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Harvard Solent Referencing

UK Legislation

NOTE: Law students should use the OSCOLA system to cite legal references.

The name and date of the legislation should be included within the text of your assignment, with additional information in the reference list.

UK Acts (Statutes)

Title of legislation including year

In text example:

This is governed by the Environment Act 1995.

Reference list examples:

Environment Act 1995

Each Act has a chapter number which you can also include:

Environment Act 1995, Ch 25

If you are referring to a particular part of an Act, then include the section (s. or ss.), schedule (sch.) or paragraph (para) reference:

Environment Act 1995, Ch 25, ss.5-11

Environment Act 1995, Ch 25, sch. 1, para 2

Statutory Instruments (Orders, Rules and Regulations)

Title and year of Statutory Instrument (number)

In text examples:

Cite the title, year and number of the SI (Statutory Instrument) in italics – after the first mention you can refer to them by title/year or SI number. stated in the Insolvency Rules 1986 (SI 1986/925).

SIs are divided into articles (art.), rules (r. or rr.) or regulations (reg or regs):

...with reference to the Insolvency Rules 1986 (SI 1986/925) r.15(2).

Reference list examples:

Insolvency Rules 1986 (SI 1986/925)

Insolvency Rules 1986 (SI 1986/925) r.15(2)


Bills (proposals for legisation)

Short title (Parliamentary Session) Serial Number

In text example: described in the Harbours Bill HL Bill (2002-03).

Reference list example:

The serial number changes every time the Bill is reprinted. Include [ ] for House of Commons Bill numbers:

Health and Safety at Work (Offences Bill) HC Bill (2002-03) [38]

Harbours Bill HL Bill (2002-03) 24

UK Legal Case


NOTE: Law students should be using the OSCOLA system to cite legal references.

The basic format for creating a Harvard reference for a UK case is:

Names of the parties [Year of publication] Volume number (if available) Abbreviated Reference for the Law Report Series Start page

In text example: documented in Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [1947] KB 130

You can generally use the first party name for any subsequent references if it is clear to which case you are referring:

...also in Central London Property Trust Ltd .     

UK case in a law report

If you wish to refer to specific pages within a judgment, then include these after the reference.

In text examples:

Pepper (Inspector of Texes) v Hart [1993] AC 593, 594

Pepper (Inspector of Texes) v Hart [1993] AC 593 at 594


High Court and Court of Appeal cases from 2001 onwards have neutral citations. A neutral citation includes the year of the judgment, the Court abbreviation (e.g. UKHL=UK House of Lords, EWCA=England and Wales Court of Appeal) and the case number. This can be included before a law report citation, or where a case is otherwise unreported:

Reference list example:

R v Rezvi [2002] UKHL 1

If you wish to refer to specific paragraphs within a judgment, then include these after the reference as above.

Unreported cases

Some unreported cases can be found as transcripts or via the legal databases. A neutral citation should be given where possible. Cases prior to 2001 should include:

Names of the Parties. Court. Date of Judgment (Unreported)

Reference list example:

Hare v Pollard. Court of Appeal Civil Division. 16 June 1997 (Unreported)

Use of round or square brackets

Round brackets should be used instead of square where the date is not essential for locating the case - e.g. where a volume number is provided and the date referred to is the year of judgment (rather than publication date):

Reference list example:

Holdom v Kidd and Others (1986) 61 P&CR 456

Referring to a case you have read about in a textbook

It is generally best to look up legal cases and refer to a law report or official version. Law reports can be found online via the Westlaw and LexisLibrary databases. If, however, you only want to refer to a case that you have found in a legal textbook, you must treat this as a secondary reference.

In text example:

Smith v Jones [2001] EWCA 1425 (cited in Murphy 2007, p.4) implies that...

Reference list example:

Fully reference the textbook you have actually read (e.g. Murphy in this example).

Command Papers

In-Text Reference 

The Law Commission (2006, p.11) reported...


Reference List Format

AUTHOR(S), Year of publication. Title (Command paper number). Place of publication: Publisher

Reference List Example

LAW COMMISSION, 2006. Parliamentary costs bill: report on the consolidation of legislation relating to parliamentary costs (Cm 6846). Norwich: TSO


In-Text Reference 

As mentioned... (HC Deb (2001-02) 391 col. 982) 

Reference List Format

House abbreviation Deb (Parliamentary Session) Volume number col. column number

Reference List Example

HC Deb (2001-02) 391 col. 982

HL Deb (2005-06) 685 col. 767 

Use HL for House of Lords and HC for House of Commons.

Deb stands for Debate and col. stands for column.

EU and International Legislation and Conventions

European Union legislation

All European Union legislation and the appropriate details needed to create a reference can be found on EurLex.

The basic formats for creating a Harvard reference for EU legislation, both in the text and in your reference list are below.  After the first mention in your text, you can usually use a shortened title provided it is clear to which legislation you are referring. 

Please note that the abbreviation EC/EU/EEC may vary depending on the date of publication.



Institutional Origin (Institutional Treaty) Number/year Date it was passed Title

Council Regulation (EC) No. 2078/92 of 30 June 1992 on the agricultural production method

Commission Documents (Com Docs)

Title, COM (Last two digits of year) Serial number, draft or final.

Proposal for a Council Directive on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods, COM (93) 965, final.

Directives and Decisions

Institutional origin Form Year/Legislation Number/ Institutional Treaty Date passed Title

Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the harmonization of the structures of excise duties on alcoholic beverages

For additional European Union legal publications, include as a minimum Title Year.  

In your reference list, you can also include any additional information which clarifies the reference for reader - e.g. legal references or series numbers and additional dates.  

Consider including [viewed date]. Available from: so your reader can quickly identify the source.  



International legislation

United Nations Treaties:

All United Nations Treaties and the appropriate details needed to create a reference can be found via the UN Treaty Collection.

In your text, include the Treaty title Year signed in italics.  

In your reference list, provide full details:

Treaty title Year signed. Volume number UNTS page number, entered into force full date.

Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine concerning transplantation of organs and tissues of human origin 2002.  2466 UNTS 132, entered into force 1 May 2006


For other international treaties, include as a minimum Title Year.  

In your reference list, include any additional information which clarifies this legislation for the reader - e.g. legal reference or series numbers and additional dates.  Consider including [viewed date]. Available from: so your reader can quickly identify the source. 

I-law contains international maritime conventions which can be cited using the guidance above or referenced to the Ratification of Maritime Conventions publication.

Legislation from Foreign Countries

As a minimum, include the Title Year (country) in your text:

Resource Management Act  1991 (New Zealand) 

In your reference list, include any additional information which clarifies this legislation for the reader.  Consider including [viewed date] Available from: so your reader can quickly identify the source: 


Resource Management Act  1991 (New Zealand), reprinted as at 1 March 2017 [viewed 24 March 2017]. Available from:

Information about legal materials from different countries can be located via WorldLII



If possible cite from the United Nations Treaty Series.
Include: Title of treaty (in italics)  Year (in round brackets) Treaty number.  Publication title (in italics) Volume and page numbers. If accessed online include the date view and URL 

In-text citation
The UK supported the Convention relating to the status of refugees (1951) …

Reference list 
Convention relating to the status of refugees (1951) Treaty no. 2545. United Nations Treaty Series, 189, pp. 137– 221. [viewed 13 February 2021]. Available from: 

EU Legal Case

All European Union cases and the appropriate details needed to create a reference can be found on EurLex.

The first time that you cite a case, refer to it in full in your text as per the example below.  You can then use a shortened version such as the Party Names or Case number (provided it is clear which case you are referring to):


Case number Party Names [Year] Law report abbreviation Volume number – Start page 

Case C-286/88 Falciola v Comune di Pavia [1990] ECR 1-191 


European Court of Human Rights cases, which are not European Union cases, can be found via Hudoc.