Australian Guide to Legal Citation

Australian Guide to Legal Citation
Country Australia
Language English
Subject Law: citation of legal authorities
Genre Handbook, manuals, etc.
Publisher Melbourne University Law Review Association and Melbourne Journal of International Law
Publication date
2010 (3rd ed.),
2002 (2nd ed.),
1998 (1st ed.)
Media type Paperback and PDF
Pages 343
ISBN 9780646527390
OCLC 603304299
LC Class K114.A97 2010
Preceded by Melbourne University Law Review Style Guide

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) is published by the Melbourne University Law Review Association in collaboration with the Melbourne Journal of International Law and seeks to provide the Australian legal community with a standard for citing legal sources.[1][2] There is no single standard for legal citation in Australia, but the AGLC is the most widely used.[3][4]


By 1998, there existed a large number of competing styles for citing and referencing legal authorities in Australian law publications but one study identified the four major guides:[5]

There was no major, generally accepted Australian guide and law journals and law schools produced their own style guides.[5][6]:137 One of those guides was the Melbourne University Law Review Style Guide which, in 1997, had reached its third edition.[7]

The first edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation ("AGLC1") was published in 1998, a year which saw the publication of three other general guides:[5]

Fong's guide was prepared by Colin Fong, then Research Librarian with Sydney solicitors Allen Allen & Hemsley[8] and now an Adjunct Lecturer at the UNSW Law School.[9] While one reviewer described it as a "remarkably useful and sensible book",[10]:95 another reviewer[6] conducted a comparative review of Fong's guide and AGLC1 and found Fong's guide a "quixotic work".[6]:137 The Law Book Co. guide had a second edition in 2003 and the Butterworths Guide a third edition in 2005.


The AGLC1 contained general rules and examples for legal citation and specific rules for Australian primary law (cases and legislation) and secondary sources (journal articles, books and other materials). Its coverage of international legal materials was limited to Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and some other basic international sources. It also had two appendices: commonly used abbreviations and a table of law reports. It also featured a concise Quick Reference Guide.[11] It was "comprehensive and easy to use".[6]


The second edition ("AGLC2") in 2002 expanded its rules to include more sources: transcripts (court, television, and radio), explanatory memoranda to legislation, translations, parliamentary committee and royal commissions reports, the constitutional convention debates, speeches, and letters. It also addressed internet sources. It expanded its coverage of basic international sources: decisions of the European Court of Justice, the WTO, and GATT. In its general rules, it added a rule on the use of bibliographies. It also revised the AGLC1 rules to make them clearer and increased the number of examples.[12]


The third edition ("AGLC3") in 2010 added 14 chapters and divided the whole into 6 parts. The lists of information in AGLC2 were replaced with tables and all the AGLC2 examples were replaced with new examples and further examples given. The international legal materials (Part IV) were greatly expanded and the foreign jurisdictions (Part V) covered now include China, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Africa. Some rules were changed: for example, citations of books now require publisher information.[13]

AGLC3 is over 300 pages but "much of its length is due to the clear format and useful examples".[14]:5

See also


  1. AGLC, Melbourne University Law Review, accessed 3 September 2011.
  2. Citation Guides, Melbourne University Law School, accessed 3 September 2011.
  3. Legal Citation Guides, Library, University of Sydney accessed 3 September 2011.
  4. Legal citation Archived 31 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Guide to Legal Research, Library, University of New South Wales accessed 3 September 2011.
  5. 1 2 3 Pearl Rozenberg, "Referencing and Citation of Internet Resources - 'The Truth is out There'", (2000) 1 Journal of Information, Law & Technology, JILT 2000 (1) Pearl Rozenberg accessed 3 September 2011.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Ross Buckley, "Two Legal Citation Guides" (Book Review), (1998) 10 (1) Bond Law Review 137, accessed 3 September 2011.
  7. Melbourne University law review style guide (catalogue entry), National Library of Australia accessed 3 September 2011.
  8. Publications Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., New Zealand Law Librarians' Association, accessed 3 September 2011
  9. "Colin Fong". UNSW Faculty of Law.
  10. Stefan Petrow, "Review: Australian Legal Citation: A Guide" [1998] UTasLawRw 8; (1998) 17(1) University of Tasmania Law Review 94 via AustLII accessed 3 September 2011.
  11. Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc., Australian Guide to Legal Citation (1998).
  12. Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc., Australian Guide to Legal Citation (2002, 2nd ed.).
  13. Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc. and Melbourne Journal of International Law Inc., Australian Guide to Legal Citation (2010, 3rd ed.).
  14. Dennis Warren and Steven Tudor, "La Trobe Law Short Guide to Citing the Law", (2011, 3rd ed. School of Law, La Trobe University).

External links

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