Home > bal > LTC


Law Text Culture

Style Guide

  1. General Points
  2. Style Sheets
  3. In-text (Harvard Style) Citation
  4. Citing Legal Materials
  5. Reference List
  6. House Style
  7. Spelling
  8. Abbreviations


  1. Manuscripts should be double spaced and formatted using Microsoft Word, should be submitted. Solicited articles may be submitted by e-mail as word documents.
  2. Type all text including headings in upper and lower case.
  3. Do not use bold or underline for emphasis. Use italics, if necessary, only.
  4. Endnotes (not footnotes) should be used sparingly and for commentary only. They should be placed at the end of the article in a section thus marked and numbered consecutively. Law Text Culture uses Harvard in-text citation, so footnotes are not required for giving bibliographic references (see below). References are to be placed at the end of the article in a section thus marked.


The following general styles should be used for the body of your text:

  • Normal style is 12 point double spaced with generous margins, first line of each paragraph indented 1 cm. Use Times or New Roman if possible.
  • Quote style (for quotations over three lines in length) is indented a further 2 cm on each side, single spaced, and concludes with an in-text citation to its source.
  • Reference style should be used for endnotes and references, placed under separate headings at the end of your essay. Use normal style 10 pt with a ‘hanging indent’ of 1 cm.

All headings should conform to the following styles, using Helvetica if possible. Always leave one double-spaced line before each new heading.

  • Heading 1 is used for the title of the article only. 18 pt, bold, centred.
  • Heading 2 is used for author’s name only, immediately below the title. 14 pt bold centred.
  • Headings 3-5-use a separate style for each level of heading, organised consistently in the following manner.



Is used for major headings, and for the headings Endnotes and References which follow the essay. 14 pt bold left justified.



Is used for subheadings. 12 pt bold left justified, indented 1 cm



This level of heading should be used only sparingly, if necessary to the clarity of the argument. 12 pt plain italics left justified and indented a further 1 cm.


The Harvard system uses the name of the author and the date of publication as a key to the full bibliographic details which are set out in the list of references at the end of the work.

When the author’s name is mentioned in the text, the date is inserted in parentheses immediately after the name: For example:

  • Derrida (1992) elaborates on this point.

When quoting an author you name in the text, the date and page number are inserted after the quoted material. Page numbers are indicated simply by inserting the relevant numbers after the date, separated from the date by a colon and with no other punctuation. For example:

  • According to Nerli, this argument ‘is untenable and spuriouks’ (Nerli 1989: 21).

When a less direct reference is made to one or more authors, both name and date are bracketed, with the references separated by a comma. For example:

  • Several critics have distanced themselves from this position (Yang 1990, Morelli 1992, Flyes 1994).

Where the reference comes at the end of a sentence, it should come after the last word but before the full stop. For example:

  • Hunt and Wickham have said that:

There is little doubt that Foucault’s concept of governmentality is extremely

suggestive (1994: 27).

  • For Foucault, ’law is a part of governmentality, part of the form of government unique to the modern world’ (Hunt & Wickham 1994: 112).

When the reference is to a work by multiple authors, the list of authors’ surnames may be abbreviated. For example:

  • (Ahmad et al 1988).

If two authors share the same surname, use their initials to distinguish them. For example:

  • (T S White 1972, L R White 1990)

If an author has two or more references published in the same year, add lower case letters after the date to distinguish them. For example:

  • Foucault (1989a, 1989b)

When referring to mass media materials, include all relevant information within parentheses. For example:

  • ( Sydney Morning Herald August 12 1991).

Treat recorded music as a book, with musician or group as author, date, title and distributor as publisher.



Do not use in-text citation form for cases but simply cite wholly in italics as

  • MacShannon v Rockware Glass Ltd (hereinafter MacShannon)

Include all cases in the Reference list (qv), and there include the correct citation. Case citations give the year, the relevant volume number (if there is more than one for the year), the report series and the page number. In general, square brackets are used where there is no volume number and the year is an integral part of the title, and the date must be used to identify the particular volume, e.g.

  • MacShannon v Rockware Glass Ltd [1977] 2 All ER 449; but
  • Jaensch v Coffey (1984) 155 CLR 549

For the correct citation of US cases, refer to the Chicago Manual of Legal Citation (the Maroon Book).


Short title (as found in section 1 of each statute) is sufficient. The title of the statute is italicised. The year and origin of the statute should appear in roman type, not italics, when initially cited in the text, and also in the Reference list (qv). No comma is used between title and year.

  • Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth)
  • Airlines Equipment Amendment Act 1981 (Cth), sl9(1)(a)(ii)

The number of an act is not included unless it is part of the title.

  • Family Law Amendment Act (No 2) 1979; but not
  • Air Navigation Act 1920 (No 50) (Cth)

Bills before the Parliament are presented in roman type, eg:

  • Book Bounty Bill 1969

Reference to sections and subsections, in body text:

  • section 51; sections 51 and 53; subsection 51(2)

In endnotes:

  • s51, s51A, ss51 & 53: lower case’s’, no space, small caps
  • s51(1), ss51(1) & (2)

For the correct citation of US statutes, refer to the Chicago Manual of Legal Citation (the Maroon Book).


Use the heading “References” at the end of your article. Use sub-headings for cases and statutes if reference list exceeds one page. List titles alphabetically by author’s surname. List information as follows:

  • Author Initial Date Title Publisher City of Publication [for books];
  • Author Initial Date ’Title of article’ Title of journal Volume and/or issue number : Page range [for journal articles].

In general, do not include stops and commas, but see further below.


  • Spivak G C 1993 Outside in the Teaching Machine Routledge New York and London


List in chronological order. Use a double hyphen or em-rule to replace the author’s name;

  • Spivak G C 1993 Outside in the Teaching Machine Routledge New York and London

– 1987 In Other Worlds Methuen New York and London


List works with the same date alphabetically by title;

  • Fulcrum C T 1990a Re-Orienting Culture Chicago University Press Chicago
  • 1990b Theories of Culture Blackwell Oxford


Should be cited in the order they appear on the title page of the work, names separated by a comma and/or with the word ’and’ between the final two authors;

  • Douzinas C, Goodrich P and Hachamovitch Y eds 1994 Politics, Postmodernity and Critical Legal Studies Routledge London


Provide a separate entry for the book and for each article/chapter used.

  • Coward H and T Foshay eds 1992 Derrida and Negative Theology State University of New York Press New York
  • Derrida J 1992’Of an Apocalyptic Tone Newly Adopted in Philosophy’ in Coward et al 1992: 25-72


Volume and issue numbers should be separated by a slash (/), and a colon (: ) must be placed before the page range of the article;

  • Bhabha H 1983’The Other Question’ Screen 24/6: 18-36


  • Vico G 1984 The New Science of Giambattista Vico Trans T G Bergin and M H Fisch Cornell University Press Ithaca and London


Should be indicated with the addition of the word ed or eds following the editors name(s);

  • Coward H and T Foshay eds 1992 Derrida and Negative Theology State University of New York Press New York


  • Said E 1991 Orientalism Penguin Harmondsworth (first published 1978)
  • Green H M 1984 History of Australian Literature Angus and Robertson Sydney (2nd edn)



Use one space only after full stops and colons (as well as after commas and semi-colons).

When using suspension points (to show omitted words in a quotation) use three full stops with a single space either side (no spaces in between). For example;

  • ’The definition hinges on … the correct application of terms’ (Hills 1990: 23).

When an ellipsis occurs between the end of a sentence and the beginning of a new sentence, use four periods with a space after the first and after the last. For example;

  • ’The scientific enterprise as a whole does from time to time prove useful. … Nevertheless, the individual engaged on a normal research problem is almost never doing any one of these things’ (Kuhn 1970: 46).

Use single quotation marks. Use double quotation marks for a quotation within a quotation.

For extended quotations of more than three lines, use a separate Style, indent the quotation and delete quotation marks unless quoting direct speech, in which case add single quotation marks. In-text citation should appear at the end of the quotation.

When giving initials with a name, separate the initials with a space, not a full stop

  • (N T Broffen).

Distinguish between hyphens (as in’cross-dressing’;) and dashes (used to separate a phrase–or clause–within a sentence). Use a single hyphen for the former and two hyphens for the latter. There should be a single space on either side of the hyphen.

If a parenthetical reference comes at the end of a sentence, the full stop should be placed after the parenthetical reference (see example in section 3 above).

Where a superscript number is used to indicate an endnote, the number should be placed after any punctuation mark.


Traditional, deferential forms such as:

  • His Honour; Their Honours; His Lordship; The Learned President; I respectfully disagree, etc

should be avoided.

References to more than one judge should adopt the following style:

  • Barwick CJ; Gibbs, Stephen and Murphy JJ [ not J.J.] Lord Denning MR; Buckley and Goff LJJ [ not L.J.J.] Street CJ and Hutley JA


i) Use numerals for numbers 10 and over. Spell out numbers from one to nine with the following exceptions:

  • sums of money: write as, $7
  • time: write as, 9.00 pm
  • weights: write as, 5 kg
  • measures: write as, 2 km
  • percentages: write as, 7 per cent
  • degrees: write as, 6 degrees
  • ages: write as, 7 years old
  • decades: write as, 1960s
  1. The following formats are acceptable for number ranges;
  • 200-1
  • 313-24
  • 196-204

iii) Dates should be cited in the following manner

  • 1 January 2001
  • 1990s (no apostrophe)
  • 2000-1
  • 1977-89
  • 21st century

The date of publication used for all sources is the date of the source or edition you have referred to. For an article in a book, it is always the date of the book, not the original date of the article.


Law Text Culture is published in Australia and uses Australian spelling. This is a modified version of UK spelling. The authoritative source is the Macquarie Dictionary , which has an inexpensive online subscription dictionary.

For common words which vary between English, US and Australian spellings, we offer the following summary of LTC’s Australian style:

.ise not .ize: colonise, organisation, analyse; globalisation

judgment, acknowledgment


centre (but not when in title of US organisation etc), spectre


.our not .or: colour, favour

travelled, travelling, cancelled; but paralleling

focused, focusing


practice, licence, defence (when used as nouns); but practise, license, defense (when used as verbs)

livable but useable


fulfil, instil but forestall, install


Spell out abbreviations in full the first time they are used in the body of the article, unless they need no explanation (for example, UNESCO). The following are the format for common abbreviations. Note in particular the avoidance of any unnecessary punctuation.

ABA American Bar Association

ACT Australian Capital Territory

Adel Adelaide

Am American

app appendix

art article

B Bar

Brit British

Bull Bulletin

c approximately, about (Latin circa)

cf compare (Latin confer)

ch, chs, chapter(s),

cl clause

Co Company

comp, comps compiler(s)

Conf Conference

Cong Congressional

Const Constitution(al)

Cont Contract(s)

Contemp Contemporary

Corp Corporate

Crim Criminal

Cth Commonwealth

Dept Department

Dev Development

div division

Econ Economic(s), Economy

ed, eds editor(s)

edn, edns edition(s)

Educ Education(al)

eg for example (spell out in text)

Eng English

et al and others (Latin et alii)

et seq and following (Latin et sequentes)

Fed Federal

Fedn Federation

fn, fns footnote(s)

Govt Government

Harv Harvard

Hist Historical, History

ibid in the same book, chapter, page (Latin ibidem)

id in the same work (Latin idem)

infra below (Latin), a word, not an abbreviation

Inst Institute

Int International

J Journal

Jur Juridical, Jurist

Juris Jurisprudence

Just Justice

L Law

Leg Legal

Lib Library

loc cit in the place cited (Latin loco citato)

Melb Melbourne

Mod Modern

n, nn note(s)

Nat National

nd no date

ns New Series

no, nos number(s)

NSW New South Wales

NT Northern Territory

op cit in the work cited (Latin opere citato)

p, pp page(s)

par, pars paragraph(s)

passim here and there, throughout (Latin)

Psych Psychology, Psychological

Pty Ltd Proprietary Limited

Q Quarterly

Qld Queensland

R Queen or King (in citation of criminal cases)

R Review

Rec Record

reg, regs regulation(s)

Reporter, Reports Rep

rev revise, reviser

s section(s), subsection(s)

SA South Australia

Sch School

Ser Series

Soc Society

supp(s) supplement, supplements

supra above (Latin), a word, not an abbreviation

Tas Tasmania

trans translated, translators(s)

U University(ies)

v versus

Vic Victoria

vol, vols volume(s)

WA Western Australia

Commonly used periodical titles should be abbreviated as follows:

Law Quarterly Review LQR
Australian Law Journal ALJ
Sydney Law Review Syd LR
Melbourne University Law Review MULR
Criminal Law Review Crim LR
Harvard Law Review Harv LR
Yale Law Journal Yale LJ