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AGLC Referencing Style

A guide to applying AGLC

AGLC Rule 2 (AGLC4)

Reported cases (Rule 2,2)

Significant cases are published in a law report series and are known as reported cases. In reported cases the details required are: Case name (italicised); year; volume number; abbreviation of the law report; starting page number; pinpoint page number.

The authorised version of the report should always be used where available. See here for a list of authorised reports

Harriton v Stephens   (2006)     226      CLR   52    , 78.

Bakker v Stewart        [1980]                    VR   17    , 21.

Case name - Cite only the first plaintiff and defendant. Use italics for the names of the parties

Year and volume number - Square brackets are used around the year when the year is an essential component of the citation, without which it would not be possible to find the case. Square brackets are normally used when there is no volume number or the volume number doesn't help in locating the judgment, such as when the numbering starts again each year. Round brackets are used when the law report series has consecutive volume numbers and the year adds further information but is not essential for locating the judgment.

Report series - Use the abbreviation for name of the report series, not the full title.

Page -  Put the page at which the case report begins. (*CCH report series often use a unique reference rather than a starting page. That reference, with accompanying symbols, should be used instead of the page number - see the example below).

Pinpoint - Pinpoint references are used when referring to a specific point in the judgment and are preceded by a comma and a space. The full case citation is used, followed by the specific page references. When the first page of a case is cited repeat the page number. If identifying the particular judge being cited, put their name in round brackets after the pinpoint.


Wirth v Wirth (1924) 24 SR (NSW) 150, 150.

Tame v New South Wales (2002) 211 CLR 317, 320, 326.

Yuendumu Social Club Inc v Day (2010) 27 NTLR 79, 84-5.

Olly v Marlborough Court Ltd [1949] 1 KB 532, 538.

Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, 566 (Lord Buckmaster).

Borg v Commissioner, Department of Corrective Services [2002] EOC ¶93-198, 76340. 

AGLC Rule 2 (AGLC4)

Unreported Cases (Rule 2.3)

Cases which do not get published in a law report series are known as unreported cases. These decisions may not have been published due to being too recent or to not adding any additional authority to the body of case law.  Always check (using Westlaw or CaseBase) to see if the case has been reported. If a reported decision is available use the reported version in preference to the unreported decision. If is is reported in an authorised series use the authorised reports (for example: Commonwealth Law Reports, Federal Court Reports).

If the case is not reported use the medium neutral citation, if it is available. Medium neutral citations were introduced by the courts in the 1990's so that any decided cases could be referred to using a uniform style, no matter what medium it appears in. In unreported cases the details required are: Case name (italicised); year; abbreviation of the court; judgment number; pinpoint.

Kadir v The Queen [2020]    HCA        1,         [14].

Hill v Lang                [2012]   FCA     349,        [28]. 

Case name - Cite only the first plaintiff and defendant. Use italics for the names of the parties

Year - Square brackets are used as the year is an essential component of the citation.

Unique court identifier - Such as HCA for High Court of Australia. The case itself should identify the relevant unique court identifier.

Judgment number - This will be the judgment number allocated by the court for the relevant year. In the first example above, the case is the High Court's fifth judgment for the year 2019.

Pinpoint - Refer to the paragraph number and use square brackets. Separate the judgment number and pinpoint with a comma.


Liongson v Olims Canberra Hotel [2010] FCA 248, [21].

R v Thorn  [2010] ACTCA 10, [17].  

R v Kendall (Unreported, Supreme Court of New South Wales, Studdert J, 30 August 1990) [this is an example of a case that predates medium neutral citations - see Rule 2.3.2]

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