Skip to Main Content

Legal Citation


Don't Forget!!

Read this guide in conjunction with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Law Quick Guides

Citing Commentaries (Looseleafs)

Commentaries (updating services)

Commentaries (printed format is called a looseleaf service) are learned opinions, discussions or examinations of the law by professional and academics in specialised legal subject areas.

These updating services include commentary, relevant legislation and in some services either case notes or full text cases.

Online commentary and printed looseleaf services are considered to be "live books", and as such require similar elements for citation.

Online commentary services

The rules for citing online commentary services vary from the requirements for printed looseleaf services. See examples below:  




If the looseleaf service is being viewed online, the volume number and comma after the title should be omitted (AGLC rule 7.8). 

If the online version contains information regarding the most recent service number, or the date of the last update, it is included in parentheses (brackets). If the online version does not contain information regarding the most recent service number or date of latest update, then the date the service is accessed is used instead.

This note is not exhaustive. Please see AGLC rule 7.8 for other details for citing looseleaf services.


Printed Commentaries

Author/publisher + publication title + volume + (at most recent service number for pinpoint reference) + Pinpoint reference. 



Printed looseleafs are updated by replacing outdated pages with new pages.

As stated in the AGLC, the release number or date of the paragraph (or pinpoint) being cited is usually found in the corner of the page (see AGLC rule 7.8 for further elaboration of service numbers).

Pinpoint references will be to paragraphs so should conform to AGLC rule 1.1.6, and appear in square brackets. ‘IR’ in the example above stands for “Information Release” which is the terminology used by the ASIC Digest (see AGLC rule 7.8).


Activity indicator1. According to AGLC which of the following citations is the correct format for citing a looseleaf publication (or commentary) which you have accessed online?

a. LexisNexis, Wills and Probate Administration WA (at service 42) [10,000].
b. LexisNexis, Wills and Probate Administration WA (at service 42) 'Uncontested or Non-Contentious Probate Applications' [10,000].
c. LexisNexis, Wills and Probate Administration WA (service 42 at April 3 2013) [10,000].