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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.