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Strictly, OSCOLA refers to a bibliography of secondary sources only. However, unless an exception is made by your tutor, your work should include a bibliography of all primary and secondary sources that you have used in your work, in the following order:

  1. Statutes
  2. Cases (cases in your bibliography should not be italicised)
  3. Secondary sources

All parts of your bibliography within these categories should be in alphabetical order.

Page numbers

When you refer to page numbers, just write the numbers (there is no need for 'p' before the number).

When referring to paragraph numbers, write the number in square brackets [2].


In the first footnote where the case name, article or book appears, write the citation/reference out in full. In subsequent footnotes, you can work as follows:

First reference to case in footnote:

1Miller v Jackson [1977] QB 966 (CA)

Where the next footnote refers to the same case as the preceding one:


(The OSCOLA system avoids some of the Latin phrases which deal with locations of references within text, but it does still use ibid. which is short for ibidem and means 'in the same place'.)

Where a later footnote refers to a case cited in an earlier footnote:

10Miller v Jackson (n1)


  • Long quotes:

Introduce your quote, follow with a colon and then indent the quote, using quotation marks.

In the case of Miller v Jackson1 Lord Denning MR said:

'In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area s well rolled and mown.'2

  • Short quotes (three lines or fewer):

Incorporate these into the body of text which you are writing with single inverted commas (quotation marks).

  • Starting a quote mid-sentence:

Insert three dots ... before the quote. This is known as an ellipsis.

e.g. When talking about cricket Lord Denning MR expressed the view that '...young men play and old men watch'.3


1[1977] QB 966 (CA)

2ibid., 976