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OSCOLA Referencing style

The method of referencing used in Law is the OSCOLA style.

More details on how to use this style can be found in the links below.

(For the Harvard citation style follow the rules from Cite them Right.)

Referencing examples

How to reference a bookpile of books

author, title | (additional information, | edition, | publisher | year)

5 Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (3rd edn, OUP 2015) 55


Endicott T, Administrative Law (3rd edn, OUP 2015)



  • If more than three authors, give the name of the first author followed by 'and others'
  • If no individual author is identified, but an organisation or institution claims editorial responsibility, then cite it as the author
  • If no person, organisation or institution claims responsibility, begin the citation with the title
  • The title is in italics.


How to reference a journal 
journal covers

author, |'title of article' [year] or (year) | journal name or abbreviation | first page of article

Paul Craig, 'Theory, "Pure Theory" and Values in Public Law' [2005] PL 440

7Alison L Young, 'In Defence of Due Deference' (2009) 72 MLR 554, 560


Craig P, 'Theory, "Pure Theory" and Values in Public Law' [2005] PL 440

Young, AL,  'In Defence of Due Deference' (2009) 72 MLR 554



  • Year of publication, in square brackets if the year identifies the volume, in round brackets if there is a separate volume number
  • For guidance on journal abbreviations  check the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations or section 4.2.1 of the OSCOLA handbook
  • In footnotes put a comma after the first page of the article if there is a pinpoint. (A pinpoint is a reference to a particular paragraph or page). 


How to Reference a Website

author, | 'title' | (additional information) | <web address> | accessed datesocial media


3 Lucy Reed, ‘Litigants in Person Costs Awards’ (Pink Tape, 29 August 2015) accessed 18 September 2015


Reed L, ‘Litigants in Person Costs Awards’ (Pink Tape, 29 August 2015) accessed 18 September 2015

How to reference a case (England & Wales)

Neutral citations

case name | [year] | court | number, | [year] or (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first page

Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884


Cases without neutral citations

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

Page v Smith [1996] AC 155 (HL)

Barrett v Enfield LBC (1999) 49 BMLR 1 (HL)


  • Use italics for the name of the case
  • When the year is used to identify the law report volume it is given in square  brackets (also give the volume number if the series was issued in more than one volume during that year).
  • Give the year of judgment (not publication) in round brackets when the volumes of the law report series are independently numbered, i.e. so that the year of publication is not needed to find the volume
  • Check the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations for the abbreviated form of the law report.