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Legislative materials

Chapter 3: Legislative Materials

These rules apply to Australian sources. For information on citing international or foreign legislative materials, See Part IV: International MaterialsSee Part V: Foreign Domestic Materials

Acts format and examples

See 3.1

  • Place the Act's title and year in italics
  • Use the short title of an Act as its title
  • Only use an Act's long title if it does not contain a short title
  • Note that the year forms part of an Act's title
Title | Year | (Jurisdiction abbreviation) | Pinpoint.


Australian Constitutions, See 3.6

  • The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia may be cited as the Australian Constitution or the Commonwealth Constitution. No year or jurisdiction abbreviation is needed
  • Constitutions of the Australian states and territories should be cited as normal Acts


Australian Constitution.

Constitution of Queensland 2001 (Qld).


Individual Parts of Legislative Materials, See 3.1.7

  • A short title may be given to a specific portion of an Act, Bill or delegated legislation


Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) sch 1 ('Criminal Code').

Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) sch 2 ('Australian Consumer Law').

See 3.1.3

  • The following abbreviations should be used for Australian jurisdictions



Commonwealth Cth
Australian Capital Territory ACT
New South Wales NSW
Northern Territory NT
Queensland Qld
South Australia SA
Tasmania Tas
Victoria Vic
Western Australia WA


Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld). [no pinpoint]

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) s 23. [pinpointing to a section]

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) s 23(1). [pinpointing to section 23, subsection 1]

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) s 23(1)(a). [pinpointing to section 23, subsection 1, subsection a]

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) ss 24-9. [pinpointing to a span of sections, 24 through to 29]

Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) ss 24, 29. [pinpointing to sections 24 and 29, but not 25, 26, 27 or 28]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). [no pinpoint]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 63B. [pinpointing to a section that includes both a number and letter]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 63B(a). [pinpointing to section 63B, subsection a]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) ss 63B(a)-(e). [pinpointing to a span of subsections, 63B(a) through to 63B(e)]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) ss 63B(a), (e). [pinpointing to subsections 63B(a) and 63B(e), but not 63B(b), (c) or (d)]

Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) pt V div 2. [pinpointing to a part and division]


Pinpoint references, See 3.1.4

  • Pinpoints come after the jurisdiction and are not preceded by a comma

  • Pinpoints usually comprise an abbreviation of a designation (such as section 's', part 'pt' or schedule 'sch') and a number. For a table of designations and their abbreviations, See 3.1.4 and 3.4

  • Place a space between the designation abbreviation and the number

  • Place numbered or lettered subsections in brackets after the section number, without a space. Note that some sections include letters as part of the section number, these should appear as they do in the Act.

  • When pinpointing to a section and a subsection (or paragraph and a sub-paragraph etc), the abbreviation of the highest level should be used

    • Example: Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld) s 28(1). [Not sub-s 28(1)]

  • Where multiple combinations of an abbreviation and number are needed to form one pinpoint reference, don't place a comma between each abbreviation-number combination

    • Example: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) pt V div 2. [Not pt V, div 2]

Definitions, See 3.1.6

  • For unnumbered definitions in legislative materials, include (definition of 'defined term') after the pinpoint
    • Example: Property Law Act 1958 (Vic) s 3 (definition of 'legal practitioner').
  • If definitions are numbered, cite as a normal section of an Act
    • Example: Human Rights Act 2004 (ACT) s 5. 

See 3.1.4

  • Pinpoint references should use the following abbreviations in the text and in citations, except where the pinpoint begins a sentence:





Appendix app Appendices apps
Article art Articles arts
Chapter ch Chapters chs
Clause cl Clauses cls
Division div Division divs
Paragraph para Paragraphs paras
Part pt Parts pts
Schedule sch Schedules schs
Section s Sections ss
Sub-clause sub-cl Sub-clauses sub-cls
Subdivision sub-div Subdivisions sub-divs
Sub-paragraph sub-para Sub-paragraphs sub-paras
Subsection sub-s Subsection sub-ss

See 3.4

  • These additional abbreviations may be used for pinpointing delegated legislation





Order ord Orders ords
Regulation reg Regulations regs
Rule r Rules rr
Sub-regulation sub-reg Sub-regulation sub-regs
Sub-rule sub-r Sub-rules sub-rr

Legislative materials format and examples

Bills, See 3.2

  • Bills are cited in the same style as Acts, except that you do not italicise the title and year.
Title | Year | (Jurisdiction abbreviation) | Pinpoint.


Delegated legislation, See 3.4

  • Delegated legislation (eg regulations, rules and orders) are cited in the same style as Acts.
Title | Year | (Jurisdiction abbreviation) | Pinpoint.



Refugee Protection Bill 2018 (Cth). [Bill]

Right to Information Bill 2009 (Qld). [Bill]

Right to Information Regulation 2009 (Qld). [delegated legislation]

Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 (Qld). [delegated legislation]

High Court Rules 2004 (Cth). [delegated legislation]


Refer to Acts/statutes for pinpoint examples.

See 3.7

  • Explanatory Memoranda (EM) can be called Explanatory Notes or Explanatory Statements in some jurisdictions. Use whichever version appears on the document.
  • Pinpoints should be to pages, or pages and paragraphs.
Explanatory Memorandum OR Explanatory Note OR Explanatory Statement, | Citation of Bill | Pinpoint.



Explanatory Memorandum, Freedom to Marry Bill 2016 (Cth).

Explanatory Notes, Right to Information Bill 2009 (Qld).

Explanatory Statement, Human Rights Bill 2003 (ACT).

See 3.9

Gazettes, See 3.9.1

Jurisdiction, | Gazette Title, | No X*, | Full date, | Pinpoint.

Orders and rulings of government instrumentalities and officers (ASIC class orders, taxation rulings, etc.), See 3.9.2

Instrumentality/officer, | Instrument Title, | (Document number, | Full date) | Pinpoint.


Legislation delegated to non-government entities (ASX listing rules, professional conduct rules, etc.), See 3.9.3

Issuing body, | Title | (at Full date) | Pinpoint.


Court practice directions and practice notes, See 3.9.4

Published in a report series

Court, | Practice Direction/Note No X*: | Title of Practice Direction/Note | Citation to report series, | Pinpoint.


Not Published in a report series

Court, | Practice Direction/Note No X*: | Title of Practice Direction/Note, | Full date, | Pinpoint.


* Where 'X' is the Gazette or Practice direction/note number.

Australian Guide to Legal Citation