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Academic English Skills

Resources to Assist with Improving Academic English and Study Skills

Referencing in Law

When submitting a piece of academic work, you must properly acknowledge the sources of information that you have used in your research. You must reference your sources whenever you quote, paraphrase, or use someone else's ideas or words. 

At TOP, the style of referencing used in Law is know as the AUSTRALIAN GUIDE TO LEGAL CITATION (AGLC)

Using this system, acknowledgement is in the form of:

  • Footnotes: Citations in the body of the page, using a superscript )raised) number placed after the relevant text, which refers to a footnote listed at the bottom of the page.
  • Bibliography: Provided at the end of the paper, this gives detailed information about each source featured in the footnotes, as well as details of the other sources consulted in preparation of the assignment.


Adding Footnotes to Microsoft Word

Legal Citation

Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed 2018) (AGLC4)
Summary of Key Forms of Citation and Principles
Footnotes, Headings and Bibliographies
• AGLC4 uses footnotes, not endnotes. (The general rules for footnotes can be found in Part I Chapter 1.1 – 1.4.6, pages 1-14.)
• Advice on levels of headings for use in written work can be found at 1.12 (page 34)
• Advice on how to set out bibliographies can be found at 1.13 (pages 35-37).

Case Law (Part II Chapter 2, pages 39 ff)

Example     R vTang                   (2008)      237           CLR                                        1    .                  7

                   Bakker v Stewart      {1980}                       VR                                         17                     22

Element     Case name               Year         Volume     Law Report Series                  Starting Page  Pinpoint Ref.


On when to use round brackets ‘( )’ and square brackets ‘[ ]’, please see the explanation at 2.2.1 (page 49).
On using authorized versions of case law, see 2.2.2-2.2.3 (pages 50-51).
Legislation (Part II Chapter 3, pages 67 ff)


Example        Crimes Act      1900          (NSW)                 s 10
Element          Title                Year           Jurisdiction        Pinpoint


Journal Articles (Part III Chapter 5 pages 91 ff)

Example  Harold Luntz, A Personal Journey through the Law of Torts’ (2005) 27(3)                 Sydney Law Review 393 ,           400
Element    Author           Title                                                                   Year  Volume & Issue   Journal Title             Start page Pinpoint


Books (Part III Chapter 6, pages 98 ff)

Example   Malcolm N Shaw, International Law (Cambridge University Press, 7th ed, 2014) 578
Element    Author                  Title                              Publication details                                  Pinpoint


Chapters in Edited Books (Part III Chapter 6.6.1 page 103

Example Jeremy Waldron, ‘Do Judges Reason Morally? in Grant Huscroft  Expounding the Constitution:(Cambridge University    38.
Element    Author              Chapter title                             In Editor                Title                                         Publication details         Start page


Law Reform Commission Publications (Part III Chapter 7.1.4, pages 108-109)

Example Australian Law Reform Commission, Elder Abuse (Discussion Paper No 83, December 2016) ,       339 [7.7]
Element  Law Reform Body                               Title               Type of Publication, number, date publication     Pinpoint


Parliamentary Debates (Part III chapter 7.5.1, page 115)

Example Commonwealth, Parliamentary Debates, Senate,    7 February 2017,      39           (George Brandis, Attorney-General).
Element   Jurisdiction        Parliamentary Debates Chamber   Full date of debate   Pinpoint   (Name of Speaker)


For Internet materials, see pages 130-132
For International materials, see Part IV (pages 133 ff)


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