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Legal Research Skills Guide: Repeat citations

Repeat citations

Repeat, or subsequent citations are treated differently to many intext citation styles.

  • The full bibliographic details should not be provided each time in a footnote
  • The terms ‘ibid’ and ‘(n )’ are used to refer to previous citations in a document
  • (n ) can be used with any resource type in AGLC4

The use of ibid - Rule 1.4.3

Ibid is used to repeat a footnote immediately preceding footnote.  Ibid should not to be used when there are multiple sources in the preceding footnote. It can be used regardless of whether the citation is in full or ibid or (n). If the pinpoint reference (page/paragraph number) is different to the preceeding referencing, the correct pinpoint should follow the ibid with no punctuation between ibid and the pinpoint reference.


18 Eric Barendt, Freedom of Speech (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2005) 163.

19 Ibid.   Ibid indicating the same footnote reference as above

20 Ibid 165-7.   Ibid indicating the same footnote reference as above BUT a different pinpoint reference to the original footnote

Using (n ) - Rule 1.4.1

You should use (n ) for repeat citations
  • Where a source is cited in a previous footnote, and not necessarily the one before it (as in Ibid)


  • Where you wish to cite one specific source among multiple sources in the preceding footnote (as disallowed in Ibid)

(n ) should be used in the following format:

  Author surname (n Footnote number) Pinpoint.


22 NC Seddon and MP Ellinghaus, Cheshire and Fifoot’s Law of Contract (LexisNexis, 9th ed, 2008) 867.

27 Seddon (n 22) 20.

(n ) can be used with any resource type in AGLC4.

Short titles and subsequent references - Rules 1.4.4, 2.1.14, 3.5, 4.3

Short titles can be used for legislative materials and secondary resources in AGLC4. A shortened version of a case name can also be used to replace the Party names in a case citation.

Short titles should be introduced following the full version of the citation/reference the first time they are referred to both in text and in the footnote, ie, if a short title is used in a footnote first, then the first time it is used in text, the short title must be repeated.

The format for short titles is ('Short title') the title follows the italics formatting conventions of the resource type in AGLC4 Guide.


These decisions were Pape v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (‘Pape’)81 and Williams v Commonwealth [No 2] (‘Williams [No 2]’).82

80 See also Williams v Commonwealth [No 2] (2014) 252 CLR 416 (‘Williams [No 2]’).

81 (2009) 238 CLR 1 (‘Pape’).
82 Williams [No 2] (n 82) 476 [110] (Crennan J)..
83 Pape (n 81) 125–6 [365] (Hayne and Kiefel JJ).
84 Australian Law Reform Commission, Traditional Rights and Freedoms: Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws (Report No 129, December 2015) 209 [7.111] (‘Traditional Rights and Freedoms’).
86 Traditional Rights and Freedoms (n 84) 209 [7.111].

Activity #28 - Using Ibid or (n )

 This is a footnote for a journal article

15 Patrick George ‘Hockey v Fairfax : who won and who lost?’ (2015) 15 LSJ : Law Society of NSW Journal 70, 71.