Citing the law

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Citing the law
Why do I need to cite?
Activity: When to cite?
Inserting footnotes
Case law
Activity: Which report do I cite?
EU cases
ECHR cases
Welsh legislation
Scottish legislation
Northern Ireland legislation
EU legislation
Edited books and encyclopedias
Journal articles
Electronic journal articles
Government publications
Newspaper articles
Websites and blogs
Activity: Putting it all together
FAQs and notes

Judgments may be reported by any number of law reports. Some series are regarded as more authoritative than others. The Law Reports series, for example, is seen as the most authoritative as the text is approved by the judge involved, before publication. You only need to cite the most authoritative series in which the case was reported.

Which one of the following citations should you use when citing Sheldrake v DPP [2004] UKHL 43? Click the Hint button if you need some help.

a) [2005] 1 All ER 237
b) [2004] 3 WLR 976
c) [2005] 1 Cr App R 28
d) [2005] 1 AC 264

Always cite the most authoritative series which has reported the case.

Here is commonly recognised order of authority, with the most authoritative at the top of the list:

• The Law Reports (AC, QB, Ch, Fam)
• Weekly Law Reports
• All England Law Reports
• Specialist law reports, for example Lloyds Law Reports, Industrial Cases Reports, Reports of Patent Cases, Criminal Appeal Reports

All journal and newspaper reports are summaries, so should only be cited if the decision is not available in a full text report.
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