OSCOLA is a set of guidelines for accurately citing cases, legislation and other materials. As part of your law course, you may be asked to use the OSCOLA referencing style to cite the resources you have used in your work.
Referencing your sources is a key aspect of academic and legal writing. By referencing your sources you are demonstrating that:
- you can provide the relevant legal authority to support your work.
- the arguments that you refer to have been supported by evidence from reliable and credible sources.
- credit is given to other people's work, thereby avoiding plagiarism.
- you have searched resources like books and journals widely for information on your topic.
If you are an LLB student, OSCOLA training will have been provided in your first semester. You can find the slides on Moodle.
Some useful resources to help with your referencing are:
- OSCOLA handbook (4th edition) (PDF). This is the authoritative guide to OSCOLA.
- Quick guide to OSCOLA (PDF). This is a useful reference guide, but there's not much explanation or context. It is a handy reminder once you are confident with OSCOLA, but it is not recommended when you are still familiarising yourself with the style.
- OSCOLA international sources guide (PDF): This supplementary guide covers a range of international materials not covered in the main handbook e.g. UN treaties, the European Convention on Human Rights, and cases from the International Court of Justice.
- IALS Library guide to OSCOLA: This site has been created by IALS Library, part of the University of London. The content is the same as the OSCOLA handbook, but the format makes it easier to navigate and use.
- OSCOLA workshops: These are open to students in any year.