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AGLC - Referencing Guide

Acts (Statutes)

Rule 3.1 Statutes (Acts of Parliament)

  Use the Act's short title in italics

  Include the year following the title, whether or not it is included in the short title

  Include the jurisdiction in which the Act was passed

  Include pinpoint references of an abbreviation and a number, separated by a space

  The abbreviation should correspond to the highest ‘level’ cited in the pinpoint reference 

  Use short titles for portions of legislation, rather than to the legislation as a whole 

  Cite Commonwealth Acts first, then state and territory Acts in alphabetical order by jurisdiction if citing equivalent Acts across multiple Australian jurisdictions

  Statutes are considered 'media neutral', so do not include database, nor access date, in the citation

Rule 3.1.3 Jurisdiction

   Include an abbreviated form of the jurisdiction in which the Act was passed following the year.

  Include jurisdiction abbreviation in parentheses (round brackets).

  Jurisdiction should not be italicised (rule 3.1.3).

  Use the following abbreviations for Australian jurisdictions:

Jurisdiction Abbreviation
Commonwealth Cth
Australian Capital Territory ACT
New South Wales NSW
Northern Territory NT
Queensland Qld
South Australia SA
Tasmania Tas
Victoria Vic
Western Australia WA

Rule 3.1.4 Pinpoint References

  Use an abbreviation of a designation and a number, separated by a space

  Place numbered or lettered subsections in parentheses immediately following the section number

  Do not separate the section number and subsection number by a space    eg  s 3(a),    not  s 3 (a)

  Use the abbreviation that corresponds to the highest 'level' of a section (or paragraph etc) for references to a section and a subsection (or paragraph and a subparagraph etc)    eg  s 31(1),     not  sub-s 31(1)

  Do not place a comma between each abbreviation-number combination where multiple combinations of an abbreviation and a number are needed to form one pinpoint reference    eg  pt III div 2,   not  pt III, div 2

  Use the whole of the decimal number preceded by the abbreviation of the lowest 'level' of section, part, chapter, etc, cited (eg  s 2.3.5   not  ch 2.3.5) where an Act uses a decimal numbering system (often in the form  Chapter . Part . Section )

Pinpoint reference examples

s 2 s 108AB sub-s (3)
pt V s 5(1) s 2(3)
ch III s 14(1)(a) s 28(1)(a)(i)
pt 7 div 3 sub-div 8 s 13   [Not: pt 2 s 13] cl 14(3)(a)

Rule 3.1.5 Multiple Pinpoint References

  Consecutive pinpoints should appear separated by an en-dash (–)
eg sub-ss (2)–(3)

  Non-consecutive pinpoints should be separated by commas
eg ss 5, 7, 9, 28

1.5.1 Quotations General Rule

  Quotations of 3 lines or less should be incorporated into the text using single quotation marks.

  Quotations of 4 lines or more should appear indented from the left margin, in a smaller font size, and without quotation marks.

  Legislative and treaty extracts, however long, may also appear this way.

  Quotations should appear exactly as they do in the original source.

  Check the AGLC for exceptions.

Rule 3.1.6 Definitions

 Unnumbered definitions should be cited as follows:

    s  Section Number  (definition of '  Defined Term  ')

• If there are multiple paragraphs within the definition and a particular one is used, reference to the paragraph should be preceded by 'para'.

   Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) s 9 (definition of 'administrator' para (a)(i)).

  If definitions are numbered, each definition should be cited as a normal section of an Act


Standard format for footnote


    Act Title   Year   (Jurisdiction)   Pinpoint  <URL>.


Australian Constitution:

  Australian Constitution  Pinpoint <URL>.



  Act Title   Year  ( Jurisdiction ) s Section Number   (definition of ' Defined Term ') <URL>.


Standard format for bibliography


  Act Title   Year  ( Jurisdiction )


Australian Constitution:

  Australian Constitution



  Act Title   Year  ( Jurisdiction )


Footnote Examples

1 Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Act 2005 (Cth) pt 3A div 2.

2 Australian Constitution s 51(ii).

3 Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) ch 2 pt 1 div 4.

4 Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) sch 2 ('Australian Consumer Law').

5 Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) s 9 (definition of 'administrator' para (a)(i)).

6 Criminal Code Act 1913 (WA).

7 Evidence Act 1995 (NSW).

8 Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No 2) 2012 (Cth).

9 Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No 3) 2012 (Cth).

10 Gambling Regulation Act 2003 (Vic) s 3.2.1.

11 Habeas Corpus Act 2001 (NZ).

12 Human Rights Act 1998 (UK) s 6(1).

13 Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) s 20-110(1)(a).

14 Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

​​​​​​15 Migration Regulation 1994 (Cth) sch 2 cl 679.224.

​​​​​​16 A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Consequential Related Measures) Act (No 1) 1999 (Cth).

17 Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) s 3 (definition of 'legal practitioner').

18 Social Welfare Ordinance 1964 (NT).

19 Unlawful Assemblies and Processions Act 1958 (Vic) ss 5-6, 10-12, 26-9.

20 Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) ss 28F—28G.

In-Text Examples

Example:  Migration Act 1958 (Cth)  

To refer to a section within the Act:

  • s 278 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth)
  • do  not begin a sentence with “s” - use Section or Subsection
  • to refer to a section and sub-section - s 278(3)
  • to refer to the subsection alone - sub-s (3)

To refer to multiple sections of an Act together:

  • Subsections (a)–(d) 

In footnotes: Migration Act 1958 (Cth) s 278

Rule 3.1.4 Pinpoint References, Rule 3.1.5 Multiple Pinpoint References, Rule 3.4 Delegated Legislation

Clause                       cl

Paragraph                 par

Regulation                 reg

Regulations               regs

Schedule                   sch

Section                      s

Sections                    ss

Subclass                   sub-c

Sub-clause                sub-cl

Sub-regulation          sub-reg

Subsection                sub–s

Subsections              sub-ss

To refer to a visa class

  • Schedule 1, 1121 Labour Agreement (Migrant) (Class AU)

To refer to a visa subclass

  • Schedule 2, Subclass 120 Labour Agreement Visa

To refer to a specific clause or sub-clause within a schedule

  • cl 679.224 of Schedule 2 of the Migration Regulations 1994
  • Sub-clause 8202(3)(a)

See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as acts, articles, books, and web pages.