if you HAVE NOT given the case name in the text of your work):
e.g. Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1

e.g. Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1

To pinpoint, follow the citation with the paragraph number in square brackets. To pinpoint several paragraphs, insert a dash between the paragraph numbers:
e.g. Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1 [33]-[36]

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 year is always given in [square brackets].


  • The court is indicated using a standard abbreviation (check BAILII)
  • For High Court judgments ONLY, include the division in brackets at the end of the citation, e.g. [2015] EWHC 133 (QB).


Judgments are numbered consecutively throughout the year, e.g. [2014] EWCA Crim 52 is the 52nd judgment heard in the criminal division of the Court of Appeal in 2014.