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Style Guide for Citing Legal Materials
You are here: AustLII >> Technical Library >> Standards >> Style Guide for Citing Legal Materials
Last updated: 4 August 1999
The following are some guidelines that may be useful for citing legal materials on AustLII. There are two main types of citation: legislation and case law.
The following are typical examples for citing an Act or a section of an Act:
To assist the markup software, please ensure that if there might be a possible ambiguous reference then the full name of the Act should be cited again. This becomes important when sections of multiple Acts are being referred to in close proximity.
When citing cases, it is important to note the citation that are generally used. The following provides examples dealing with some typical case law databases. It is preferrable to use the medium neutral citation if available as this will be consistent with both print and electronic versions of the decision.
As medium neutral citation was only adopted from 1998, it is necessary to consider two types of citations: CLR references (pre 1998) and HCA references (post 1998). For example:
Also, it is important that the citation is used for references that require a link. In other words, it is necessary to refer to 'Patrick Stevedores No 2  HCA 30' and not just 'Patrick Stevedores No 2' if a link to the case is desired.
Federal Court of Australia decisions can be cited using the medium neutral citation mechanism from 1998. For example:
Industrial Relations Court of Australia decisions can be cited using the medium neutral citation mechanism from 1998. For example:
As the Commission has yet to decide on adopting a medium neutral citation, it is appropriate to cite a decision from the Commission by using the Print Number. For example:
For decisions prior to 1999, the NSWCCR citation can be used. Medium neutral citation can be used for 1999 decisions. For example:
For databases that have not adopted medium neutral citation officially or for those decisions that pre-dated the adoption of medium neutral citation, AustLII are working progressively to assign them with an appropriate medium neutral citation. For effective use of the citation mechanism, it is necessary to check the contents of the database held on AustLII. For example, 'Davis v Amalgamated Television Services Pty Ltd' has been assigned  NSWIRComm 131.
If the medium neutral citation is not yet available for a particular decision, it may be advisable to identify a unique reference such as a print number or matter number and a date so that these references may be located once a citation is available.
Copyright Tribunal decisions may be cited using the medium neutral citation convention. For example:
Australian Designs Office decisions after 1999 may be cited using the medium neutral citation convention. Earlier decisions may be cited using AIPC or IPR references.
Australian Patent Office decisions may be cited using AIPC or IPR references before 1999. Subsequent decisions may be cited using the medium neutral citation convention.
Australian Trade Marks Office decisions may be cited using IPR references prior to 1999. Medium neutral citations may be used for subsequent decisions.