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NWU Law House Style Referencing Guide

Based on the NWU Faculty of Law House Style.



(a) For any point or reference guideline not provided for in this Standard, the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA)2 should be followed.

(b) Please note that there are different prescribed front pages for undergraduate assignments, postgraduate assignments, research proposals, LLM dissertations/mini-dissertations, and LLD theses.

(c) South African English must be used in all submissions. Note that the default language setting on MS Word is American English. You must, for example, use "utilisation" as opposed to "utilization" and "neighbour" as opposed to "neighbor". Where possible, avoid using the passive voice as it may negatively influence the readability of the text.

(d) Use italics for all words in a language other than the language you are writing in, for example: inter alia, Rechtsstaat, etcetera. This is also applicable for Afrikaans words in English documents. Quotations in a foreign language that are indented and justified (longer than one typed line), need not be typed in italics, but a translation should be provided in a footnote.

(e) Make use of footnotes and not endnotes.

(f) An alphabetical bibliography must be provided at the end of the text (click here for an example of a bibliography.)

(g) Abbreviations used in the text or footnotes, including journal titles must be provided in a list of abbreviations. The list of abbreviations must be placed after the table of contents and is numbered as page 1.

(h) Use as few abbreviations as possible in the text, for example: "section 12". Use as many as possible abbreviations in the footnotes, for example "s 12". See (J) below.

(i) A footnote starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

(j) Take note that "paragraph" is abbreviated in the footnotes as "para" and "paragraphs" as "paras".

(k) Use only acknowledged abbreviations as they appear in dictionaries as far as possible.

(l) Abbreviations should be used without full stops.

(m) Refrain from starting footnote with an abbreviation.


2 University of Oxford 2012