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Referencing and plagiarism - Skills Guide: OSCOLA

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OSCOLA Referencing

Below you will find the basic rules you will need to reference in OSCOLA. If you would like to reference something more specific, you can click here to access Cite Them Right.

When using OSCOLA, you reference in the footnotes, instead of using in-text citations.

OSCOLA Referencing Rules

Cases with a neutral citation

Any case heard after 2001 has a neutral citation. Neutral citations were made to make cases easier to find, meaning the reference needs slightly more information than pre-2001 cases.

To reference a case with a neutral citation, follow this order:

  • Name of parties (in italics)
  • Year (in square brackets)
  • Name of the court that heard the case
  • Case number
  • Comma
  • Year case reported in law report (in square or round brackets depending on the report)
  • Volume number of report (if higher than the 1)
  • Abbreviation for the name of the report.
  • Page number of first page of case in law report.

Example:

R v Kennedy [2007] UKHL 38, [2008] AC 269

Cases without a neutral citation

Cases heard before 2001 did not have neutral citations. Referencing cases without a neutral citation takes a slightly different form:

  • Name of the parties (in italics)
  • Year case reported in law report (in square or round brackets depending on the report)
  • Volume number of report (if higher than the 1)
  • Abbreviation for the name of the report.
  • Page number of first page of case in law report.

Examples:

Tuberville v Savage [1669] WLUK 1

Nettleship v Weston [1971] 2 QB 691

Quoting Judges

When quoting from a judgement in a case you reference the case as either a case with a neutral citation or a case without a neutral citation and add on the following:

  • Comma after the page number of first page
  • Page number of quote (if quoting multiple pages write the first and last pages with a – in between them).
  • Judges’ Name (in brackets).

Examples:

Chester v Afshar [2004] UKHL 41, [2005] AC 134, 143 (Lord Hope).

Batchelor v Marlow [2001] EWCA Civ 1051, [2003] WLR 764, 768 (Tuckey LJ).

Statutes

OSCOLA recommends that when citing an Act of Parliament that you should use the short title rather than the full title of the Act.

To quote a whole Act of Parliament you need to reference:

  • Short title of the Act
  • Year Enacted.

To quote a particular section or subsection of the act, reference:

  • Short title
  • Year enacted,
  • s
  • Section number
  • Subsection number (in round brackets)
  • Paragraph number (in round brackets).

Examples:

Law of Property Act 1925, s1(1)(a).

Consumer Protection Act 1987, s3(1).

Books

  • Author,
  • Book title (in italics and capitalise the first letter of each word in title, except for linking words such as and, or the and for)
  • Edition, publisher year (in round brackets).

Ian Loveland, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights. A critical introduction. (7th edn, Oxford University Press 2015).

Jonathan Herring, Medical Law and Ethics (6th edn, Oxford University Press 2016).

Journals

  • Author,
  • Article title (in single quotation marks)
  • Year (in square brackets if used to identify the volume or in round brackets if there is a separate volume number.
  • Volume number
  • Abbreviated journal title
  • First page number of article.

If quoting or paraphrasing a journal then add the following:

  • Replace the full stop with a comma at the end of the first page of article.
  • Page number quoted or paraphrased.

Examples:

Sandra Booysen, ‘Consumer Protection and the Court’s Role in Shaping the Bank-Customer Contract’ (2019) 135 LQR 437, 457.  

William Norris QC and Quintin Fraser, ‘Occupiers’ Liability: Issues Arising in Recent Case Law’ (2015) 2 JPIL 71, 77.

Resources