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Legal Research Skills Guide: An introduction to legal referencing

Why do we reference?

Referencing is the acknowledgement of information sources in your work. Referencing:

  • helps you avoid plagiarism
  • allows the reader to source the information and read further
  • gives your work credibility and reliability
  • strengthens your academic argument
  • assists in establishing that your proposition is backed up by legal authority

Legal referencing - AGLC4

Legal citation involves citing cases and legislation, so it is quite different from other disciplines.Good citation habits go hand in hand with precision in legal writing.

The Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 4th edition (AGLC4) is used at Charles Sturt University for the Bachelor of Laws. It is produced by the Melbourne University Law Review Association in Collaboration with the Melbourne Journal of International Law. The 4th edition, 2018, is the most recent edition.

Avoiding Plagiarism

It is critical that you understand and avoid plagiarism in your assignments.

Plagiarism is the unethical use of other people’s work, such as using their words and ideas without attribution. You can avoid accidental plagiarism by learning to reference your sources, and learning how to use in-text citations correctly.

Some key resources available for you include:


Watch the following video from Swinburne University for an overview of AGLC4