OSCOLA referencing style is used when submitting work for a module for the School of Law.  Due to the complexity of particular sources, some entries are very detailed.  Make sure to fully read each page.

The text of electronic and print versions will be identical, therefore there is no need to give details of the origin of the source used.

The reference for electronic format should mimic that for the print copy where available. For debates include the (paper) volume number even if that volume is only available electronically on the Parliament website. 

There are three series of Hansard, one reporting debates in the House of Commons, one in the House of Lords and one in the Public Bill committees of the House of Commons, which replaced standing committees in 2007.


Footnote standard form


Debates in the House of Commons or House of Lords

House abbreviation followed by Deb (i.e. HL Deb or HC Deb) day Month year, vol (for volume), col/s (for column/s).


Debates in the Public Bill committees of the House of Commons

Title of Bill followed by Deb day Month year, col/s (for column/s).


Parliamentary reports

Committee name, Title of report (HL or HC session, paper number volume number (in roman numerals) page or paragraph number if required.


For examples, click on the More button.


Footnote examples

 Debates in the House of Commons or House of Lords

HC Deb 24 June 1998, vol 314, cols 1083-86.

2 HL Deb 25 November 1997, vol 583, col 835.

HC Deb 16 July 1991, vol 195, col 103.

4 HC Deb 21 May 2021, vol 696.


Debates in the Public Bill committees in the house of Commons

5 Health Bill Deb 30 January 2007, cols 12-15.

6 Armed Forces Bill Deb 8 February 2021, vol 689, col 49.



This example shows how to cite debates in the old standing committees:

7 SC Deb (A) 13 May 1998, col 345.


Parliamentary reports

8 Justice Committee, Cutting Crime: The Case for Justice Reinvestment  (HC 2009-10, 94-I) 49-51.

9 Constitution Committee, Clause 12 of the Bribery Bill: Further Report  (HL 2009-10) para 49.

10 Defense Committee, Mental Health and the Armed Forces, Part Two: The Provision of Care  (HC 2017-19, 1481) para 152.


For reports of joint committees, cite both the House of Lords and House of Commons paper numbers, in that order:

11 Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill, First Report: Minutes of Evidence (2008-09, HL115-II, HC 430-II) 15.


Written Answers

Written answers after 2001:  Add WA before the column number for House of Lords Hansard, and W after the column number for House of Commons Hansard. 

Written answers before 2001:  Put WA after the date, e.g.

Do not include spaces before/after the column numbers, but include a space after the date if before 2001.


12 HL 25 November 1997, vol 583, col WA835.

13 HC 16 July 1991, vol 195, col 103W.

14 HC 7 February 1940 WA, vol 357, cols 234-45.




Information on arrangement of the bibliography.



Find the volume number from the appropriate online archive


Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 39-40.