Law Writing Referencing Styles In UK College & Universities

Why is referencing important for law students:

Referencing is an essential part of academics for students, to produce a research paper and avoid any counts of plagiarism. Students are asked to use appropriate referencing styles according to the subject in order to show their ideas as well as ideas from which assistance is taken to further elaborate your respective point.

This is also considered a way to respect the intellectual property and hard work of scholars who have spent years of researching and writing. It also gives the impression that you are well aware of the sources and have acquired resources and skills to manage as well as compose a research paper, allowing checkers to validate the information through the source provided.

Referencing style for Law students:

For law students when considering their thesis, essay or assignments, etc, have to provide references linking to the subject, case, or any certain legislations, which acts as the basis through which students tend to compose their research paper.

The rules and conditions of universities and colleges vary in various regions, some universities and colleges allow students to use multiple or any citations for their law papers, but mostly for law research papers OSCOLA style referencing is recommend and considered.

OSCOLA is a footnote and endnote, in which the narrator can number their text and provide the source in the references, this allows the viewer to read the text without being distracted from the main text. OSCOLA can be divided into two primary and secondary sources.

Primary Source of Citing:

In law primary source of citing is applied for cases and acts of parliament, which includes the author, document title, date, website, URL, and date of access. Through these details, the reader can clarify the authenticity of the dates and the sources through which the writer has taken assistance.

The primary source of citing consists of types neutral citing and no neutral citing, neutral citing refers to the parties involved, date of judgment, the court in which the case was heard, case number, and paragraph.

E.g. for neutral citation, Brown v Davies [2006] EWCA Civ 166 [9], Radonna Investments Ltd v Rubin, 2012 ONCA 321.

E.g. for no neutral citation, (footnote), Evans v South Ribble Borough Council [1992] QB 757 (QB).(Bibliography), Evans v South Ribble Borough Council [1992] QB 757 (QB)

Secondary Source of Citing:

The secondary sources apply to non-legal documents which include books, newspapers, articles., and official documents. If your citing a statuary report or a case report then the following source will be secondary sourced, the format for secondary source follows Author,/Title/ (Editor/ Publisher/ Year)/ Pinpoint.

E.g. for secondary citation, Bill O’Rights, Constitutional Protection (2nd edn, Hodder & Fouslon 1998) 245.

Bibliography secondary citation, O’Rights, B, Constitutional Protection (2nd edn, Hodder & Fouslon 1998).

Useful Pointers:

  • OSCOLA guide (PDF) citing material and examples for parliamentary reports and law commission reports as well as conference papers, news articles, and theses.
  • Divide bibliography into three sections cases, legislation, and bibliography.
  • Do not highlight cases and list them in alphabetical order to so that readers may access the source from the references.
  • List the statutory instruments separately after statuses and list the legislation in alphabetical order so that your research is well organized.
  • Use bibliographic citation where you present the author's full name and author's initials, unlike footnotes where the author's first name is given and just the initials, which may seem to look unprofessional.