Harvard Solent style references

Legal & Government sources

Legal case (UK)

NOTE: Law students should be using the OSCOLA system to cite legal references.


The basic format for creating a Harvard reference for a UK case is:

Names of the parties [Year of publication] Volume number (if available) Abbreviated Reference for the Law Report Series Start page


In text example:

...as documented in Central London Property Trust Ltd v High Trees House Ltd [1947] KB 130

You can generally use the first party name for any subsequent references if it is clear to which case you are referring:

...also in Central London Property Trust Ltd .     

UK case in a law report

If you wish to refer to specific pages within a judgment, then include these after the reference.

In text examples:

Pepper (Inspector of Texes) v Hart [1993] AC 593, 594

Pepper (Inspector of Texes) v Hart [1993] AC 593 at 594

Neutral citations

High Court and Court of Appeal cases from 2001 onwards have neutral citations. A neutral citation includes the year of the judgment, the Court abbreviation (e.g. UKHL=UK House of Lords, EWCA=England and Wales Court of Appeal) and the case number. This can be included before a law report citation, or where a case is otherwise unreported:

Reference list example:

R v Rezvi [2002] UKHL 1

If you wish to refer to specific paragraphs within a judgment, then include these after the reference as above.

Unreported cases

Some unreported cases can be found as transcripts or via the legal databases. A neutral citation should be given where possible. Cases prior to 2001 should include:

Names of the Parties. Court. Date of Judgment (Unreported)

Reference list example:

Hare v Pollard. Court of Appeal Civil Division. 16 June 1997 (Unreported)

Use of round or square brackets

Round brackets should be used instead of square where the date is not essential for locating the case - e.g. where a volume number is provided and the date referred to is the year of judgment (rather than publication date):

Reference list example:

Holdom v Kidd and Others (1986) 61 P&CR 456

Referring to a case you have read about in a textbook

It is generally best to look up legal cases and refer to a law report or official version. Law reports can be found online via the Westlaw and LexisLibrarydatabases. If, however, you only want to refer to a case that you have found in a legal textbook, you must treat this as a secondary reference.

In text example:

Smith v Jones [2001] EWCA 1425 (cited in Murphy 2007, p.4) implies that...

Reference list example:

Fully reference the textbook you have actually read (e.g. Murphy in this example).