Style Guide

Version 2 (Oct)

Please conform your article to this Style Guide before submitting to the Legal Issues Journal.

This guide covers some of the more common formatting issues, and formatting that are unique to the Legal Issues Journal. For formatting issues not found herein, refer to the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) style guide, upon which this Guide is based, available here. Consistency is key.

Your article may be in either British English or American English, but must stay consistent throughout.  

In the Main Body of Article

  1. Avoid writing ‘this article’. Summarise the paper, but do not tell what it does (i.e., do not write ‘this article will examine the issue of X’ but ‘The issue of X is such that…’). This applies to the abstract and to the rest of the article.
  2. Do not use ‘Firstly’, ‘secondly’, and so on. Instead, use ‘First’ ‘second’ etc.
  3. Section Headings
    1. Number all headings using standard legal numbering for subheadings (as in this Style Guide)
    2. Maximum 3 levels of headings.
    3. Use MS Word’s Styles for headings 1, 2, 3.
  4. Paragraphs
    1. Indent the first line of each paragraph (use Word’s ruler, not tabs or spaces).
    2. Do not place spaces (returns between paragraphs).
    1. A quote from another source within the body of the article must be within single quotation marks. Do not italicise.
    2. If a quote runs longer than 3 lines, set it off as a block quote (separate paragraph, no quotations marks, all lines indented.
  6. General formatting guidelines:
    1. Italicise names of: cases, books, academic journals, conferences, newspapers, magazines, websites. Do not use quotation marks.
    2. No italics and in single quotation marks: academic article titles, book chapter titles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, articles from newspapers and magazines, and titles of works from the web.
    3. Do not italicise: Statutes, Rules, Secondary legislation.
    4. Italicise all foreign (non-English) words.
    5. Never use underlines unless it part of a source title.
    6. Dashes between clauses (‘m-dashes’) do not have spaces on either side e.g. ‘The motion was intended—if we can believe the minister—to end all debate.’
    7. Dashes denoting a span of numbers (‘n-dashes’) do not have spaces on either side e.g. Smith, Title of Book, 456–57.

Citations Format

  1. Legislation
    1. Name of the Act followed by year: Human Rights Act 1998.
    2. To pinpoint a specific section of the statute: s 3 Human Rights Act 1998.
    3. EU primary legislation:
      1. Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union [2008] OJ C115/13.
      2. Regulations and Directives (EU secondary legislation): the legislation type, number and title, publication details in the Official Journal
        1. Example: Council Regulation (EC) 1984/2003 of 8 April 2003 introducing a system for the…trade [2003] OJ L295/1.
  2. Case Law
    1. Italicise the names of the cases
    2. For decisions which use paragraph numbers rather than page numbers, use “para. X” rather than “at [X]”, i.e., Jaloud at para. 34 rather than Jaloud at [34].
    3. National cases use the neutral citation as used in the country.
      1. English cases: Corr v IBC [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884.
      2. For subsequent citations of same case, use first name of case name: Corr, 18.
    4. EU case examples:
      1. Case C-176/03 Commission v Italy [2005] ECR 531
      2. Case C-556/07 Commission v France [2009] OJ C102/8.
      3. (The citation depends on where the case has been reported.)
  3. Secondary sources (books, academic articles, book chapters, conference papers, theses, articles from newspapers and magazines):
    1. Books: Smith and Jones, A Brilliant Book on Law (Oxford: Publisher Name, 1989), 45.
    2. Academic articles: Palmer, ‘The Protection of Socio-Economic Rights’ (2009) 35 Human Rights Law Review 1, 22.
    3. Book chapters: McDonald, ‘The Law of Torts’ in Edward (ed), A Legal Guide (Cambridge: Publisher Name, 2003), 35.
    4. Conference papers: McFarlane and Nolan, ‘Remedying Reliance: The Future Development of Promissory and Proprietary Estoppel in English Law’ (Obligations III Conference, Brisbane, July 2006), 54.
    5. Newspaper and magazine articles: Croft, ‘Supreme Court Warns on Quality’ Financial Times (London, 1 July 2010), 3.
  4. Internet Sources
    1. Keep internet citations to a minimum, and use only when there is no print version available. Best practice is not to use internet citations, unless it is to a report by an established and recognised authoritative organization that only exists as a PDF.
    2. Citation: Author, ‘Title’ (Name of the Website, full date), page or paragraph number if available <URL of main source e.g.> date of access.
    3. URLs: Do not underlined or italicise URLs.


  1. General Formatting
    1. Do not place extra spaces (returns) between footnotes
    2. All footnotes should end with a period.
    3. Do not put page numbers, paragraphs or sections in brackets.
    4. op. cit. is in lower-case, in italics, with periods after each.
    5. Use ibid instead of idem. Ibid is always italicised and followed by a period (i.e., Ibid., 435.)
  2. Initial and Subsequent footnotes
    1. The first citation of a source should be a complete citation. All subsequent citations of that source should only cite the last name of author and the page or paragraph number. If you are citing more than one work from the same author, include just as much of the title of the work to make it clear. Examples:

      11Smith and Jones, A Brilliant Book on Law (Oxford: Publisher Name, 1989), 45.
      12Smith and Jones, 76.
      13Smith and Jones, Contractual Obligation Textbook (Cambridge: A Different Publisher, 2005), 101.
      14Smith and Jones, Brilliant, 96.
      15Smith and Jones, Contractual, 145.

    2. When citing a footnote in an original source, use ‘n.’: Smith, Title of Book, n 5, 34.
    3. Every footnote should have a full stop at the end.

Works Cited

  1. If you are writing an article, a ‘Works Cited’ section at the end of the article which contains all sources cited (Case Comments and Books Reviews do not require a Works Cited section). Use the following arrangement of headings and subheadings.
    1. Primary Sources
      1. Legislation
      2. Case law
      3. Reports
    2. Secondary Sources
      1. Books
      2. Articles and Essays
      3. Reports
      4. Internet Sources
  2. Include the full citation for all sources in this section.
  3. Each entry should have a full stop at the end.