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Legislation Citation Elements



Rule 3.1.1- 3.1.6: The essence of citing an act is Short Title + Year + Jurisdiction.

In text references should include the Short Titlejurisdictional notation and relevant section details.

Example: The Court has power under Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) s 23 to...

or             The Court has power under s 23 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) to...

Legislative Materials Citation Examples

Short Title  + (Jurisdiction) +  Pinpoint

3.2 Australian Constitutions

Australian Constitution or the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia
Constitution Act 1902 (NSW) s 9C
Constitution Act 1889 (WA) s 50(3)(c)

3.1 Act/Statute

Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
Criminal Code Act 1913 (WA) s2
The Criminal Code (WA) s 22

3.3 Delegated Legislation

Crime and Misconduct Regulation 2005 (Qld)
Criminal Appeal Rules (NSW) rr 23A, 24

Extrinsic (Quasi-Legislative) Materials Citation Examples

3.6 Explanatory Memorandum

Explanatory Memorandum, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2010 (Cth)

3.5 Bills

Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 (Cth)
Sentencing Amendment Bill 2014 (WA) cl 4

3.4.1 Gazettes

Commonwealth, Gazette: Special, No S489, 1 December 2004

2.4.2 Orders/Ruling

Australian Taxation Office, Income Tax Deductibility of Self-Education Expenses, TR 98/9, 17 June 1998

6.1.1 Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

Jurisdiction, Parliamentary Debates, Chamber, Full Date of Debate, Pinpoint (Name of Speaker)

Legislative Materials Cited in Footnotes

3.9, 1.4.1, 1.4.2: All legislative materials except for Gazettes, may be given a short title. The short title may be used in text or in footnotes in subsequent citations.

Ibid is used for all legislative/quasi-legislative materials when cited in footnotes when referring to a preceding source.  In other subsequent references, citations should appear in full each time a source is referred to.


3.9.1 Legislation in Footnotes - Examples

First footnote citation

4 Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Cth).

Second and subsequent footnote citations

5 Ibid. s 7.
10 Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976 (Cth) s 9.


3.9.2 Citing Parts of Legislation

First footnote citation

Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) sch 1 ('Criminal Code').

Second and subsequent footnote citations

3 Ibid div 268.

5 Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) sch 3.

Rule 3 - Legislative Materials

Chapter 3 of AGLC3 details how legislation should be cited. The guidelines presented on these pages are consistent with advice given in AGLC3 and should be followed carefully.

Generally, the following rules apply to the domestic legislation of Australia and the states: acts or statutes and delegated legislation: rules, regulations, by-laws, ordinances.

  1. When citing legislation refer to the principal Act - it is assumed this refers to the act as amended.
  2. Only refer to an amending Act if it is relevant to a particular point in your argument.
  3. Always cite legislation in print format, regardless if accessed online.
  4. Jurisdiction should be abbreviated according to Rule 3.1.3.
  5. Pinpoints should be abbreviated as stated in AGLC3 rule 3.1.4. The pinpoint abbreviation and number must be separated by a space, however do not add a space in between a section and sub-section number. Example: s 3(a) or s 31(1)
  6. Consecutive pinpoints should be separated by an en-dash “–“ [use ctrl + minus key (for PC); command + minus key (for Mac)] and non-consecutive pinpoints by a comma and a space. Example: ss 5-8
  7. Consult AGLC 3 3.1.5 for comprehensive discussion of multiple pinpoint references.
  8. Where you are referring to a legislative provision in the text of your work, you should write as you would speak.
     Example: Incorrect: Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 (Vic) s 10 states that...
                     Correct: Section 10 of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 (Vic) states that …