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Oscola referencing

Why reference?

The purpose of referencing is to enable others to find the information that you have used in your assignment. 

You MUST cite and reference all the information that you have used in the main text of your assignment. It is important to acknowledge the work of others if you have referred to it in your assignments; if you do not, you will be accused of plagiarism.


Plagiarism is a failure to acknowledge another person's work or idea and claiming this idea as your own.  This is a serious offence.

Oscola style

The OSCOLA style of referencing is used in the School of Law.

OSCOLA stands for Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities.

The style is designed to facilitate accurate citation of authorities, legislation, and other legal materials. It is widely used in law schools and by journal and book publishers in the UK and beyond. OSCOLA is edited by the Oxford Law Faculty, in consultation with the OSCOLA Editorial Advisory Board.

More information about using the OSCOLA referencing style on the Oxford Law Faculty website:

Law PORT Oscola tutorial

Law PORT (Postgraduate Online Research Training) is a collection of free-to-use online training resources. Though created with Postgraduate researchers in mind, the training resources can be used by any student.

Cardiff tutorial on citing the law

This tutorial will show you how to:

  • Cite cases and legislation, i.e. the primary sources of law.
  • Refer to secondary sources such as books, journals and government reports in your work
  • Cite using OSCOLA, the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities, fourth edition.

The resource was devised by Cathie Jackson and Ian Bradley, Information Services staff at Cardiff University and was partly funded by the UK Centre for Legal Education. The 4th edition revisions have been added by Matthew Davies and Lynn Goodhew.

Useful links

Subject librarian

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Stephen Ward
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Subject librarian

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Corryn Walker

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Subjects: Law