Law Resource Guide

This guide provides information on finding legal resources for courses in the LAWS Program.

Referencing Guide

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) is the preferred method of referencing in legal writing. The latest edition of the AGLC is available for download from the Melbourne Law School website opens in a new window.

Referencing Tips: Unreported Judgments and Medium Neutral Citations

Many courts have introduced medium neutral citations. This is so that unreported judgments made available online can be cited in the same way as paper copies. This avoids confusion if page numbering differs over publication formats. The components of a medium neutral citation are :

  • names of the parties
  • the year of the judgment
  • abbreviation for the court name
  • number (assigned consecutively by order of issue)
  • status (unreported)
  • judges
  • date of judgment

For example:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Game Meats Pty Ltd [2001] HCA 63 (Unreported, Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne and Callinan JJ, 15 November 2001).

Note that the number following the court abbreviation is not a page number - it indicates that this is the 63rd High Court judgment for 2001

Examples of Court Abbreviations include:

  • HCA High Court of Australia
  • FCA Federal Court of Australia
  • QSC Supreme Court of Queensland
  • QSCA Supreme Court of Queensland Court of Appeal

To refer to a particular section of an unreported judgment, use the paragraph number. These numbers are listed at the side of unreported judgments and ensure that the case is cited consistently no matter where the judgment has been sourced. Paragraph numbers are cited in square brackets.

Citations to unreported judgments which are not available electronically, or where the court has not adopted medium neutral citation, include the following elements:

  • names of the parties (with a v in between)
  • status of the judgment (unreported)
  • court in which the case was heard
  • Judge/s who heard the case
  • judgment number
  • date of judgment

For example: Zaika v Zaika (Unreported, Supreme Court of New South Wales, Holland, J, No132/76, 5 February 1979).