Using Authorities

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Advice on citing authorities

A boring but essential one.

Covers:

  • How to cite
  • Secondary sources - to use or not to use?


Cite like this!

When delivering your submission you will need to cite authorities to support your arguments. Normally you should cite cases from the law reports, quoting short extracts from judgments where directly relevant.


Exceptionally on controversial or ill-defined points of law, you may wish to refer to academic articles. If so, these must be quoted not as binding authority but merely as persuasive arguments, which you wish to adopt in your submission. You should never quote from student textbooks.


Always cite in full, and don’t underestimate the importance of running through how you actually read a citation out loud before the big event. You can sometimes get a bit tongue-tied. Amazing how screwing up a citation can sap your confidence.

The example here: R v Woollin [1999] 1 AC 82 at 90 would be said aloud as follows: The Crown against Woollin, to be found in the first volume of the Appeal Cases for 1999, starting at page 82. On page 90…

For more instructive clips, check out our roundtable discussion on Using Authorities.


Citing Authorities

When delivering your submission you will need to cite authorities to support your arguments. Normally you should cite cases from the law reports, quoting short extracts from judgments were directly relevant. Exceptionally on controversial or ill-defined points of law, you may wish to refer to academic articles. If so, these must be quoted not as binding authority but merely as persuasive arguments, which you wish to adopt in your submission. You should never quote from student textbooks.



All our mooting clips were made with the help of our fantastic students - giving freely of their time to help others.

For the roundtable discussion clips we thank our GDL students of 2009-2010: Andrew Barns-Graham, Thomas Bradfield, Tessa Buchanan, Anita Davies and Thomas Hope. Big thanks go to our top man behind the camera Steve Parkes.

The spoof clips were made with Mike Purdue (judge), Mike Clarke and Rob Tiffen many years ago.

The real action was filmed as part of our Crown Office Moot 2010-2011.

Big thanks to all those who took part: Sara Beech, George Fitzgerald, Gareth Thomas, Edward Waldegrave, Alistair Godwin, Rebecca Taverner, Daphne Stamatopoulos, Jada Badu-Animboah, James Bull, Samuel Phillips and Beatrice Riley.

Huge thanks are also due to those from Crown Office Chambers who not only gave up their time to judge the different stages of the moot but also allowed us to use the footage. We are grateful to:

Elizabeth Boon David Myhill Siobhan Lambertsen

A final thanks to The Hon Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, who judged the final of the Crown Office Moot and Steven McCombe for his filming expertise and tireless editing.