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Referencing - OSCOLA

UK primary legislation

Short title | Year

Use capitals for the major words, with no comma before the year:

Act of Supremacy 1558

Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Act 1995

A footnote is not required when citing legislation if all the information the reader needs is provided in the text. In this example, no footnote is needed (but you will need to include it in your bibliography): 

This case highlights the far-reaching judicial role ushered in by the Human Rights Act 1998.

UK Secondary legislation

Statutory instruments (orders, regulations or rules) are numbered consecutively throughout the year. 

Name | Year, | SI Year/number 

Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amendment of Minimum Age) Order 2004, SI 2004/3166

Rules of court such as The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), the Rules of the Supreme Court (RSC) and the County Court Rules (CCR) may be cited without reference to their SI number or year. 



Referencing legislation: examples

Citing a section of an Act

When referring to a section of an Act, use "s" for section if cited in a footnote:


Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 1(1)(c).

Criminal Attempts Act 1981, ss 1(1) and 4(3).


… section 5(1)(a) of the Race Relations Act 1976 

 … the Race Relations Act 1976, s 5(1)(a) …

Pinpointing: legislation

If pinpointing to a section of legislation, then use the following abbreviations, (without any punctuation):-

art or arts = article or articles
s or ss = section or sections
sch or schs = schedule or schedules
r or rr = rule or rules
reg or regs = regulation or regulations


Title | HC/L Bill | (session) | number

Cite a Bill by its title, the House in which it originated, the Parliamentary session in brackets, and the running number assigned to it. Running numbers for House of Commons Bills are put in square brackets; those for House of Lords Bills are not. When a Bill is reprinted at any stage it is given a new running number.

Consolidated Fund HC Bill (2008–09) [5]

Academies HL Bill (2010-11) 1, cl 8(2)