2. How do I correctly reference my work?

2.5. OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities) Referencing Style

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The OSCOLA style is a set of rules specially designed to reference legal sources.

OSCOLA uses numeric references in the text linked to full citations in footnotes, and is characterised by light punctuation and heavy use of abbreviations. 

Whenever you refer to another person’s work, you need to insert a footnote number in superscript in your text and a footnote at the bottom of the page. In longer pieces of work there will also be a bibliography at the end.

Cartwright 1 in his book on contract law ...

This would then be inserted as a footnote like this:

1. John Cartwright, Contract law: an introduction to the English law of contract for the civil lawyer (3rd edn, Hart Publishing 2016).

In subsequent citations you can just provide a cross-citation in brackets to the full citation e.g. 2. Cartwright (no 1). Ibid can also be used where a citation directly follows a previous citation of the same work.


The entry in the bibliography would look like this:

Cartwright J, Contract law: an introduction to the English law of contract for the civil lawyer (3rd edn, Hart Publishing 2016)


Note the difference in the format of author's name between the footnote and bibliography.

For sources with more than three authors / editors use the first name followed by “and others”.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced:



The Oxford University Faculty of Law website contains detailed information to help you master this complex referencing style.



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