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Georgetown Law Library

United Kingdom Legal Research Guide

This in-depth guide will help researchers navigate legal materials for the United Kingdom.

Abbreviations, Acronyms & Citations

UK Legal Abbreviations & Acronyms

Use these tools described below to help you decipher unfamiliar UK legal abbreviations and acronyms.

Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations, (4th ed.), Call No. REF K85 .R3 2013 
This index enables users to de-code the initial-letter-only system of most British legal citation. It also provides disambiguation for similar or identical abbreviations used in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and other Commonwealth nations that were formerly part of the British Empire.

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations
This free, Web-based resource covers legal abbreviations used in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and other Commonwealth jurisdictions, as well as the United States.  Search by abbreviation to locate the title of the corresponding publication or search by title to determine the correct abbreviation for a specific publication.

Citations to U.K. Law

The Bluebook (20th ed.), Call No. KF245 .U5 2015
For assistance with U.S.-formatted citations to UK law, consult The Bluebook, Rule 20, and Tables 2.42 (U.K.), 2.42.1 (England & Wales), 2.42.2 (Northern Ireland), and 2.42.3 (Scotland).  Rule 20 provides general guidelines for citing foreign legal materials.  Tables 2.42, 2.42.1, 2.42.2, and 2.42.3 cover cases, statutes, regulations, and parliamentary materials for the UK as a whole and for its component nations, as well as common abbreviations, journals, and electronic sources.

Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th ed.), Call No. REF KD400 .083 2012
OSCOLA is the most widely used system of legal citation in the UK  It has been adopted by most UK law schools and by journals and book publishers in the UK and beyond.  The current edition is available for download in PDF format.