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OSCOLA Citation Style

Defining OSCOLA Citation Style  Referencing

            The Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is in accurate citation of legal materials. OSCOLA is often thought as a style guide for writers, but rather it is legal citation mainly deployed in law schools and publishers in the UK.  Non-law students who conduct research using legal materials are advised to use the Harvard referencing standard. Currently, OSCOLA is in its 4th edition.

Citing the Law

            There is minimal use of punctuation in OSCOLA such as the use of full stops after abbreviations. For example, OSCOLA prefers a writer stating UKIP instead of U.K.I.P.  Moreover, this style uses footnotes which are closed with a full stop. Semi-colons are used when a writer uses more than one citation in a single footnote reference. The use of commas is specifically to detach different parts of a book reference, such as the book publisher and year.

            The titles of books and other related publications are italicized, or else they are contained in a single quotation mark. Capital letters should be used in every first letter of a major word. Moreover, when Cases are used as primary source, writers are required to use italics and lower case when writing case names. At the end of the legal research, a student is required to include all references in a full bibliography. The bibliography should contain three distinct parts: table of cases, table of legislation, and bibliography.

Why use OSCOLA

            By using this style, it makes it easy for a reader to understand the complex legal terms used in legal writing. By availing legal materials at the footnotes, a reader becomes more persuaded by the message in the legal writing since he/she will have a quick source of reference. Also, OSCOLA allows law students to establish consistency during the writing process. OSCOLA Citation Style