Case [from Electronic source using OSCOLA]

Overview

The source of cases may be law reports or transcripts.

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.

Neutral citations for cases were introduced from 2001 to recognise the extensive use of electronic law reports, and cite only the parties, year of the judgement, the court and the case number. Where a neutral citation is available (post 2001), you should give that first followed by the most authoritative source for a case reported in several sources. If the case appears in Westlaw, simply use the first two citations given.

For the "best" available source for your law report, provide a neutral citation for cases after 2001 (see below) then cite the most authoritative source, i.e. the Official Law Reports (Appeal Cases, Queen's Bench etc.). The Weekly Law Reports are the next best, then the All England Reports. If your case is only reported in a specialist series such as the Family Law Reports, this is then the accepted best citation and you should use this.

The date should be in round or square brackets according to the style of the report series. The date is put in SQUARE brackets if it is needed to identify the volume, i.e. if a series has several volumes in one year with the same numbering sequence ever year, e.g. DPP v Hutchinson [1990] 2 AC 783 (HL). The date is put in ROUND brackets when it does not identify the volume, but provides additional information about the date of the judgment, i.e. when the series uses an ongoing numbering sequence year after year to indicate volumes. The volume number is usally given in addition to the date, e.g. DPP v Hutchinson (1990) 2 Admin LR 741 (HL).

When citing a case, the law report series title is abbreviated. Use the abbreviation found in the report itself, or the preferred abbreviation in the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations. If there is no preferred abbreviation you can use accepted abbreviations as listed the OSCOLA guide. 

Standard Form

As a footnote:

Pre 2001 cases

Case name (year) or [year] (see NOTES above) Law report series First page of the report Court if not self evident or comma Pinpoint page or [pinpoint paragraph] if required.

Post 2001 cases

Neutral citations for cases after 2001Case name [year] neutral citation, (year) or [year] (see NOTES above) Law report series First page of the report Court (if not self evident in neutral citation) or comma Pinpoint page or [pinpoint paragraph] if required.

The first mention of a case name in the text needs to be in full, after which it can be shortened, e.g.

... in Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd can be shortened after the first mention to ... in the Kensington Heights case or ... in Kensington Heights

The first mention of a case name in the footnote needs to be in full, after which it can be shortened, e.g.

1Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 245, [2007] All ER 751,754.
2Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd (n 1).
or 
2Kensington Heights
 (n 1).

If the name of the case is mentioned in the text there is no need to repeat it in the footnote.

If citing several cases in the same footnote organise them chronologically.

Where a case reference ends with the abbreviation for the court, the pinpoint follows without a comma. Where it does not or where there is more than one pinpoint, insert a comma to prevent the numbers running together, e.g.

1Secretary of State for the Home Department v E [2007] UKHL 47, [2008] 1 All ER 699, 702.

2Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 245, [2007] All ER 751, 751. (pinpoint reference is to the first page of the report)

3Foakes v Beer (1884) 9 App Cas 605 (HL) 611.

Examples

Secretary of State for the Home Department v E [2007] UKHL 47, [2008] 1 All ER 699, 702.

Arscott v The Coal Authority [2004] EWCA Civ 892, [2005] Env LR 6 [20].

Foakes v Beer (1884) 9 App Cas 605 (HL) 611.

Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 245, [2007] All ER 751, 754.

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Board of Finance v Clark (No 2) [1975] All ER 772 (CA (Civ Div)).

If citing a specific judge

Arscott v The Coal Authority [2004] EWCA Civ 892, [2005] Env LR 6 [27] (Laws LJ).

Reference List

Cases are listed separately under the heading Cases

In text and in footnote citations the “title” of a case or the party names are always printed in italics. If the footnote details are transferred to a Case List in the Bibliography italicisation should be removed. All other details of the case are then shown but the pinpoint reference to the precise paragraph will be omitted.

Cases are listed alphabetically by title or first significant word in title

Arscott v The Coal Authority [2004] EWCA Civ 892, [2005] Env LR 6

Foakes v Beer (1884) 9 App Cas 605 (HL)

Kensington Heights Commercial Co Ltd v Campden Hill Developments Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 245, [2007] All ER 751

Secretary of State for the Home Department v E [2007] UKHL 47, [2008] 1 All ER 699

St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocesan Board of Finance v Clark (No 2) [1975] All ER 772 (AC (Civ Div))

Notes

  • If citing several cases in the same footnote organise them chronologically.
  • You should reference the law report (i.e. where the case was reported) rather than the Case Analysis document in Westlaw wherever possible. The Case Analysis document is more like an article summary or abstract, so although you can rely on it for the facts of the case, you should be looking at the law report or transcript, which contains the judgment, if you want to quote the judge's words.
  • In text and in footnote citations the “title” of a case or the party names are always printed in italics. If the footnote details are transferred to a Case List in the Bibliography italicisation should be removed. All other details of the case are then shown but the pinpoint reference to the precise paragraph will be omitted.
  • Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010)  13-14.31..