Hansard [from Electronic source using OSCOLA]


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.

OSCOLA has a standard format for Hansard referencing which covers both electronic and print formats. It should be used according to the general principle that the reference for electronic format should mimic that for the print copy where available. Therefore for debates you need to identify a bound volume number even if that volume is only available virtually on the website rather than on the library shelf.

There are three series of Hansard, one reporting debates in the House of Commons, one in the House of Lords and one in the Public Bill committees of the House of Commons, which replaced standing committees in 2007.

Standard Form

Debates in the House of Commons or House of Lords

House abbreviation followed by Deb (i.e. HL Deb or HC Deb) day Month year, vol (for volume), col/s (for column/s).

Debates in the Public Bill committes of the House of Commons

Title of Bill followed by Deb day Month year, col/s (for column/s).

Parliamentary reports

Committee name, Title of report (HL or HC session, paper number volume number (in roman numerals) page or paragrah number if required.


Debates in the House of Commons or House of Lords

HC Deb 24 June 1998, vol 314, cols 1083-86.

2HL Deb 25 November 1997, vol 583, col 835.

HC Deb 16 July 1991, vol 195, col 103.

Debates in the Public Bill committees in the house of Commons

Health Bill Deb 30 January 2007, cols 12-15.

This example shows how to cite debates in the old standing committees:

SC Deb (A) 13 May 1998, col 345.

Parliamentary reports

Justice Committee, Cutting Crime: The Case for Justice Reinvestment (HC 2009-10, 94-I) 49-51.

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

For reports of joint committees, cite both the House of Lords and House of Commons paper numbers, in that order:

Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill, First Report: Minutes of Evidence ((2008-09, HL115-II, HC 430-II) 15.

Reference List

List Hansard under the heading Secondary sources.

If you are citing a written answer after 2001, add WA before the column number for House of Lords Hansard, and W after the column number for House of Commons Hansard, as shown in the examples below.  If you are citing a written answer before 2001, put WA after the date, e.g.

HL 25 November 1997, vol 583, col WA835.

HC 16 July 1991, vol 195, col 103W.

HC7 February 1940 WA, vol 357, cols 234-45.


  • Identifying volume numbers for Hansard debates on the Internet.

  • Using the fact that 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. 

    • ook at the "You are here" line at top of the web page:
      • 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.

Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 39-40.