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Citations in United Kingdom

Citation Of British Cases

Generally speaking, the form of citation for British cases is the same as that for Canadian cases. You should follow the rules set down in Rule 4.15 of the McGill Guide (4th ed.) for citing British cases, keeping the following points in mind:

When giving the citation for cases from the English Reports, cite the old nominate reporter first, then the English Report .

e.g. Nathan v. Jacob (1859),1 F. & F.452, 175 E.R. 805.

When giving parallel citations, do so in the following order: (a) Nominate reports, (b) English Reports, (c) Law Reports, (d) All England Law Reports, (e) Other reports: e.g., Weekly Law Reports.

Citation Of British Statutes

The citation form of British statutes is similar to that of Canadian statutes, but not exactly the same. There are two important points you should keep in mind when citing British statutes.

  • If the act was enacted before January 1, 1963, a comma is placed between the name of the act and the year. No comma separates the name of the act and the year for legislation enacted after January 1,1963.
  • You must cite to the regnal year for legislation enacted before January 1,1963, and to the calendar year for the legislation enacted after January 1, 1963.


  • Enacted before January 1, 1963: A comma is placed between the name of the act and the year in the title. The act is cited to the regnal year. Example: Law of Property Act, 1925 (U.K), 15 & 16 Geo. 5, c.20.
  • Enacted after January 1, 1963. No comma separates the name of the act and the year. The act is cited to the calendar year. Example: Sale of Goods Act 1979 (U.K), 1979, c. 54

Often, a calendar year will correspond to more than one regnal year. Example: Health Resorts and Watering Places Act (U.K), 26 Geo.5 & 1 Edw. 8, c. 48. Which means that this act was passed in the 26th year of the reign of George V and in the first year of the reign of Edward VIII. George V’s reign began in 1910, so this act was passed in 1936. Edward VIII’s reign began in 1936.

If you want to discover the calendar year of the given regnal year, you can refer to the volume containing the statute, as the volumes generally have the relevant calendar year printed on their spine. Or to determine the relevant calendar or regnal year, you can consult the Chronological Table of Statutes . The calendar year is given at the top of each page followed by the regnal year in brackets- e.g. 1807 (47 Geo. 3). Alternatively, Appendix B contains a table converting regnal years into calendar years. The McGill Guide has general instructions in Rule 4.15 on how to cite British statutes and should be consulted in call cases.

Citation Of British Regulations

English regulations are cited by a title (optional), an abbreviation for Statutory Rules and Orders (S.R.O.) before 1948, or for Statutory Instruments (S.I.) after 1948, the year in which they were issued, and the number of the regulation in that year.

For example: Isopropyl Alcohol Regulations 1927 , S.R.O. 1927/783

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  • Article Name: Citations
  • Author: International
  • Description: Citation Of British Cases Generally speaking, the form of citation for British cases is the same as that for Canadian [...]

This entry was last updated: April 25, 2016

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