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English Legal Materials: CITATIONS

A brief introduction to English legal materials and the resources used to retrieve known documents.

Citation Form

Citation forms for English materials are set out in The Bluebook (18th ed.) at rules 20.3.1 (cases), 20.5.1 (statutes), and Table 2, pages 318-324.


Statutes enacted prior to 1962 are cited by:

  • name or title of the act
  • year(s)
  • regnal year(s) - the year of the sovereign's reign in which the statute was passed
  • chapter
  • jurisdiction

For example, Fatal Accidents Act, 1846, 9 & 10 Vict., c. 93 (Eng.)

Citation guides added the requirement to include the calendar year to the citation. Previously researchers would have to consult a table of regnal years to determine the precise year, for example, National Services Act, 11 & 12 Geo. 6, c. 64. Citation guides also added the jurisdiction requirement.

This method of citation was changed by the Acts of Parliament Numbering and Citation Act, 1962. Statutes enacted after 1962 do not include the regnal year.

For example, Airports Authority Act, 1965, c.16 (Eng.)


A typical case citation might look like:

Vane. v. Yiannoupoullis, (1964) 2 Q.B. 739 (if there were more than one volume of Queen’s Bench reports for 1964)


Murray v. Foyle Meats Ltd., (2000) A.C. 51 (if there were only one volume of Appeal Cases for 2000)



The Law Library subscribes to the Justis service which is a full text online datebase of UK, Irish and EU case law dating back to 1163 and legislation from 1235. If you are a member of the law school community you have off campus access with your UGA ID.

English Reports reference formats - a chart of abbreviations

More Information

English Legal History Research: A Guide to Core Academic Law Library Materials, 24 Legal Reference Services Q. 73 (2005) [has a useful bibliography]

How to Cite Legal Authorities, KD400 .F73 1996 Basement

Guide to Law Reports and Statutes, KD54 .S93 1962 Basement

Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations, KD400 .R35 2008, Ready Reference [specifically deals with English legal materials]

Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations, KF246 .B46 2009, Ready Reference

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