Law students are required to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) 4th edition referencing style, available online via the University of Melbourne (Melbourne University Law Review).
The AGLC details how to reference primary and secondary legal materials, including cases, legislative & quasi-legislative materials, journal articles, books, legal encyclopaedia, loose-leaf materials, working papers, treaties, United Nations materials, and more.
To obtain a copy of the AGLC4 from the publisher, either:
How to use AGLC4 effectively:
AGLC4 is a footnote citation style, specifically designed to identify legal sources, and consists of:
(Note: A bibliography is optional at the discretion of your Lecturer, and may not need to include other sources consulted - check your specific Unit requirements.)
AGLC4 is medium neutral, meaning there is no need to include the online reference to a case, Act, article, book or other source of legal information, unless it is not available in print and solely published online.
General AGLC4 style notes
MS Word - how to create footnotes
The following abbreviations should be used for Australian jurisdictions:
|Court / Jurisdiction||Report Series||Years|
|High Court of Australia||CLR||1903--|
|Federal Court of Australia||FCR||1984--|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACTR (in ALR)||1973--2008|
|New South Wales||SR (NSW)||1901--59|
|Northern Territory||NTR (in ALR)||1979--91|
Below is a list of current preferred unique court identifiers for Australian Supreme and superior Commonwealth courts, and the years for which the courts allocated judgment numbers themselves. A more extensive list is available in Appendix B of the AGLC4.
|Court||Unique Court Identifier||Years|
|High Court of Australia||HCA||1998-|
|High Court of Australia - Special Leave Dispositions||HCASL||2008-|
|Federal Court of Australia||FCA||1999-|
|Federal Court of Australia - Full Court||FCA||1999-2001|
|Family Court of Australia||FamCA||1998-|
|Family Court of Australia - Full Court||FamCA||1998-2007|
|Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory (including Full Court)||ACTSC||1998-|
|Australian Capital Territory Court of Appeal||ACTCA||1998-|
|Supreme Court of New South Wales||NSWSC||1999-|
|New South Wales Court of Appeal||NSWCA||1999-|
|New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal||NSWCCA||1999-|
|Supreme Court of the Northern Territory (including Full Court)||NTSC||1999-|
|Northern Territory Court of Appeal||NTCA||2000-|
|Northern Territory Court of Criminal Appeal||NTCCA||2000-|
|Supreme Court of Queensland||QSC||1998-|
|Queensland Court of Appeal||QCA||1998-|
|Supreme Court of South Australia (including Full Court until end of 2009)||SASC||1999-|
|Supreme Court of South Australia - Full Court||SASCFC||2010-|
|Supreme Court of Tasmania (including Full Court until end of 2009)||TASSC||1999-|
|Supreme Court of Tasmania - Full Court||TASFC||2010-|
|Tasmanian Court of Criminal Appeal||TASCCA||2010-|
|Supreme Court of Victoria||VSC||1998-|
|Victorian Court of Appeal||VSCA||1998-|
|Supreme Court of Western Australia||WASC||1999-|
|Western Australian Court of Appeal (including Full Court until end of 2004)||WASCA||1999-|
AGLC abbreviations for legislative materials (Rule 3.1.4)
|Designation||Abbreviation / Plural|
|Appendix||app / apps|
|Article||art / arts|
|Chapter||ch / chs|
|Clause||cl / cls|
|Division||div / divs|
|Paragraph||para / paras|
|Part||pt / pts|
|Schedule||sch / schs|
|Section||s / ss|
|Sub-clause||sub-cl / sub-cls|
|Subdivision||sub-div / sub-divs|
|Sub-paragraph||sub-para / sub-paras|
|Subsection||sub-s / sub-ss|
|Delegated Legislation (Rules 3.1.4 & 3.4)|
|Order||ord / ords|
|Regulation||reg / regs|
|Rule||r / rr|
|Sub-regulation||sub-reg / sub-regs|
|Sub-rule||sub-r / sub-rr|
Numbered or lettered subsections should be placed in parentheses immediately following the section number.
|Cases in Law Report Series ordered by volume|
A case reference takes the following format:
Party names are italicised, separated by v with NO full stop
Year and Volume Numbers
If a Case appears in a report series ordered by volume, the year appears in (brackets) with the volume after.
|Cases in Law Report Series ordered by volume|
If a Case appears in a report series ordered by year of decision, the year appears in [square brackets] (the Series may have yearly Volumes - include this after the [year].
|Cases in Law Report Series ordered by year|
Law Report Series
The abbreviation of the law report series should adhere to AGLC rule 2.3.2, and use the abbreviations which appear in the AGLC Appendix A. Cases are available in report series (authorised / unauthorised) or unreported from the courts directly. The authorised version should always be used where available.
Order of preference for citing cases:
It was held in Markopoulous v Wedlock that the court must exercise care in intervening with a grant of injunctive relief.1
The court must exercise care in intervening with a grant of injunctive relief to address procedural irregularities.2
The case of Stubley v Western Australia considered the question of whether evidence possessed "significant probative value".3 The court found that the evidence did not have significant probative value and should not have been admitted into evidence at trial.4
1 Markopoulous v Wedlock  WASC 3, .
2 Ibid (AGLC rule 1.4.3)
3 Stubley v Western Australia (2011) 242 CLR 374, 397.
2 Ibid 399.
|Unreported Decisions with a Medium Neutral Citation|
Unreported decisions (those not published in an authorised law report series) with a medium neutral citation (a citation system that does not depend on publisher or medium) should be cited a shown above. However, a medium neutral citation should only be used where the medium neutral citation was allocated by the court itself.
Otherwise, cite as Unreported Decisions without a medium neutral citation, as below:
|Unreported Decisions WITHOUT a Medium Neutral Citation|
As most jurisdictions only display their sentencing decisions for a limited period of time, you may be beneficial to use the Australian Current Law - Reporter on LexisNexis AU. To restrict the results to sentencing specific information use the Sentencing search field.
When referring to legislation such as ‘the Act,’ Act should be capitalized and in italics.
A legislation reference takes the following format:
Each Act has a short title given in section 1, which includes the year the Act was passed.
The short title does not include the jurisdiction, when you are citing Legislation in an essay or other document and the jurisdiction is not obvious, you must add the jurisdictional notation in the in-text citation.
In the case of this example: Crimes Act 2008 (WA)
AGLC rule 3.1.3 requires that an abbreviated form of the jurisdiction in which the Act was passed should be included in parenthesis after the year. The acceptable form of abbreviation for the jurisdiction can be found at this rule.
Pinpoint Reference (footnote only)
Pinpoint references in an Act usually comprise of an abbreviation and a number, separated by a space.
Where a subsection is added, it should appear in parenthesis after the section number with no space. In the example here:
Crimes Act 2008 (WA) s 7(sub-s4)
The abbreviation should correspond to the highest ‘level’ cited in the pinpoint reference. In the example above, the highest level of the pinpoint is to a section, therefore the abbreviation being used is ‘s’.
Section 6 of the Mental Health Act 2014 (WA) sets out.....1
A departmental officer is authorised to possess prohibited drugs.2
A person may apply for a medicinal cannabis incense that authorises them to produce cannabis or cannabis resin for medicinal purposes.3
Immigration (Education) Regulations 1992 (Cth) commenced on 1 January 1993.4
1 Mental Health Act 2014 (WA) s 6(1).
2 Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1982 (WA) s 4A.
3 Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 (Cth) s 8E(1)(b).
4 Immigration (Education) Regulations 1992 (Cth) s 2.
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia may be cited as the Australian Constitution, the Commonwealth Constitution, or simply the Constitution if there is no ambiguity as to which constitution is being cited.
Where necessary, the Australian Constitution may also be referred to within its enacting legislation as:
Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp) 63 & 64 Vict, c 12, s9.
Constitutions of the Australian states should be cited as normal statues.
Bills are cited in the same way as Acts, except the title and year are not italicised.
A Bill reference takes the following format:
Pinpoint references are made to a clause or clauses, abbreviated to ‘cl’ and ‘cls’ respectively (AGLC rule 3.5).
The Police Amendment Bill 2006 (WA) was introduced into parliament by....1
Changes to social security law were introduced into parliament in 2016 and passed by both houses in 2017.2
1 Police Amendment Bill 2006 (WA).
2 Social Services Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Student Payments) Bill 2017 (Cth).
The Explanatory Memorandum for a Bill is cited the same as the Bill, prefixed with the term "Explanatory Memorandum" as in the example (AGLC rule 3.6)
A reference to Explanatory memoranda for a Bill takes the following format:
A pinpoint to a Explanatory Memoranda should be to a page and follow AGLC conventions for page abbreviations.
Clause 10 of the Bill was enacted with the purpose of ensuring that the powers conferred to a 'police officer' are also conferred to an Aboriginal police liaison officer.1
The Explanatory Memoranda, Police Amendment Bill 2006 (WA) shows that the amendments were made following advise from the State Solicitor's Office.2
1 Explanatory Memoranda, Police Amendment Bill 2006 (WA), p. 2.
2 Ibid p. 4.
|Parliamentary debates (Hansard)|
The format of a reference for Hansard is:
Page numbers to Hansard should be included where available
Fully written out
"MP," "MLC," "MLA," "Senator" and other designations inducating membership of Parliment should not be included in the speaker's name.
If the speaker holds a position within a ministry or shadow minister that is particularly relevant, this can be included in the citation using the following format:
Jurisdiction, Parliamentary Debates, Chamber, Full Date of Debate, Pinpoint (Name of Speaker, Position)
See Rule 1.13 – Bibliographies
ECU predominantly uses the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (7th edition), and most of your assignments will use this style.
However, for Australian legal materials, Criminology & Justice and Business Law (e.g. LAW1100) courses at ECU use a hybrid form of APA and AGLC4 referencing, which combines AGLC4 resource citation rules with the APA in-text / end-text citation style.
Legal materials include: Cases, legislative & quasi-legislative materials, treaties
Check your Unit Plan for specific requirements - your Lecturer will state if you should use AGLC4 for legal materials (This usually includes Australian and other jurisdictions, except the USA, which is covered by APA).
For all other resources, use the standard APA referencing style.
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the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs
In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Noongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.