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National College of Ireland


Law Subject Guide: OSCOLA Referencing

OSCOLA Referencing

What is OSCOLA?

OSCOLA stands for Oxford Standard For Citation of Legal Authorities. It was developed at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford as a standardised system to cite legal sources. OSCOLA has now been adapted in order to be able to cite Irish legal material. Please note this referencing style is specifically for law sources, and is only used on a limited number of law modules at the National College of Ireland. Please double check with your lecturer or supervisor if you should be using this citation system.

When and how do I use OSCOLA referencing?

Writing a law assignment or project (as opposed to undertaking an exam) requires references to primary legal sources (cases from the WRC and courts, legislation etc.) and secondary sources (books, journal articles, websites, policy etc.). OSCOLA referencing is a footnote style where all citations (or references) appear in footnotes. There are no in-text citations and when citing any source, either directly (using quotations) or indirectly (by paraphrasing), the reference is cited in the footnote.  The footnote is normally inserted at the end of the sentence, or can be placed after the word or phrase to which it relates.

For more information on how to apply OSCOLA to your assignment or project, take a look at the Quick Referencing Guide by clicking on the following link:

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