DMU and most UK law schools use a numeric citation system called OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation Of Legal Authorities). Cite Them Right provides guidance on how to use the OSCOLA referencing style.
If you are new to referencing, or could benefit from a refresher, there are a number of tutorials available on referencing and OSCOLA.
Below are examples of how to reference the most common type of materials according to OSCOLA. For additional guidance and examples, use Cite Them Right (see link on the left).
The instructions below show you how to reference a book in your first footnote, subsequent footnote and in your bibliography.
3 Neil Parpworth, Constitutional and Administrative Law (11th edn, OUP 2020) 38.
4 Trevor Buck, Richard Kirkham and Brian Thompson, The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice (Ashgate 2011) 5.
3 and 4 are the number of the footnotes (they are your 3rd and 4th footnotes).
The number at the end of the footnote is the pinpoint i.e. you are referring to p.38 of the book by Parpworth.
Do not mention the edition if it is a 1st edition.
|Subsequent footnote||6 Parpworth (n3) 52.||In your 6th footnote, you are referring to page 52 of the book that you already referred to in footnote 3.|
Buck T, Kirkham R and Thompson B, The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice (Ashgate 2011).
Parpworth N, Constitutional and Administrative Law (11th edn, OUP 2020).
The main differences between a citation in a footnote and the bibliography are:
- the author's surname comes first followed by the initial(s) of the first name.
- you refer to the whole book so there is no pinpoint
- the bibliography is arranged in alphabetical order by author's surname.
eference journal articles as the paper version regardless of whether you looked at the hard (paper) or electronic database version of these items.
|First Footnote||2 Jo Samanta, ‘Lasting powers of attorney for healthcare under the Mental Capacity Act 2005: Enhanced prospective self-determination for future incapacity or a simulacrum?’ (2009) 17 (3) Medical Law Review 377, 379.||
This article was published in volume 17, issue 3 of the Medical Law Review and begins on page 377. The information you are referring to in the footnote has been taken from pages 379 (pinpoint).
|Subsequent footnote||10 Samanta (n2) 398.||In this footnote, you are referring to p.398 of the same article (first mentioned in footnote 2).|
|Bibliography||Samanta J, ‘Lasting powers of attorney for healthcare under the Mental Capacity Act 2005: Enhanced prospective self-determination for future incapacity or a simulacrum?’ (2009) 17 (3) Medical Law Review 377.||There is no pinpoint in your bibliography, just the starting page of the article.|
The instructions below show you how to reference a website in your first footnote, subsequent footnotes and in your bibliography.
|First footnote||2 Gov.UK, ‘Guide: Student Finance: Tuition Fee Loan’ (10 May 2013) <http://www.gov.uk/student-finance/loans-and-grants> accessed 13 May 2013.||
The date that you accessed the resource is always included as well as the web address. The title of the webpage is in inverted commas.
If you use a database, such as Lexis and Westlaw, do not include the web address.
|Subsequent footnote||7 Gov.UK (n2).|
|Bibliography||Gov.UK, ‘Guide: Student Finance: Tuition Fee Loan’ (10 May 2013) <http://www.gov.uk/student-finance/loans-and-grants> accessed 13 May 2013.||Here the formatting in the footnote and the bibliography are the same. This is because the author is a corporate author so there is no first name and surname and there is also no page number to remove.|
The instructions below show you how to reference a case in your first footnote and subsequent footnotes. Cases are not included in your bibliography.
|Type||Case without neutral citation (before 2001)||Notes|
|In the text example||It is well represented in the case law, perhaps most notably in the expression of the no-conflict rule advocated by Lord Upjohn in Phipps v Boardman1 (…) In Phipps, Lord Upjohn developed his view of the rule further by adding that there must be a ‘real sensible possibility of conflict’.6||
The first time you mention a case in your text give the party names in full and in italics
When you mention the case again in the text, you can refer to it by a shortened name e.g. Phipps
1  2 AC 46.
1 Phipps v Boardman  2 AC 46. (if the name of the parties hadn't been mentioned in full in the text)
If you have mentioned the parties' name in your text, you do not need to mention them again in your footnote
|Subsequent footnote||6 Phipps (n1) 124.||
You can mention the case by a shorten version of the case name in subsequent citation.
Here you are referring to page 124 of the case report.
|Type||Case with a neutral citation (2001 onwards)||Notes|
|In the text example||
In Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd, Lord Bingham stated that "The rationale of the principle that a novus actus interveniens breaks the chain of causation is fairness." 3 (........ ................... 4........................ ................................ ....................... 5 )
|The first time you mention a case in your text give the party names in full and in italics|
3  UKHL 13,  1 AC 884 .
3 Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd  UKHL 13,  1 AC 884 . (if the name of the parties hadn't been mentioned in full in the text)
The law report citation is preceded by the neutral citation. As the case name was mentioned in full in the text you do not need to include it in the footnote.
 refers to the paragraph on which the quotation can be found. Paragraph numbers are in square brackets.
In subsequent citations you can give a short form of the case name and a cross citation to the full citation.
nformation on paragraph 6 to 10 which is referred to in the text.
The instructions below show you how to reference Legislation in your first footnote and subsequent footnotes. Legislation is not included in your bibliography.
|In the text example||This case highlights the far-reaching judicial role ushered in by the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. British courts must only consider Strasbourg jurisprudence: they are not bound by it.3||If you are referring to the same Act more than once, include its abbreviated form in the text in brackets after the title the first time you mention it in the text. You can then refer to it again by using only the abbreviated form followed by the year.|
3 Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) s 2.
|A citation in a footnote is not required if all the information the reader needs about the source is provided in the text, but it is where you have not named the Act in the text, or where you need to refer to a specific section (as in 'In the text example')|
7 HRA 1998, s X. (Note - where X is the specific section referred to).
|You can write the name of the Act in abbreviated form followed by the year in subsequent footnotes.|
Quoting, paraphrasing or summarising are the different ways in which you can refer to the ideas/words of somebody else in the text of your assignment.
Find out about each of those, how to pinpoint text and format your quotes on page 6 and 7 of the Citing the Law: Referencing Using OSCOLA from Cardiff University.
To insert footnote markers in your text and at the bottom of the page in Word, put your cursor in the text where you want the footnote marker to go, select the References tab at the top and then click on Insert Footnote:
Use the following resources for additional guidance and examples:
Bibliographic management software allows you to input, organise, manage, retrieve and format lists of references (bibliographies).
RefWorks is the bibliographic management software purchased and supported by the University.
RefWorks is not ideal when using OSCOLA especially at the stage of writing your document. For example, it will not automatically insert ibid or (n) for subsequent footnotes in your document.
You may prefer Juris-M (open source and based on Zotero) which adds support for legal referencing. You can download Juris-M from here. There are many free tutorials and forums on Zotero/Juris-M but note that it is not supported by the university.