Skip to Main Content

Referencing style - APA 7th: Legal sources

A guide to using the APA 7th edition referencing system for in-text citations and reference lists.

APA examples: Legal sources

The 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association covers legal referencing only for the United States and United Nations and refers to The Bluebook for referencing legal materials. Consult Table 2 in The Bluebook for legal referencing of other foreign jurisdictions.

For Australian legal materials, refer to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition) (AGLC4), which form the basis of the reference list examples in this guide. For in-text citations, it would be in the standard APA format.

It is advisable to consult with your unit coordinator for any specific requirements when referencing legal materials in APA7.


Material Type In-Text Citation Reference List & Notes

Cases (reported) arranged by volume


Case Name (Italicise), Year


Case Name (Italicise) (Year) Volume number Law report series (abbreviated) Starting page. URL (not required, include to facilitate retrieval of material)

(Fairbairn v Radecki, 2022) Fairbairn v Radecki (2022) 275 CLR 400
Cases (reported) arranged by year Case Name (Italicise), Year

Case Name (Italicise) [Year] Volume number (if there is more than one vol in a given year) Law report series (abbreviated) Starting page. URL (not required, include to facilitate retrieval of material)

Note: Year is in square brackets.

When considering the case of  Watney v Kencian (2018) ...

Watney v Kencian [2018] 1 Qd R 407

Acts of Parliament

Title of Act (Italicise) Jurisdiction (abbreviated and within round brackets)

Note: The title of the Act includes the year as it is part of the title. 

Title of Act (Italicise) Jurisdiction (abbreviated) sub-divisions (abbreviated). URL

Note: No comma between multiple sub-divisions.

Please see table below for abbreviations of sub-divisions.

(Copyright Act 1968 (Cth))

Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).

As stated in the School Education Act 1999 (WA) ... School Education Act 1999 (WA) pt 2 div 3 s 25(4).


Abbreviations of sub-divisions of Act




art, arts


ch, chs


div, divs


para, paras


pt, pts


sch, schs




sub-div, sub-divs


sub-s, sub-ss


Note: As a general rule, APA7 indicates full stops should be used in Latin and reference abbreviations. However, for legal references, APA7 states to consult the Bluebook for examples not in the manual, particularly for formats pertaining to specific states.  In both the Bluebook (Australia jurisdiction) and AGLC4, full stops are not used for abbreviations.


 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.