AGLC General Style Notes

Before selecting a referencing style check with your tutor, lecturer or supervisor for the style preferred by the School or Department.

Introduction to the style

The following style notes provide a brief introduction to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 4th Edition (AGLC 4). AGLC is commonly used as the legal citation standard in Australia.

AGLC 4 is a footnote referencing system.

AGLC 4 is divided into five parts:

  • Part 1: General rules (covering topics such as how to deal with subsequent references (rule 1.4) quotations (rule 1.5), and punctuation (rule 1.6)
  • Part 2: Domestic sources (cases in chapter 2, legislation in chapter 3)
  • Part 3: Secondary sources (such as general rules for citing secondary sources in chapter 4 and discussed below, journal articles in chapter 5, books in chapter 6, and more).
  • Part 4: International materials
  • Part 5: Foreign domestic materials (citing the laws of selected countries other than Australia)

Access to the full style manual

This guide is based on the Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 4th Edition by Melbourne University Law Review Association and Melbourne Journal of International Law.

The full style manual is available as a free digital PDF copy. Print copies are available from the University of Melbourne library. Consult the official manual for more information.

General rules

Pay close attention to the general rules in part 1 and the general rules for citing secondary sources at the start of part 3. Many of the general rules found in these parts are cross-referenced in rules for citing specific sources. For example, the general rules for citing secondary sources in chapter 4 cover:

  • rules about citing authors’ and editors’ names including how to deal with post-nominals and honorific titles;
    how to cite multiple authors;
  • publications authored by a body such as a government department or non-governmental organisation;
  • citing judicial officers and former judicial officers, citing judges written judgments (curially), and citing judges writing in publications such as law reviews (extra-curially)
  • how to cite titles, including punctuation, capitalisation, subtitles and italicisation, and rules for short titles;
  • the inclusion of URLs and archived URLs using permalink

Rule 1.13 provides the rules for bibliographies. Where a bibliography is required it should list all sources that were relied upon, not only those referred to in the text and footnotes. Rule 1.13 also includes a suggestion of how to organise your bibliography according to source type.


Information about law report abbreviations, Australian Medium Neutral Citations and pinpoint abbreviations are included as appendices in the print edition. Acceptable abbreviations in the reference list include: