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Oscola English: Footnotes - Primary Sources - Pinpoint - Cross Citations

Footnotes, primary soucres, pinpoint, cross citations

  • Footnotes have all the main bibliographic information about the source
  • Line spacing in footnotes is 1 (instead of 1,5 as in the maintext)
  • Semicolon (;) is used to separate more than one source within the same footnote
  • Each footnote ends with a full stop (.)
  • Authors names are listed as they appear in the source in footnote, but only last name and his/her initial in bibliography
  • If there are more than 3 authors/editors give the name of the first one followed by „and others“
  • A company/organisation can also be listed as author if no author is mentioned
  • If the sources is both in electronic and print format cite it as a print material and omit the url 

Secondary Sources:

books, book chapters, journals, journal articles, reports, web pages, blog, interviews, emails, letters ...

Primary Sources:

cases, decisions, legislation, statutes, regulations, bills, EU legal documents,  opinions of governing bodies, treaties ...

  • If all the relevant bibliographic information for primary sources is in the main body of the essay there is no need to have a footnote.
  • If the case name is given in the text it is not necessary to repeat it in the footnote, but include other information according to Oscola
  • Cite primary sources as done in the home country (see Guide to Foreign and International Legal Citations 2006) for primary sources not listed in Oscola 4. edn.)

See also short forms of case names in Oscola 4 ed. p. 14 and short forms for legislation p. 23 and 29  





  • Pinpoint is a reference to a particular place within a source e.g. page number, chapter, paragraph, article
  • Pinpoint is the last part of the footnote
  • Pinpoint is never listed in the bibliography or table of cases/legislation
  • If not citing part of a source there is no pinpoint


For more information on pinpoint for primary sources see Oscola 4. ed. page 19, chapter 2.1.6 and page 24, chapter 2.4.2 and page 27. chapter 2.5.3.

For more information on pinpoint for secondary sources see Oscola 4. ed. page 33, chapter 3.1.3


When citing more than once the same source provide a cross citation.  It is also acceptable to give the full citation every time a source is cited. You should always give the full citation if the previous citation is in an earlier chapter.

For more information see pages 5-7 in Oscola 4 ed.