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«Presentation of Work within the School of Law Law students not only have to construct arguments, they have to present them succinctly and with ...»

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Presentation of Work within the School of Law

Law students not only have to construct arguments, they have to present them

succinctly and with clarity. These materials are intended only to provide guidance with

regard to setting out written work. Remember that good presentation is not an end in

itself: it is a means of providing greater clarity of expression in essay writing.

In what form should work be presented?

Work should be typewritten.

The font size of text should preferably be 12 point (Times New Roman is preferred).

The font size of text in footnotes should be 10 point for greater clarity.

The font used should be one that is clearly legible.

Remember that markers require space to add comments to the text or to indicate errors. The use of 1.5 line spacing or double line spacing makes this easier. Leave reasonable margins on the page.

Do not type on both sides of the page.

Why use footnotes?

Footnotes have two main purposes.

(1) They indicate to the reader the source of information and ideas used in constructing the main text. There is an obligation to allow the reader to trace the source of the information and this includes a requirement to give exact page references.

(2) They may be used to make points subsidiary to the points made in the main text but without disturbing the integrity of the main textual argument. In other words, footnotes may be used to amplify or provide background to points made in the text.

But this should only be done to a limited extent. Substantive argument should appear in the main texts not in footnotes. Examples of this type of use: mention of alternative definitions of words used in the text; indication of further sources of information in regard to subjects mentioned in the text. Note that the normal rules of grammar apply to footnotes – use sentences and begin the first word with a capital letter.

How to use footnotes When it comes to citing authority, consistency is essential. It is untidy to use, within the same piece of work, a variety of methods for citing sources. Therefore be consistent.

In Word for Windows, footnotes are located via the INSERT command; then click on FOOTNOTE. From there, the OPTIONS button permits various amendments to be made to the format of footnotes.

As to style, guidance will be given in regard to how to cite the following Cases (2) Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments (3) Textbooks and other monographs (4) Chapters in books of collected essays (5) Journal articles (1) Cases should be cited as follows:

Name of case (in italics), year, law report (may require volume number if in any year there was more than one volume), page reference.

Scottish cases:

Stewart v Kennedy (1890) 17 R (HL) 25 Morrisson v Robertson 1908 SC 332 Gray v Edinburgh University 1962 SLT 173 Hislop v Dickson Motors (Forres) Ltd. 1978 SLT (Notes) 73 Bird v HMA 1952 JC 23 Codona v Cardle 1989 SCCR 287

English cases:

Edgington v Fitzmaurice (1885) 29 Ch.D. 495 Foley v Classique Coaches Ltd. [1934] 2 KB 1 Smith v Bush [1989] 2 WLR 790 DPP v K (1990) 91 Cr App R 23 Logdon v DPP [1976] Crim LR 121 Note the use of square brackets [ ] in the citation of most English cases. Parentheses ( ) are also used. The distinction is that in English reports square brackets are used when the date is essential to the reference. If round brackets are used there will be a volume number and the year need not be quoted to find the volume in question. For instance, the English Law Reports series from 1865 until 1891 used volume numbers and was quoted using round brackets. Following 1891 it was quoted in square brackets and a volume number is not used.

European cases:

Cases before the European Court of Human Rights:

Name, date of judgment, application no, volume of Decisions and Reports, page no.

For example: Johnston v Ireland, 18 Dec. 1986 (No. 112) 9 EHRR 203

Cases before the European Court of Justice (ECJ):

Case number, name, year of publication of judgment, Report, page no.

For example: C-213/89 - The Queen v Secretary of State of Transport, ex parte:

Factortame Ltd and Others [1990] ECR I-2433

Cases before the Court of First Instance (CFI):

Case number, name, year of publication of judgment, Report, page no.

For example: T-24/90 Automec v Commission (No 2) [1992] ECR II-2223 Some law reports can be quite obscure. To find out what they are use Current Law or D. Raistrick, Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations.

Note that cases need to be cited in full only once. Thereafter it is permissible to abbreviate by giving the name of the case provided that this is sufficient to identify it.

Care should be taken that cases with similar names are always clearly distinguished.

When citing a passage from a case give a precise page reference for that passage.

For example: Donoghue v Stevenson 1932 (SC) HL 31 at p.38.

If reference is made to a single page use ‘p’, if to more than one page use ‘pp.’ As in ‘pp. 23-5’.

(2) Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments Acts are cited in full giving the short title: title, year, chapter number. However, they are not italicised.

Scotland Act 1998 ch. 46 Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 ch. 26 War Crimes Act 1991 ch. 13 Acts only need to be cited in full once, after which they can be abbreviated; e.g. the 1998 Act, or the Scotland Act.

Scottish parliamentary legislation

Cite as follows:

Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 1999 asp 1 Note that following the Tanganyika Republic Act, 1962 short titles no longer contain a comma following the word ‘Act’. Most writers omit the comma from all statutes, regardless of date.

Pre-1963 statutes are also referred to by the regnal year:

3 Edw. 7, c. 36 = 36th Act passed during the third year of Edward VII (i.e. Motor Car Act 1903).

Modern writers do not use this system but simply refer to the short title. Very old statutes do not specify short titles and some of them may be referred to by more than one name, therefore use the chapter number and also a short description to avoid doubt.

Sections/Schedules Give section and schedule numbers after the name of the Act. If the Act has already been clearly specified, then you may abbreviate it to e.g. ‘The 1995 Act’ then give the section number.

Note the following: Bills consist of numbered clauses, not sections; Schedules to Acts consist of numbered paragraphs; Treaties contain Articles, not sections (for statutory instruments see below).

It is permissible in essays, although rather informal, to use (S) instead of (Scotland).

Using the short title as specified in the particular Act is better.


The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, s1(1).

The Bankruptcy (S) Act 1985, s32(3)(a) The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, Sch. 1, para 1(e).

If more than one section is being referred to the plural ‘ss’ is used, e.g.:

Sex Offenders Act 1997, ss1, 5.

Statutory Instruments These include rules, regulations and orders enacted by virtue of authority granted in primary legislation. Each statutory instrument (S.I.) produced in the course of a year is given its own number. The citation is as follows: S.I. Year/Number (e.g. S.I. 2000/250 is instrument number 250 of the year 2000). It also has a title which should be quoted, at least on the first citation.


First citation: Community Trade Mark Regulations 1996, (S.I. 1996/1908) (hereafter CTM Regulations) Subsequent citations: CTM Regulations, reg. 93.

Alternatively, simply quote the S.I. number, S.I. 1996/1908.

Note the difference between rules, regulations, orders and schemes:

Trade Marks Rules 1994, S.I. 1994/2583, r 3 Limited Partnerships (Unrestricted Size) Regulations (No 3), S.I. 1992/1027, reg 3 London Authorities (Transfer of Housing Estates etc.) Order 1973, S.I. 1973/417, art. 7 The Calf Subsidies (United Kingdom) (Variation) Scheme 1973, S.I. 1973/533, para 2.

Orders before the Scottish Parliament:

A (sadly imaginary) example:

The Scotland Act 1998 (University Lecturers Improved Pay) Order 2000, S.S.I. 2000/8 Note that Acts of Adjournal have sections and schedules; Acts of Sederunt contain paragraphs but note that Rules of Court are described as rules.

(3) Textbooks and other monographs

Citing a book – give full details of the following:

• Name of author [give initial(s) plus surname]

• Title (in italics)

• Edition (if second or subsequent edition is being used)

• Volume number (if there is more than one volume)

• Place and date of publication (use round brackets)

• Page reference (be precise).

Single author:

J.A.K. Huntley, Contract: Cases and Materials (Edinburgh, 1995), 15.

G. Morse, Partnership Law 4th edn. (London, 1998), 66.

A. Alison, Principles and Practice of the Criminal Law of Scotland, 2 vols. (Edinburgh, 1832-3), ii, 92.

Two authors:

J. Dane & P.A. Thomas, How to Use a Law Library 3rd edn. (London, 1996), 67.

More than two authors:

A. Page et al., A Guide to the Scotland Act 1998 (Edinburgh, 1999), 55.

There is no need to list multiple authors; simply name the first author and then use ‘et al.’ to indicate that there are others.

Page references:

Be precise in quoting page references. Where a monograph is cited, quote the page number(s) (or paragraph number instead where each paragraph is numbered).

G.H. Gordon, Criminal Law 2nd edn. (Edinburgh, 1978), para 5.48.

New editions, by different authors, of established texts and reprints:

J.M. Halliday, Conveyancing Law and Practice, 2nd edn., (ed.) I.J.S. Talman, 2 vols, (Edinburgh, 1997), i, 50.

G.J. Bell, Commentaries on the Law of Scotland, 7th edn, (ed.) J. McLaren, 2 vols, (Edinburgh, 1870, reprinted 1990), ii, 300.

Look first at the title page to see what the precise title is. Often it is, easiest just to copy the title on the title page e.g. Cross, Evidence became Cross on Evidence and is now Cross and Tapper on Evidence.

(4) Chapters in books of collected essays H.L. MacQueen, ‘Software transactions and contract law’ in L. Edwards & C. Waelde (eds.), Law & the Internet: Regulating Cyberspace (Oxford, 1997), 121-135.

A.D.M. Forte, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: on not codifying commercial law’ in H.L.

MacQueen (ed.), Scots Law into the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of W.A. Wilson (Edinburgh, 1996), 92-102.

Do not capitalise the title of the article other than the first word (unless, of course, the title contains a word, such as a proper name or place name, that would require to be capitalised anyway).

(5) Journal articles A. Beck, ‘Is law an autopoietic system?’ (1994) 14 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 401.

M. Mackay, ‘The strengthening of employment rights’ (1999) 44 JLSS 19-21.

Note that when citing standard UK journals recognised abbreviations can be used.

Foreign or little-known journals are better cited in full at least in the first citation (see first citation below). Where an extended piece of work (e.g. a dissertation) is being written, unusual abbreviations may be included in a list of abbreviations placed before the text but after the contents page. This will provide an easy reference for the reader.

Specifying the relevant part of the text Where an article or essay in a book is cited, quote the first page and specify the portion text to which reference is particularly being made.

J. Finlay, ‘Women and legal representation in early sixteenth-century Scotland’ in E.

Ewan & M.M. Meikle (eds.), Women in Scotland c.1100-c.1750 (East Linton, 1999), 165 at p. 173.

T. Prosser, ‘Theorising utility regulation’ 62 MLR (1999) 196 at pp.198-9.

Use of an indicator, such as ‘at p. 198’ is less in fashion these days and sometimes editors prefer simply the appropriate page reference to be given.


Prosser, ‘Theorising utility regulation’, 199.

First citation When citing a source for the first time, give the full citation. Thereafter there is no need to repeat the full citation.


First citation: J. Thomson, Delictual Liability 2nd Edn. (Edinburgh, 1999), 50.

Subsequent citations: Thomson, Delictual Liability, 70.

First citation: G. Gordon, Criminal Law 2nd Edn. (Edinburgh, 1978), para 3.13.

Subsequent citations: Gordon, Criminal Law, 9.03.

First citation: A.D.M. Forte, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: on not codifying commercial law’ in H.L. MacQueen (ed.), Scots Law into the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of W.A. Wilson (Edinburgh, 1996), 92-102.

Subsequent citations: Forte, ‘Commercial law’, 99.

In regard to articles, it is permissible at the first citation to indicate how subsequent references to the article will be cited e.g. henceforth, Forte, ‘Commercial law’. The use of quotation marks in the case of this particular article by Forte means that readers should not confuse the article with a book by the same author called Scots Commercial Law.


It is permissible to use ibid. (lit. ‘the same’) when you are quoting from the same source in consecutive footnotes. Do not misuse ibid. by trying to make it refer to the last but one footnote. It only applies to the footnote immediately preceding. This saves having to rewrite the short title. But beware of adding extra footnotes at a late stage, since it will become necessary to check that uses of ibid. correspond to this rule.


Woolman, Contract, 55.

McBryde, Contract, para 5-05.

Ibid., para 11.11.

Ibid., para 5-09.

Atiyah, Sale of Goods, 35.

Here, footnotes 6, 7 and 8 refer to McBryde on Contract. For ibid., use roman not italic.

Quoting Why use quotations?

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