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AGLC4 referencing style: Footnotes

This guide provides basic information on formatting references according to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th ed.)

Citation sources - Using footnotes

Superscript numbers with corresponding footnotes should be used whenever information or ideas from any source are discussed. Footnotes need to be numbered consecutively. Please see the Footnote examples below. For more detailed information, consult Chapter 1 of the full AGLC4 manual online.

Footnotes are also used to: 

  • provide extra information that is not appropriate to include in the text.
  • to back up an argument
  • to acknowledge a source that has contributed to an argument.

The superscript number should be placed at the end of the portion of text to which the corresponding footnote refers. The number should appear after any relevant punctuation (such as a full stop or a comma).

Multiple citations in a footnote

When there are multiple citations in one footnote, the order of sources in the footnote should be in the order of most relevance/importance to the proposition in the text and this is a matter of judgment for the author. If such an ordering approach is not appropriate, then an ordering system that the author thinks is most appropriate for the context (e.g. alphabetically or chronologically).

A semicolon should be used to separate the sources, and the word 'and' should not be used to separate the last two sources.

For more guidance, see rule 1.1.3 in the full AGLC4 manual online.

Repeat citations

When a particular source is cited more than once in a paper, 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. For more guidance, see rule 1.4 in the full AGLC4 manual online.


‘Ibid’ is an abbreviation of the Latin term ‘ibidem’, meaning ‘in the same place’. Use ‘ibid’ to refer to a source in the immediately preceding footnote, including any pinpoints. 'Ibid' should not be used where there are multiple sources in the preceding footnote. 

‘Ibid’ should always be capitalised when it appears at the start of a footnote. If there is a pinpoint reference, that is, a reference to a specific place in the cited text, and the next footnote is to the same work and to the same place in the cited text, use ‘ibid’. The pinpoint reference should not be repeated. If you refer to the same source as in the immediately preceding footnote but to a different page or section, use ‘ibid’ followed by the pinpoint reference, that is, the different page or section number. See the examples of repeat citations using ‘ibid’ provided below.


Use ‘n’ to refer to a source that has been cited in a previous footnote other than the immediately preceding one. For cases and legislation, a short title may be used followed by a cross-reference (n) in parentheses. 

Superscript numbers and Footnotes example


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