13 Law and legal references

13.3 References

The names of books and non-law journals and reports should be in italic, following the standard format (see Chapter 8). Abbreviated references to reports and reviews should be in roman—in text, references, and lists of abbreviations. Full names of law journals and reports are in roman in Oxford style (e.g. Solicitors Journal), the reference following the date. Some publishers style the full name in italics but even here the abbreviated form is always roman: All England Reports but All ER.

References to journals, reports, or reviews should be cited with the date and volume number first, followed by the abbreviation of the report or review name, and then—without a comma in between—the page number. Where a specific page within an article is referred to, the initial page number should be followed by a comma plus the specific page number, or no comma and ‘at’ followed by the specific page number (choose one style or the other and use it consistently).

P Birks, ‘The English Recognition of Unjust Enrichment’ [1991] LMCLQ 473, 490–2
SC Manon, ‘Rights of Water Abstraction in the Common Law’ (1965) 83 LQR 47 at 49–51

Some legal writers cite others’ works without a place of publication, or without first names or initials, for example ‘Smith & Hogan Criminal Law (13th edn, 2011)’. This is an established convention in at least parts of the discipline, the expectation being that the work will be read by those who are already immersed in the relevant texts. However, editors should not impose it, and if the expected readership is more general or more elementary (as in an undergraduate or introductory text), full references must be given.

Certain textbooks have been accorded such eminence that in references the name of the original author appears in italics as part of the title, for example Chitty on Contracts and Dicey and Morris on Conflict of Laws. In full references it is not necessary to give the name of the current editor, although the edition number and the date of that edition must be stated.

Abbreviate only titles of well-known books, journals, or reports (for example Smith & Hogan, the NLJ); all others should appear in full. Variations exist in the way that many periodicals are abbreviated or punctuated. Providing authors are consistent, such variations are acceptable; in works for non-specialists, readers may benefit from expanded versions of very terse abbreviations.

Setting all abbreviated titles in roman does leave some pitfalls, of which one must be wary: ‘CMLR’, for instance, refers to Common Market Law Reports (which publishes only reports and never articles), while ‘CMLRev’ refers to Common Market Law Review. Unfortunately, where authors cite the latter as the former the only indication of the error is that the reference is to an article.

If a book, journal, report, or series is referred to very frequently in a particular work, certain common abbreviations (such as ‘Crim’, ‘Eur’, ‘Intl’, ‘J’, ‘L’, ‘Q’, ‘R’, ‘Rev’, ‘U’, ‘Ybk’) may be used; give them in full at their first occurrence but abbreviated thereafter, and include in the List of Abbreviations.

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New Hart's Rules


Preface Editorial team Proofreading marks Glossary of printing and publishing terms