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Citing and referencing: Law

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

AGLC tweets

AGLC3 resources

Online guides

Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (LII 2002-2003 ed.) 
Covers principles and examples of how to cite legal materials using the US Blue Book and ALWD Citation Manual.

Oxford Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA)
Guide to citing UK and international law sources, produced by the Oxford Law Faculty.

Citation tracking for authors

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

What style does the Faculty of Law use?

Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC3) 
(Melbourne University Law Review Association, 3rd ed, 2010)   aglc3

Available online (pdf view only) or there are print copies available in the Law Library and at other branch libraries.

Take a look at re:cite (University of Melbourne), an interactive guide for some common AGLC3 styles.

Why 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.

Information that you need to collect in order to prepare a citation can include details such as

  • author
  • title
  • journal name
  • page numbers 
  • publication information

Citations of internet materials that are not also available in print should also include a URL. 

Primary sources, such as cases and legislation, should not include an URL even when available online.

There are many sources of information; this guide describes the more commonly used ones for Law. For others, refer to the sources below.

To find out more about why citing and referencing appropriately is crucial, and how you can avoid unintentional plagiarism, take a look at the Demystifying Citing and Referencing online tutorial, and the short Guide-Me clip, Legal writing: To cite or not to cite.

Read this article by Monash Law lecturers, Becky Batagol and Melissa Castan, Did you know....Citations, sources and references (2012) 37(1) Alternative Law Journal, 51

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 - 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 - 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

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 - Internet sources

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

A Document published on the internet

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

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 - Legal encyclopaedias

Publisher, Title of Encyclopaedia, (at Full Date of last update) Title # Name of title, 'Chapter # Name of chapter' [Paragraph #]. 

   LexisNexis, Halsbury's Laws of Australia, (at 15 March 2010) 85 Conflict of Laws, 'I General' [85].

Secondary Sources - Loose-leaf services (commentaries)

Publisher, Title of service, volume #, (at most Recent Service Number), Pinpoint 

   Bourke, J P, Bourke's Criminal Law, Victoria, vol 1 (at Service 95) [3.120]

Online service - volume numbers are not applicable. 

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


You must reference your sources whenever you quote or paraphrase.

Quotations are covered in AGLC3 Rule 1.5

Quotation example:

Groves’ analysis of the OG judgment that ‘disclosure of academic misconduct should not be limited to formal disciplinary findings or proceedings.' 1

Paraphrase example: 
Groves argues that the decision in the OG case applies to situations beyond university study. 1