Hansard [from Electronic source using APA 5th ed.]


Because the situation regarding legal references is complex, and only US law is covered in the APA Manual, the following guidance is based on the system recommended by the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies. It should not be followed by any student submitting work to the Law Department of Portsmouth Business School, and students working in other departments should consult their lecturers.

References for British parliamentary debates should include the House (Commons, Lords) and session reference, together with volume and column numbers, and date.

Treat the electronic version the same as the print version, as the text is identical even though the appearance varies.

Standard Form

Hansard debates

Hansard Abbreviation for the House (i.e. HL or HC) Deb vol (for volume) col/s (for column/s) (date) [Electronic version].

Parliamentary reports

Committee, Title Hansard Abbreviation for the House (i.e. HL or HC) (session) Series number of the report [Electronic version].


Hansard debates

Hansard HL Deb vol 671 col 922 (7 April 2005) [Electronic version].

Hansard HC Deb vol 432 col 1573 (24 June 1998) [Electronic version].

Hansard HC Deb vol 195 written answers col 103 (16 July 1991) [Electronic version].

Parliamentary reports

Justice Committee, Cutting Crime: The Case for Justice Reinvestment HC (2009-10) 94-I [Electronic version].

Constitution Committee, Clause 12 of the Bribery Bill: Further Report HL (2009-10) 49 [Electronic version].

To avoid confusion in the case of Joint Committees give the details of both series:

Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill, First Report: Minutes of Evidence HL (2008-09) 115-II HC (2008-09) 430-II [Electronic version].

Citation in Text

In-text citations for Hansard debates a can be shortened to Hansard and the date and column number:

(Hansard, 25 November 1997 col 835)

(Hansard, 24 June 1998 col 1083-86)

For in-text citations of parliamentary reports, cite the committee, the session and the page or paragraph number:

(Justice Committee, 2009-10, paras. 49-51)

(Constitution Committee, 2009-10, para. 13)

(Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill, 2008-09, p. 15)


  • Identifying volume numbers for Hansard debates on the Internet.

The electronic version reflects the same structure as the print version, even when the "volume" has not actually been published, so look at the web page, and track back to find the volume number.

Here is an example:

The page http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100622/debtext/100622-0001.htm gives a column number and date.

Look at the "You are here" line above this:

You are here: Parliament home page > Parliamentary business > Publications and Records > Hansard > Commons Debates > Daily Hansard - Debate

Click on "Commons debate" to back track. and then select "By date".

Using the Calendar in the middle of the page, go to the appropriate date and from the index below choose the appropriate material:

Debates & oral answers

Westminster Hall

Written Statements

Written Answers

On the following index page you can find the volume number.