Legislation: EU [from Print 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.


Standard Form

Primary Law which is the framework of treaties within which the Union works. This includes Treaties such as the Treaty of Rome, which created the European Economic Area and treaties, which supplement or amend previous treaties e.g the Treaty on European Union [Maastricht Treaty].

Secondary law covers the acts produced and passed by the Commission, Council and Parliament working together. Secondary law includes regulations and directives.

Primary law should be cited in full at the first mention title in the text but not listed in the main reference list

Title as printed on document Date.

If using an informal name as a short title for convenience in the text both titles should be cited in the first reference. The law can then be referred to within the text using the shorter informal title.

Secondary law should be cited in full at the first mention in the text but not listed in the main reference list

Title (including date and serial numbers where applicable) publication details

Titles are not italicized. No comma should appear between title and the date.


Primary Law

First reference

…as stated in article (or art) 9(1) European Convention on Human Rights 1950 [ECHR].

which can thereafter be referred to in text as EHCR

Secondary Law

First reference

...is defined in Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on Minimum Standards for Giving Temporary Protection in the Event of a Mass Influx of Displaced Persons and on Measures Promoting a Balance of Efforts between Member States in Receiving such Persons and Bearing the Consequences thereof [2001] OJ L212/12 [Temporary Protection Directive].

which thereafter can be referred to in text as the Temporary Protection Directive or if you prefer not to create a short title to use in text you could use the EU identifying title in this case Council Directive 2001/55/EC

Citation in Text

When citing in text you need to pinpoint your specific reference within the legislation. Rather than use page numbers, it is often easier to use the internal numbering of the legislation itself.

Primary Law

Second or further references

ECHR article 8 clearly states...

Secondary Law

Second or further references

…as in article (or art) 1 Temporary Protection Directive

or if preferred not to use shortened title

… as in Council Directive 2001/55/EC

Remember after the first full citation the date and number can be omitted and the title shortened so long as separate pieces of legislation are clearly identifiable.