OSCOLA referencing

OSCOLA referencing

The Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) style of referencing was designed by the Oxford University Law School and is commonly used in Law across the UK. OSCOLA referencing typically requires less direct referencing than other styles.

Citing Book(s)

The Oxford style uses footnotes to reference information. When citing books, the author’s name is listed followed by the title, edition, publisher, date, with the edition, publisher and year in brackets, as follows:

Peter Bodkins, How To Reference Correctly, (2nd Ed., Fictitious Publishing, 2012) 94.

The OSCOLA system uses as little punctuation as possible and separates information using just commas.

Citing Journal Articles

As OSCOLA references typically give less direct information than other referencing styles, journals are cited to their start page and not their page range. In addition, journal titles are often abbreviated, for example a citation such as “MLR 94” signifies that the reference relates to page 94 onwards of Modern Law Review.

In the bibliography list the author, article title, date, volume and page where the reference begins. For example:

Peter Bodkins, “Citing References in Law” FJQ 10 (2012) 123

Legal cases and judgements are generally cited by listing the plaintiff versus the defendant followed by the date in square brackets, an abbreviated form of the law report and the pages it relates to. For example:

Bodkins v Baggins [2012] EWHC (Ch) 417 (HL) 891-896

Again note the limited use of punctuation.

Include a Bibliography

Don’t forget to include a bibliography with every submission. Again bibliographies follows the norm of listing the author’s name, title of publication, edition, publisher and date, however the most common type of source cited will likely be case law.


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