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


Cite an Act by its short title and date. To refer to a particular element of the Act use s or ss (section or sections), Pt (Part) or Sch and para (Schedule and paragraph within a schedule).

Illustration of how to cite an Act

Statutory Instruments

Cite a SI by its name, date and serial number. To pinpoint, or refer to a particular section of the document, use art or arts (for example within an Order), reg or regs (within Regulations) or r or rr within Rules.

Deregulation (Greyhound Racing) Order 1995, SI 1995/3231 art 3


When referring to an Act or SI, cite the name of the legislation (including the year) in the text. Do not create a footnote for legislation that has been cited in your text.


Cite a Parliamentary Bill by its name, whether it is a House of Commons Bill (HC Bill) or from the House of Lords (HL Bill), the Parliamentary session and the running number assigned to the Bill. House of Commons Bills are numbered within square brackets. To pinpoint a clause in the Bill, use cl and cls.

Identity Cards HC Bill (2005-06) [49] cls 4-6

Identity Cards HL Bill (2005-06) 28, cl 4

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