LAW Legal Citation (McGill Guide) Quick Reference
When starting legal research, legal citations can be extremely confusing to read, comprised essentially of numbers and abbreviations. To understand where the document was published, the court or tribunal that decided the case, and the jurisdiction from which the legal material came you must be able to interpret the abbreviations in the citation. There are quite a few soures that can assist in this process; however, there will likely be abbreviations that are not contained in any of these guides and you are encouraged to come to the Reference Desk in the Bennett Jones Law Library for assistance in this situation.
McGill Guide Abbreviation Information
The McGill Guide provies abbreviation information for a wide range of Canadian, foreign and international legal materials in its appendices which are located at the back of the volume. The appendices are arranged alphabetically by the entry's full name rather than by its abbreviation unless specified otherwise below.
- Appendices A1 to A4 -- Jurisdictional abbreviations for Canada, the United States, Australia and other countries, and Canadian postal abbreviations.
- Appendix A5 -- Abbreviations for International Organizations and international materials (arranged by abbreviation)
- Appendix B -- Courts and tribunals from Canada, U.K., U.S., Australia, and other countries, and dates of implementation for Canadian neutral citation
- Appendices C1 & C2 -- Canadian official caselaw reporters, and official/unofficial reporters from Canada, U.K., U.S., the EU, international courts, and other countries (arranged by abbreviation)
- Appendix D -- Law journals, yearbooks, legal newsletters and other periodicals
- Appendix E – Online legal databases
Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (see left column) should be consulted if an abbreviation is not found in the McGill Guide.
online Abbreviation Guides
There are several online abbreviation guides which vary in content, as described below.
- Cardiff Index to Legal AbbreviationsThe largest and most reliable online abbreviations guide. The online database focuses on caselaw reporters and law journals but also includes some other legal publications. Jurisdictional coverage for 295 countries or regions including the British Isles, Commonwealth countries, and the United States.
- ICLL Periodicals List/Liste des périodiques indexés dans l'IDJCWestlaw Periodical Abbreviations List
- Bluebook Abbreviations of Law Reviews & Legal Periodicals Indexed in CILPCompiled by Gallagher Law Library University of Washington School of Law. Abbreviations of law journals and periodicals contained in an American legal citation style manual.
Print sources of legal abbreviations
Some books and print sets include an index of abbreviations, generally referring to materials cited in that publication. For example, the Canadian Abridgment has a list of abbreviations used in that set at the front of each volume; including unions, courts, boards, tribunals, law reports and "general abbreviations requiring explanation."
Abbreviation guides may also be found in the reference area of the Law Library (call numbers KF245 & 246). Bieber's is the most highly respected print abbreviations guide.
- Prince's Bieber Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations by Mary Miles PrinceCall Number: KF246 .B46 2009ISBN: 9780837716251Publication Date: 2009-10-01
- Prince's Dictionary of Legal Citations by Mary Miles PrinceCall Number: KF245 .B449 2011ISBN: 9780837739106Publication Date: 2011-05-01
- Index to legal citations and abbreviations by Raistrick, Donald, compiler.Call Number: KF246 .R35 2013ISBN: 9780414028517Publication Date: 2013.British
- Last Updated: Jun 5, 2023 2:47 PM
- URL: https://libguides.ucalgary.ca/guides/mcgillguide
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