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.


Footnote standard form

Author (i.e. issuing department/s or body), Title (Command paper number, Publication year) page, paragraph or chapter number if required.


For examples and additional information, click on the More button.



Criminal Law Revision Committee, Fifteenth Report: Sexual Offences (Cmnd 9213, 1984) para 36.

Department for International Development, Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future (White Paper, Cm 7656, 2009) ch 5.

Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office, Modernising government (Cm 4310, 1999) 4-5.



Information about arranging the bibliography. 


  • Command Papers are Parliamentary Papers presented to the United Kingdom Parliament nominally by command of the Sovereign, but in practice by a Government Minister. The title derives from the formula originally carried on papers 'Presented to Parliament by Command of Her (or His) Majesty'. In recent years the approach has been to use the phrase: 'Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for ....... (or other title as appropriate) by Command of Her (or His) Majesty'. Sometimes more than one Minister will present the Paper in which case all Ministers are listed, appearing in order of Cabinet precedence. In certain circumstances, e.g. reports produced by Royal Commissions, the original formula still applies. As well as reports they include White Papers and Green papers, originally so called because of the colour of their covers.

  • Give the Department presenting the report to Parliament as the author unless the committee itself is named as an author. It is not usually necessary to name the Chair, although if the report is commonly referred to in this way e.g. the Robens report, you could use this in the text of your work for example, the Robens report and footnote it at first reference as Committee on Safety and Health at Work, 1970-2 Report  (Cmnd 5034 , 1972) 7 referred to as the Robens report.

  • The abbreviation used for the series is crucial in locating the right command paper, therefore be quite clear about which series you are citing in your reference.
First series 1 – 4222 1833-69
Second series C 1- C 9550 1870-99
Third series Cd 1- Cd 9239 1900-18
Fourth series Cmd 1- Cmd 9889 1919-56
Fifth series Cmnd 1- Cmnd 9927 1956-86
Sixth series Cm 1 - Cm 9756 1986-2018
Seventh series CP 1 - 2019 -


Reference: Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, OSCOLA: Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (4th edn Oxford University 2010) 40-41.