Government department publication including Law Commission Reports [from Print source using OSCOLA]


Bear in mind the general guidance in OSCOLA for secondary sources: if an item has an ISBN, treat is as a book. If it is an electronic source identical to the print version treat, it as the print version. Otherwise treat sources without ISBNs in a similar way, but with the title in roman rather than italics and within single quotation marks as for journals. Remember that authors can be corporate or official bodies as well as individuals.

Government Department Reports

Departmental reports may exist as published documents or appear in electronic form on a departmental section of the Gov.UK site. If it is possible to cite a print version do so.

Law Commission Reports

Law Commission reports  presented to Parliament are published and retrievable from the Law Commission website as pdfs so you need to cite by title in italics, Law Com number and year. Do the same with Scottish Law Commission reports, giving the Scot Law Com number. For Law Commission consultation papers and Scottish Law Commission discussion papers, give the Law Com CP number or the Scot Law Com DP number. Command paper numbers need not be given.

In either case if you can only access te item in an electronic format with no pagination you need to give the web address (or ‘url’) in angled brackets (< >), followed by the date of most recent access, expressed in the form ‘accessed 1 January 2010’. Include ‘http://’ only if the web address does not begin with ‘www’.  Otherwise treat as if it were the print source.

Standard Form

As a footnote:

Government Department Reports

Author, Title (additional information, publisher year) 

Law Commission Reports

Author, Title (Law Com number, year)  for Scots Law Commission number give DP number. Command paper numbers need not be given.



Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 'Bigger, Better Business: Helping Small Firms Start, Grow and Prosper' (TSO 2011).

Home Office, 'Prisons Policy for England and Wales(HMSO 1994).

Law Commission, Criminal Law a Criminal Code for England and Wales vol 1 & 2 (Law Com 177, 1989) 12.

Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, 'Queen's or Prince's Consent' (Office of the Parliamenntary Counsel, July 2015) 4.

5Scottish Law Commission, Report on Remedies for Breach of Contract (Scot Law Com No 174, 1999) 7.

Reference List

List government department items alphabetically by the name of the department under the heading Secondary Sources, with all the other secondary sources. 

No full stop is required at the end of an entry in a Reference List as this is a list.

With corporate or government agencies authors, the footnote and bibliography entry will look the same, with the exception that a footnote may have a pinpoint page number at the end of the footnote. 



If you wish to use a shortened version of the title in further citations give the short form in brackets at the end of the first citation e.g.

University of Oxford, Report of Commission of Inquiry (OUP 1966) vol 1, ch 3 (Franks Report).

Thereafter in text and footnotes you can refer to the Franks Report.

Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 39.