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Citing Legal Materials Using Bluebook - A Short Guide

©Anshuman Sahoo 2017. 
Free for mass distribution till the source is properly mentioned.



So, you collected the relevant materials for your research, went through them carefully, and evaluated the available materials. Now, what remains is to carefully dot down your arguments in your own words while supporting those arguments and ideas by citing relevant materials in the footnotes.
It is necessary to cite relevant legal material that you have referred to because it reflects your research and in-depth study that you have undertaken to write that paper. Apart from that, while quoting the work of someone else, citation is necessary to avoid possible allegations of plagiarism.
However, while citing the materials in the footnotes section, you cannot cite them as per your wish. For example, while citing page no. 99 of ‘The Start-up of You’ book written by Reid Hoffman, you cannot cite it as ‘page 99, The Start-up of You, Reid Hoffmann’ just because that seems convenient. There is a standard method to cite legal documents and you must conform to that standard so as to ensure the fulfilment of basic research requirements.
There are basically two standard methods to cite a legal resource (there are many other, but these two are commonly accepted): the Bluebook system of citation, or the OSCOLA system of citation. Herein, we’ll be discussing about the bluebook system of citation in short. 



Citing cases:
Indian cases
Format: Party A v. Party B, (year of publication) <volume> <Reporter> <page> (India)
Example: Kesavananda Bharati Sripadagalvaru and Ors. v. State of Kerala and Anr., (1973) 4 SCC 225 (India)
U.K. cases
Format: Party A v. Party B, (year of publication) <volume> <official reporter> <page> <Court>.
Example: R v Dudley and Stephens, (1884) 14 QBD 273 DC
U.S. cases
Format: Party A v. Party B, <volume> <Reporter> <Page>, (<Court> <year of Pulication>)
Example: United States v. MacDonald, 531 F.2d 196, (4th cir. 1976)

Citing Books
Format: <Author’s full name (Small Caps)>, <Title of book(Small Caps)> <page cited> (<publication name(s)>, <edition cited> <year>)
Note: To write in Small Caps, press Ctrl+Shift+K.
Example: robert t. kiyosakirich dad poor dad 47 (Plata Publishing LLC, 2012)

Citing Articles
Format: <Name of author>, <Title of the Article (italicised)>, <volume> <Journal (Small Caps)> <page> (year)
Example: Anshuman Sahoo, Children’s Rights in the Cyberspace, 4 Iɴᴛᴇʀɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟ ᴏꜰ Rᴇsᴇᴀʀᴄʜ ᴀɴᴅ Aɴᴀʟʏsɪs 36 (2016)

Citing statutes:
Indian statutes
Format: <name of the act>, <Act no and the year>, <Jurisdiction> (year), <Volume>.
Example: The Banking Regulation Act, No. 10 of 1949, India Code (1993), vol. 15.
U.K. statutes
Format: Statute Short Title, <year>, <regnal years(s) for statutes enacted prior to 1963>, C. <chapter number (s)>, § <section number(s), sch (s). <schedule (s), if any> (<jurisdiction>).
Example: Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1925, 15 &16 Geo. 5, c. 49, § 226, sch. 6 (Eng.).
U.S. statutes
U.S. statutes may be of two kinds, one being the federal statutes and the other being the state statutes. For federal statutes,
Format: <official name of the Act>, <publication source in which the act may be found>, (<the parenthetical indication either i) the year the source was published or ii) the year the statute was passed>)
Example: Department of Transportation Act, Pub. L. No. 89-670, § 9, 80 Stat. 931, 944-47 (1996).
For state statutes,
Format: <the abbreviated name of the code, as listed in the table in bluebook> <the cited section number(s)> (<the year of the cited code edition>).
Example: Cal. Fin. Code § 500 (West 2000).

Citing constitutions:
Indian Constitution
Format: <abbreviation of constitution cited>.<Article cited>.
Example: India Const. Art. 14
U.S. Constitution
Format: <abbreviation of constitution cited>.<article> § <Section symbol and no. of section cited>.
Example: U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 2.

Citing Regulations
Indian Regulations
Format: <regulation name>, <year of enactment>, <publication abbreviation> (<jurisdiction>).
Example: The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2008, Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i) (India).
U.K. Regulations
Format: <Regulation name>, <year of enactment>, <publication abbreviation> <instrument number>, <article>, <paragraph> (<jurisdiction>).
Example: Patent Rules, 1958, S.I. 1958/73, art. 3, ¶ 3 (U.K.)

Some commonly used terms
id – It’s the short form of Latin term ‘Idem’ which means ‘same’. Used to refer to the immediately preceding authority.
Supra – Used to refer an authority (citation) mentioned earlier, but not immediately preceding.

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