Law and Order: McGill Guide to Uniform Legal Citation Rules and Examples

Law and Order: McGill Guide to Uniform Legal Citation Rules and Examples

McGill guide to uniform legal citation is a well-known style mostly used in Canada. Full guide McGill title is The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation. Commonly it is used by legal practitioners, universities, courts, law journals, and other official institutions located in Canada. In this article, we will try to explore more on this interesting Canadian style of citations.

Canadian McGill Guide to Uniform Legal Citation

McGill guide to uniform legal citation was invented in Canada in 1986 and is officially titled as Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation. This citation style was created to set one correct and official standard to use in legal referencing in Canada. McGill citation guide is bilingual. It is just about law, and it should not be considered in your regular classification essay.

It's another title McGill guide was taken due to the initial publication that was released in McGill Law Journal more than thirty years ago. These days we are using its eighth edition. We will talk about its improvements and changes later. But what you should realize completely is that all law schools, courts, law journals, and practitioners in Canada are using this style on a regular basis and made it a legal citation in Canada.

Students all over the world are familiar with it as a Canadian legal citation guide that serves as Canadian referencing guide regarding various sources. It can be government documents, jurisprudence, legislation, and even books with journals. Best known as a legal citation Canada guide, McGill legal citation style also has brief sections to use with foreign sources. It is used in the US and UK. Sometimes even in international purposes. There are three main fields guide McGill can be applied to:

  • In-text citations;
  • Footnotes;
  • Bibliographies.

McGill Citation Guide and General Rules

There are few main rules to use McGill guide to uniform legal citation. It is clear that students have to provide their works with proper citation styles. And talking about law and legal studies it is just crucial as most of those studies require their footnotes to be numbered. All the footnotes should be placed at the very bottom of each page and endnotes should appear at the end of the paper.

The initial referencing regarding Canadian McGill guide should be extracted in its full with other things using “ibid” or “supra” markers.

  • Ibid: it is an abbreviation from Latin and stands for “in the same place.” Regarding McGill guide to the uniform legal citation, you should use ibid if you are referencing the same source as the initial citation. One is free to use ibid as a secondary mark to supra or even another ibid.
  • Supra: another Latin word which means “above.” This thing should be used if one has already provided some full citation.

Forms of McGill Guide

There are two main forms of McGill guide to the legal citation:

  • Short forms: in this situation, a student can shorten the form of the source. To be more specific you should create a short form of the case. You will need this to save time and space if you cite one source multiple times. Often it this form is used with titles of sources that are longer than three words. One should locate this short form at the end of the initial citation and take it in brackets. If you are citing books or particular articles, just use its author’s last name.
  • Pinpoints: Canadian legal citation is about a serious and proper referencing to another source. You can use it to present your main evidence and the experts do not use it to identify the source completely. They use it to mark a certain paragraph or page of the source they use. That is why it is called a pinpoint.
Important note. Please avoid any types of repetitions. There is no use of repeating the same information if it is already provided in the content of the citation. There is one simple example that describes this requirement. If you have mentioned the name of the source in your paper’s content, there is no need to repeat its title once again in the reference itself.

Legal Citation Canada for Verdicts

Here are few McGill guide to uniform legal citation tips to consider:

  • Neutral citations: if you have a neutral citation, please place it after the title of the case. In 2001 it was decided to release their verdicts in this very style. They just include the year, the number of the verdict, and the court itself. Here it is: “2002 SCC 5”.
  • Case reporters: all those verdicts can also be gathered in one Case report. They are published in this style also. The main organizing marker is the year, volume, and series.

Changes from the 7th edition of McGill Legal Citation Guide

We have mentioned before that these days we are dealing with the eighth edition of guide McGill. Here are its differences from the previous edition:

  • Now instead of consultation date, one should use Update Release Information for loose-leafs.
  • One should use a fixed URL address for all pinpoints if it is possible.
  • There is a special section for all electronic services, and it is covered in 1.6.
  • These days court may require Bills title information.
  • If there is a possibility to provide a Parallel citation for International Legal Materials (ILM), it should be provided.
  • There is a common abbreviation for titles of journals (see 6.1.6).
  • There should be no abbreviations in Appendix.
  • There is no semi-official Alberta Reports.

Bibliographies by Guide McGill

You will deal with footnotes and endnotes in most cases and sometimes it is very useful to learn bibliography format of legal citation Canada which should be attached to the end of your document. It is a solid and useful addition to all of your footnotes and endnotes.

The bibliography is a list of all sources used in the paper you provide. Please note that you should include even those sources you have never cited in your paper, be attentive, and note everything when preparing your work.