It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
In articles with topics that cover multiple jurisdictions, such as multiple states or multiple countries, aim to provide a general overview for all jurisdictions. Indicate the legal system if the article topic is fully within that system, e.g., civil law, sharia law, common law, customary law. Within a given legal system, the law may have evolved in divergent ways. Because the law differs between jurisdictions, make clear what jurisdiction you are writing about. Try to incorporate a comparative perspective, if possible and appropriate. Use separate section headers when providing specifics as to a jurisdiction or system.
Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc. in collaboration with Melbourne Journal of International Law Inc. Melbourne 2018 (2018–2019). Australian Guide to Legal Citation(PDF) (4th ed.). ISBN9780646976389. Republished in 2019 with minor corrections.
Section 2.1 (p.39) for Case names: "A citation to an Australian case should generally include the parties’ names (as they appear on the first page of the decision) in italics except:..."
Section 3.1 (p.67) for Statutes (Acts of Parliament): "A citation to an Australian Act of Parliament should begin with the short title of the Act in italics".
Section 3.2 (p.74) for Bills: "Bills should be cited in the same manner as Acts, except that the title and year of the Bill should not be italicised".
Section 3.4 (p.75) for Delegated legislation (such as regulations, rules and orders), rule 3.1 applies, i.e. in italics.
Unless needed for specificity, leave state names out of the title, e.g., use State v. Elliott, not State of Vermont v. Raleigh Elliott, et al., and redirect the latter to the former.
Ambiguous titles like "People v. Superior Court", or "United States v. Smith", are written with the full name of the state and distinguishing name of individual or entity, or distinguishing year, in parenthesis. If still further clarification is needed, then a comma and the year may be added after the identifying individual name.
In article text (for citations, see below), the first mention of a case should normally be formatted as A v. B. Cases from some jurisdictions, particularly those within the United Kingdom, use A v B. When referred to a second or third time within a section, cases may be referred to as A, or, if A does not disambiguate (e.g. Rex), B.
Names of judges
When referring to the name of a judge or justice that was involved in a case in a judicial capacity, that person should be introduced with the prefix "Judge" or "Justice" before their name. For example, when discussing his opinion in United States v. Carolene Products Co., Harlan F. Stone should be referred to as "Justice Harlan F. Stone."
Citations and referencing
While any citation style may be used in an article (see WP:CITEVAR), for articles on cases, case law, or subjects which use a large amount of case law, it is recommended that editors use the referencing style for the jurisdiction that heard that case or for which that legal subject applies.
United States, consider using Bluebook, ALWD, or an official state system (e.g., the California or New York systems).
Citing legal materials
Cite to legal materials (constitutions, statutes, legislative history, administrative regulations, and cases) according to the generally accepted citation style for the relevant jurisdictions. If multiple citation styles are acceptable in a given jurisdiction, any may be used, but be consistent, and consider using the most common. Also consider using the citation style used in secondary sources (such as law reviews or academic journals) rather than the citation style used by a practitioner's legal briefs or a court's decision.
The following guidelines will be generally useful in many jurisdictions:
Where both primary and secondary sources are available, one should cite both. While primary sources are more "accurate", secondary sources provide more context and are easier on the layperson. Where primary and secondary sources conflict factually, the primary source should be given priority.
When a case has been published in an official reporter (e.g. the United States Reports), editors should cite the version of the case that appears in the official reporter.
Avoid citation signals when possible. On Wikipedia, the use of Id., supra, and infraare discouraged, as are internal cross-reference signals to another footnote. This is due to the fact that any reference may be edited or changed, and render the cross-reference signal inaccurate.