Citing and referencing: Legal sources

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

Legal sources

Referencing of legal resources can vary according to country. Chapter 3.17 of the AMA Manual of Style focuses on non-US (United States) legal references but is limited to legal cases. The Legislation section below is based on AGLC4 (Australian Guide to Legal Citation). See the Monash University Law Library's Legal Abbreviations Guide for help with legal terms abbreviations.


  • Acts, Ordinances, Regulations, and other forms of delegated legislation should be cited exactly. Spelling or capitalisation should not be altered to suit the referencing style
  • Legislation is only included in a reference list if it is important to the understanding of the work
  • The year of enactment is part of the title.

Format: Title of the act year (abbreviation of jurisdiction) pinpoint if applicable.

Example: 44.     Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic).

Example: 45.     Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (Cth).

Legal cases

  • Required details include the name/title of the case and citation details - year or volume number or both, abbreviated name of the report series, the abbreviated name of the report, and the country name. For Australian cases name the court where the case was held
  • A decision at law may appear in more than one report series, so more than one citation may exist. Preference is given to the authorised reports. See Cases: Authorised law reports for more details.

Format: Title of Case Abbreviated name of report series Volume (Name of the Court Abbreviated State, Country Year).

Example: 46.     Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562

Example: 47.     PP Consultants Pty Limited v Finance Sector Union (2000) 201 CLR 648