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Citing and referencing: Law

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

Why cite?

Why do you need to cite?  

When submitting a piece of academic work, you need to properly acknowledge the material that you have consulted. This allows others who read your work to verify facts or research the same information more easily. Acknowledgment may be in the form of footnotes and/or a bibliography.

You must reference your sources whenever you quote, paraphrase, or use someone else's ideas or words.

To find out more about why citing and referencing appropriately is crucial, and how you can avoid unintentional plagiarism, take a look at:

The Law Faculty views plagiarism and undisclosed collusion seriously, partly on academic grounds and partly because of the possible impact of academic misdemeanors on legal practice. You may like to look up recent cases in Victoria (Re OG: a Lawyer) and in other States.

  • Read the journal article, Matthew Groves, 'Your Cheating Art Will Tell On You', (2009) 89(8) Law Institute Journal 43.

Primary Sources - Statutes



Short title Year (Jurisdiction) Pinpoint reference

Legal Practices Act 1996 (Vic) s 37


Short title Year (Jurisdiction)

Anti-terrorism Bill 2004 (Cth)

Primary Sources - Cases


Reported Judgments

Cite from authorised law reports if available (CLR, FCR, VR, etc)

Law reports with sequential volume numbering - use round brackets for the year:

Party names (Year) Volume number Law Report Abbreviation First page, Cited page and/or [paragraph number]

New South Wales v Lepore (2003) 212 CLR 511

Law reports with sequence organised by year rather than volume - use square brackets for the year:

Party names [Year] Volume number if applicable Law report abbreviation First page, Cited page and/or [paragraph number]

Victorian Lawyers RPA Ltd v X [2001] 3 VR 601

Unreported Judgments

Use Medium Neutral Citation if available:

Party names [Year of decision] Court abbreviation Sequential judgment number (Full date)

R v Whyte [2004] VSCA 5 (12 April 2004)

Primary Sources - Treaties


Treaty title, Parties names, Date Opened for Signature or Signed, Treaty Series, Date of Entry into Force

Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America [ANZUS], opened for signature 1 September 1951, [1952] ATS 2 (entered into force 29 April 1952)

Secondary Sources - Books

Author, Title (Publisher, Edition, Year of publication), Page, paragraph or chapter reference.

Author names: 
   Footnotes: first name, last name 
   Bibliography: last name, first name

Authored book

Chisolm, Richard and Nettheim, Garth, Understanding Law: An Introduction to Australia's Legal System (LexisNexis Butterworths, 7th ed, 2007)

Edited book

Kinley, David (ed), Human Rights in Australian Law: Principles, Practice and Potential (Federation Press, 1998)

Chapter in an edited book

Morgan, F, 'The Extent and Location of Crime', in Goldsmith, Andrew, Israel, Mark and Daly, Kathleen (eds), Crime and Justice : an Australian Textbook in Criminology (
Lawbook, 2nd ed, 2003), 11

Secondary Sources - Journal articles

Journal articles 

Author, 'Title' (Year) Volume Journal Title, First page number of the article, Cited page

Author names: 
   Footnotes: first name, last name 
   Bibliography: last name, first name

Journal article with continuous voluming - use round brackets for the year

   Bagaric, Mirko, 'Active and Passive Euthanasia: Is there a Moral Distinction and Should there be a Legal Difference?' (1977) 5 Journal of Law and Medicine 143.

Journal article with no continuous voluming - use square brackets for the year 

   Lee, HP, 'The High Court and Implied Fundamental Guarantees' [1993] Public Law 606.

Note - an article should be cited as above regardless of retrieval method (ie. print or electronic) UNLESS the article is ONLY available in electronic form. If paragraph numbers are available, these may be referred to and enclosed in square brackets.

Journal article only available on the internet (no print equivalent)

   Rimmer, Matthew, 'Daubism: Copyright Law and Artistic Works' (2002) 9(4) eLaw Journal : Murdoch University Electronic Journal of    Law [58] <

Secondary Sources - Law reform agency reports

Name of law reform commission, Title, Report/Discussion Paper No (Year) 

   Australian Law Reform Commission, Essentially Yours: the Protection of Human Genetic Information in Australia, Report No 96 (2003).

Secondary Sources - Loose-leaf services (commentaries)

Commentary service (loose-leaf)

Online service - volume numbers are not applicable. 

   Thomson Reuters, Lawyers Practice Manual, Victoria (at March 2010) [1.1.401]

Secondary Sources - Internet sources

Author, Title (Full date of last update), Website name <URL>

   Board of Examiners, Admission Requirements, (18 February 2010), Council of Legal Education    <>

What style does the Faculty of Law use?

Australian Guide to Legal Citation aglc3

Current edition - Melbourne University Law Review Association, 3rd ed, 2010.   

Available online (pdf view only) or there are print copies available in the Law Library.

Take a look at our Citing FAQs page for answers to frequently asked questions.

Quick AGLC resources

AGLC tweets

Tools to keep track of your references

Citation tracking for authors

Track your own citations

Do you want to check whether an author (or you, as an author) has been cited in other publications - journals, e-books, cases, reports?
Use this guide for tips on where and how to search:  Finding Yourself: Citation tracking for Monash Law Authors