Skip to main content

Legal Citation Style: Home

Legal Citations

Neutral Citation

  • List the names of the appellants, and where the name of the reporter where the case is found. This is assigned by the court and cannot be changed.

 R v Wade, [1995] 2 SCR 737

names of appellant/respondent, year, volume, court, page number

R v Pickton, 2010 SCC 32 

names of appellant/respondent, year of case, court name, decision number


Style of Cause

  • the names of those who were parties to the litigation; v is an abbreviation for versus; the names of the parties and the v are italicized
  • Canadian executive government authority is formally vested in the Queen, hence the use of R for the Latin word for queen, regina, in legal citations


  • a comma follows parentheses, but comes before square brackets
  • (Parentheses) indicate that the reporter volume numbering continues from year to year
  • [Square brackets] indicate that the law reporter starts with volume 1 each year, as in:

Olson v Canada, [1996] 2 FRC 168 (available on CanLII)

R v Bernardo, [2000] ONSC 5678 (available on CanLII)

R v Pickton, [2006] BCSC 995 (available on CanLII)

Please Note: CANLII  gives citation information with its publications that conflict with these rules. Please check with your professor if these citations are adequate for your assignment.

Canadian Guide to Legal Citations

Popular Citation Websites and Youtube How to videos

Need help? Ask us!

Chat loading...
© University of the Fraser Valley,
33844 King Road, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada V2S 7M8