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OSCOLA (Law) Referencing Guide

OSCOLA Law referencing guidance


Some lecturers may require you to include a bibliography at the end of your assignment. References in a bibliography should include the full details for each source, in the same format as your footnotes, listed in alphabetical order, by author surname.

The only differences are that the author surname comes first followed by the initial, with a comma afterwards (for example, Fisher E,), and you do not include a full stop at the end of your reference.

If there is more than one source for a particular author, list these in chronological order, oldest first.

The bibliography may be divided into sections, for example legislation, cases, books, journal articles, websites etc.

Bibliography List

Table of cases:  These are in alphabetical order and the party names should not be italicised.

Table of legislation:  These are in alphabetical order if there are multiple acts with the same name put them in chronological order. 

List of all secondary sources:  These are in alphabetical order by author.  All secondary sources are mixed in the one list.

Guidance for formatting books and journal articles in a bibliography:

  1. Reverse the name so that the surname is first.
  2. There is no full stop at the end.
  3. Use a comma after the final initial and before the title.
  4. Only book titles, command papers, Law Commission Reports, select committee reports and webpages go in italics.
  5. Pinpoints, leave these out but retain the starting page number for journal articles.
  6. Journal titles should appear in their full form in the bibliography. 
  7. The titles of unattributed works should be preceded by a double em-dash. Arrange works in alphabetical order of author surname, with any unattributed works listed at the beginning in alphabetical order of the first major word of the title. 

Bibliography Repeat Authors

In a bibliography, you may find you need to list several books by the same author. These should be placed in chronological order (starting with the oldest). There is no need to repeat the author’s name. This can be replaced by a double em-dash as follows: 

Hart HLA, Law, Liberty and Morality (OUP 1963)
— —Punishment and Responsibility (OUP 1968)