As a law student, you will have many academic papers to write and submit to your professors. In doing so, proper citation is necessary for the appropriate and accurate acknowledgement of the sources used. While there are many citation styles available, there is a particular one recommended by most law schools, and that is the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC).
What is the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC)?
AGLC, which stands for The Australian Guide to Legal Citation, was created by a collaboration between the Melbourne University Law Review Association and the Melbourne Journal of International Law. It was first published in 1998 and, since then, has become Australia’s authoritative legal citation guide. It is widely used by academics, students and practitioners as it is deemed the official legal citation guide for law schools and journals.
three main components of AGLC:
- The body of the page must contain citations.
- For all the citations given on a page, footnotes must be listed at the bottom of the page.
- A bibliography, while optional, can be placed at the end of the paper. It should list all the sources used for the text and details of the sources used when research was done for the paper.
What is the difference between AGLC3 and AGLC4?
Since its first publication, the AGLC has been updated a few times with the latest revision being the third edition. The updated fourth edition of the AGLC has changes to various sections of the guide. The following is a list of some of the changes:
- General rules
- Rule 1.3 regarding sources referring to other sources was widened.
- Rule 1.4.1 relating to how subsequent references are made to previously cited sources has changed drastically.
- The updated style is to be written as ‘(n[Footnote number])’.
- The rule now applies to all source types.
- Rule 1.5.2 now states that if a sentence leads effortlessly into the quotes, a colon is no longer needed.
- Rule 1.10.1 states that commas, instead of spaces, should be used to group digits that are in large numbers.
- Rule 2.1.14 states that subsequent references are now permitted to be used for cases.
- Rule 2.3.1 states that a full date is no longer necessary for a medium neutral citation.
- Rule 3.5 now states that subsequent references are permitted for use in legislation.
- General rules for citing secondary sources (new chapter)
- Rule 4.1.1 outlines that initials in names should not have spaces.
- Regardless of source type, short titles must be clearly introduced if it is used in a subsequent reference.
- Journal articles
- Irrespective of the journal being continuously paginated, always include an issue number or identifier.
- Rule 6.3.4 declares that the publication details should no longer include the year of first publication.
- Rule 8.1 outlines that, wherever possible, always use the authoritative English language version of the treaty name.
- United Nations materials
- Rule 9.2.6 now states that session numbers are not needed for UNSC resolutions.
- Rule 9.2.10 now has an expanded and updated list of abbreviations within UN Docs.
- International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of International Justice
- Rule 10.2.1 permits you to exclude “Question of the” and “The question of the” at the beginning of an advisory opinion.
- International Arbitral and Tribunal Decisions
- Rule 11.3 permits short titles and subsequent references to be cited according to the amended rule 1.4.
guaranteed that you will need to have footnotes for most or all of your
academic papers. There are three main reasons why footnotes are used in papers.
- To make reference to a source that was used in an
- To reference additional information that is
relevant to the text but cannot be included.
footnotes, here are some things that, according to the AGLC4, you must keep in
- It is imperative that your footnotes are numbered sequentially.
- When you discuss information or ideas from your sources, ensure that you use superscript numbers with corresponding footnotes.
- Always place the superscript number after the punctuation mark (period or comma) at the end of the text that refers to the corresponding footnote.
- Use a semicolon to separate multiple sources, including the last two sources. At no point should the word “and” be used to separate them.
- Multiple sources in a footnote should be placed in the order of importance/ relevance to the proposition in the text.
- When a source is repeated in your text, do not include the full details each time it is required, instead use the terms “ibid” or “n”.
- ‘Ibid’, from the Latin ‘ibidem’, means ‘in the same place’. It should be used to reference a source that immediately precedes the footnote.
- ‘n’ is used to reference a source in a previously cited footnote other than the immediately preceding one.
Below are a few examples to help you write your own footnotes in AGLC format.
Here are some examples of bibliographies in AGLC
As stated earlier, the bibliography outlines all the sources used in the text of your paper as well as the sources used during the research for your paper. AGLC4 format recommends that you list your sources alphabetically under these five main headings; articles/ books/ reports, cases, legislation, treaties and other. Do not use full stops at the end of a citation. See below for an AGLC sample bibliography.
What are the general rules of the AGLC?
- Footnote rules
- Footnotes are placed at the end of the sentence
after the punctuation mark.
- Start footnotes with a number that corresponds
with the number in the text.
- Use a semicolon to separate multiple sources in
- The pinpoint for a paragraph must be written as a
number in [ ].
- Invert the author’s first and last names and
separate them by a comma.
- Do not use a period at the end of the entry
- Authors with the same last name should be listed
in alphabetical order according to their first name.
Final notes on AGLC
This article provides a comprehensive account of the AGLC4 and should give you all the information you need. As you will be writing many papers during your school years and later in your career, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the rules. If you require individual help with writing a paper in AGLC4, feel free to place your order below.