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General Rules | AGLC4

Footnotes | General format (Rule 1.1)

See Rule 1.1 in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4th Edition.

  • Use footnotes for citations; do not use endnotes.
  • A footnote should always follow the relevant portion of the text. This is generally after the punctuation at the end of the sentence but may be placed directly after the relevant portion of the text if required for clarity (Rule 1.1.2).
  • Footnotes must start with a number corresponding to the number in the text. 
  • Multiple sources in a footnote should be separated by a semi-colon (Rule 1.1.3).
  • Pinpoint references are required whenever you quote, paraphrase or refer to a section of a source. The pinpoint for a page number should appear as a number with no prefix. Pinpoint for a paragraph should appear as a number in [ ]
  • Put a full stop at the end of each footnote.

Subsequent references - see Rule 1.4 in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4th Edition.

Note that this rule has been broadened so that the style '(n[Footnote Number])' now applies to all source types (Rule 1.4.1).

  • Subsequent references to cases - use Case Name or Short Title (Rule 1.4.4). E.g. Case Name n(Footnote Number) Pinpoint.
  • Subsequent references to legislation - a Short Title may be used (Rule 1.4.4). E.g. Legislation Title n(Footnote Number) Pinpoint.
  • Use 'Ibid' (meaning 'the same') if the source and pinpoint reference in the immediately preceding footnote is the same source and pinpoint being cited in the current footnote. If the source is the same but the pinpoint reference differs, put 'Ibid' and then the relevant new pinpoint reference  (Rule 1.4.3).
  • 'Ibid' should not be used if there are multiple sources in the preceding footnote - use Rule 1.4.1 instead.
  • 'Above n' / 'below n'  are used only to refer to another portion of the same text. Use the pinpoint relevant to that portion (Rule 1.4.2).
  • Do not use 'id', 'op cit', etc.

Bibliography | Style notes

See Rule 1.13 in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4th Edition. A sample bibliography is provided on AGLC 4 page 36.

  • A bibliography appears at the end of a piece of written work and lists all the material used or relied upon in producing that work, whether cited in the footnotes or not.
  • Note that a 'list of references' is a shorter form of bibliography which lists only the materials actually cited in the footnotes. In AGLC, unlike some other referencing systems, Bibliographies are required instead of reference lists.
  • If in doubt as to whether a bibliography is required for a particular piece of assessment, consult the relevant subject learning guide and/or the relevant subject coordinator.
  • If a bibliography is used, group items in alphabetical order, under the following headings (where applicable):
  1. Articles/Books/Reports
  2. Cases
  3. Legislation
  4. Treaties
  5. Other
  • If any particular category (see above) is missing, omit it but maintain the alphabetical ordering:
  1. Articles/Books/Reports
  2. Legislation
  3. Treaties
  4. Other
  • The author's surname should appear first, followed by a comma and the author's first name or initial. For works by more than one author, the first author's name appears as just described but the second and subsequent authors' names are not inverted (see example below).
  • There is no full stop at the end of a bibliography entry and no pinpoint references.
  • Sources should be listed in alphabetical order according to:
    • the surname of the first author
    • if the author is an institution, the first word of the name of institution (excluding 'the')
    • where there is no author, the first word of the title.
  • Where two authors have the same surname, sort them alphabetically according to their first names.
  • Where more than one work of an author is listed, the works should be listed in chronological order.
  • Entries in a bibliography should refer to the entire source. See the section on 'Citing quoted material' for information on where and when to cite sections of sources



Atiyah, P S, The Damages Lottery (Hart Publishing, 1997)

Dworkin, Ronald, Law's Empire (Fontana, 1986)

Johnson, David R and David G Post, 'Law and Borders - The Rise of Law in Cyberspace' (1996) 48 Stanford Law Review 1367

Citing quoted material | Style notes


Burger King Corporation v Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd (2001) 69 NSWLR 558, 570 (Sheller, Beazley and Stein JJA), quoting Metropolitan Life Insurance Co v RJR Nabisco Inc, 716 F Supp 1504, 1517 (Walker J) (SDNY, 1989).

Sandy Steel, 'On When Fairchild Applies' (2015) 131(3) Law Quarterly Review 363, 364, cited in Caason Investments Pty Ltd v Cao (2015) 236 FCR 332, 357 [184] (Edelman J).


See Rule 1.3 in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4th Edition.

  • Sometimes the material you want to cite is itself quoted in a book or article that you actually have in front of you.
  • For example, you may be reading Smith and see that she quotes a passage from Palam, and it is the quote from Palam that you want to cite in your own work.
  • In the above situation, you should normally try to get hold of the original text (here Palam) so that you will be able to cite it directly.
  • However, sometimes it is not reasonably feasible to locate the original text, and so you will need to make do with the original text as it has been quoted in the secondary text (here Smith).
  • Where this is the case, you should give as full a reference (following AGLC style) to the original text as you can glean from the secondary text, then use the words 'quoted in', and then give the normal reference to the secondary text.
  • This also applies to a case referred to in a book or journal article, eg

Commercial Bank of Australia v Amadio (1983) 151 CLR 447 quoted in Elizabeth Ellis, Principles and Practice of Australian Law (Thomson Reuters, 2nd ed, 2009) 205-206.

  • Providing this information allows your reader to know what the original text is that you are citing and to try to obtain it themselves, rather than rely on your second-hand quotation.
    • It is misleading to cite only the original source (Palam) as if you have consulted it directly when you have only consulted the secondary source (Smith). This risks charges of plagiarism because you are not revealing your actual source.
    • It also may not be adequate simply to say 'Palam, as cited in Smith' where you give proper details of Smith but no further available information about Palam. This practice would be acceptable only if Smith him or herself had failed to provide the appropriate information about the source of the Palam quotation.