Statutory Instrument [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.

The text of electronic and print versions will be identical, therefore there is no need to give details of the origin of the source you have used.

When using legislation in your work you must be clear as to whether or not you are dealing with the law as it was passed by Parliament initially, or the law as in force currently.

When looking at legislation online, you should rely on trusted sources such as The Office of Public Sector Information or the British and Irish Legal Information Institute. However, these sites give the law as it was passed and do not reflect repeals and amendments. Even the Statute Law Database is currently only up to date as far as 2002 with its amendments. It is better to use a database such as Lexis Library or Westlaw as you will find that the text you are looking at is consolidated and includes amendments and repeals to within the last month. This means you will be looking at the law as in force. 

Standard Form

Statutory Instruments are not included in reference lists at all. However, if you wish to adopt a consistent policy throughout and are using one source for all your references a rider in your bibligraphy could clarify the fact that you have used an electronic source for law and what type of source it is.

e.g. All statutory instruments cited are as passed and references are taken from [title e.g. British and Irish Legal Information Institute] website.

or All statutory instruments referred to is are as currently in force and have been sourced from the [name e.g. Westlaw] database.

or a similar statement.

Having done this the first citation of any statutory instrument retrieved from a website would be cited in full as follows:

Short title as printed on cover of the instrument (including capitalization as shown but with no italicization) SI Date No. Number

No comma should appear between the title and the date.

Thereafter the short title or an accepted / recognized abbreviation of it can be used without the date if there is no cause for confusion.

When you first mention the Statutory Instrument, give the full reference in your citation, e.g.

...the Working Time Regulations SI 1998 No. 1833...

Thereafter, it could be referred to as:

... the Working Time Regulations...

The main aim in any citation is for clarity.


Building Regulations SI 2010 No. 2214

Working Time Regulation SI 1998 No. 1833

Citation in Text

A regulation, rule, paragraph or section in a statutory instrument can be cited in the text with the title of the SI for example:

... according to regulation 6(1) of the Working Time Regulations SI 1998 No. 1833 ...

... in paragraph 13 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999 No. 3242 ...


... according to reg 6(1) of the Working Time Regulations SI 1998 No. 1833 ...

... in para 13 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999 No. 3242 ...

Where a reference to a rule, regulation, paragraph or section is the first word in a sentence it is clearer not to use an abbreviation.

If several consecutive rules or regulations are referred to, they can be listed by giving the first and last separated by a dash. If they are not consecutive it is clearer to separate the numbers with commas, e.g.

... in regs 50-60


... in reg 4, 7 and 9