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Referencing - OSCOLA

OSCOLA style

OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for Citation oLegal Authorities) was developed by Oxford University and is now the most common style used by UK law schools, as well as by many legal publishers.

OSCOLA uses footnotes in the text, rather than in-text citation.   OSCOLA referencing has 3 elements:

  1. Citation:  Insert a footnote marker in the text 1 to indicate when you are using one of your sources, or when you are citing a legal authority (case, statute, etc).  

  2. Footnote:  Located at the bottom of the page, this is the reference.  The footnote identifies the source, and should not be used for any additional information.  

  3. Bibliography - A list of all the sources you have cited in your work. This is located at the end of your work.

OSCOLA v Harvard

  • OSCOLA uses footnotes, Harvard uses in-text citations
  • OSCOLA was designed specifically for Law and legal materials
  • Only law students use OSCOLA (Criminology students at UWL use Harvard)

OSCOLA examples

Many (but not all) law journals use OSCOLA referencing.  Here are 2 examples, one citing mainly UK law, and the other citing mainly EU law.