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Citation Style Guide

This guide was created to provide basic instruction on commonly-used citation styles across the faculties of Dalhousie University.

McGill Citation Style

Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (aka The McGill Guide) was created in 1986 to establish a uniform bilingual standard for legal citation in Canada. It has been published by the McGill Law Journal and is now in its ninth edition. Most Canadian law journals, law schools, and many courts have adopted this standard.

It is intended to serve as a reference and a guide to citing legislation, jurisprudence, government documents, and secondary sources such as books and journals. Although designed specifically for Canadian legal materials, the Guide also includes short sections on foreign (e.g. U.S. and U.K.) and international law sources. The McGill Guide rules apply only to footnote citations, in-text citations, and bibliographies. 

Creating footnotes in McGill Style:

Journal Article

Charles Toad, "Warty Law: Toad Law in a Frog's World" (2015) 76:3 UTLJ 288 at 290. Journal titles are abbreviated in footnotes.


Frances Ribbiton, Why Toads Make Poor Lawyers (Halifax, NS: Dalhousie Fictional Frog Press, 2014) at 25.

Case with Neutral Citation

Frog v Toad, 2015 SCC 48 at para 12

Name of the case. Neutral Citation.


Amphibious Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, s 356.

Statute Volume and Jurisdiction. Chapter. Section Pinpoint.

Case with Print Reporter

Toadie v Frogger, [2004] 2 SCR 201, 145 DLR (4th) 6.

For more information on how to cite different formats (such as multiple authors, videos, etc) in McGill style, check out the link to Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation 9th edition.

For more information on how to create footnotes in Microsoft word, please see the footnotes section of the Chicago page of the Citation Style Guide!

In-text Citations with McGill

In legal writing the rule is to use footnotes; however, in a legal memorandum or factum citations are included in the main text. All works cited in the text or footnotes should be included in the bibliography. 

Memorandum Reference is added immediately after the text, in parentheses.

"...that it offends the court's sense of decency" (Ribbit v Flies of Toronto, 2020 SCC 6 at para 196 [Ribbit])

Factum –  Reference is added at the end of paragraph.

...and exceptionally abusive behavior by an insurance company. 

Ribbit v Flies of Toronto, 2020 SCC 6 at para 196.

For more information on memorandums and Factums please take a look at the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation 9th edition.

The following examples are real examples of bibliographic entries from the 8th Edition of the McGill Guidebook. While the fictional narrative of Frogs and Toads is amusing elsewhere, it ran the risk of being overly confusing amongst all the legal terminology.

Bibliography Page with McGill

In the McGill citation format, citations are grouped by material types and then in alphabetical order. In the case of authors' names, put the last name first.


Anti-terrorism Act, SC 2001, c 41.


Nova Scotia (Worker's Compensation Board) vs Martin, 2003 SCC 54, [2003] 2 SCR 504.

Secondary Materials: Monographs

Smith, Graham JH, Internet Law and Regulation, 3rd ed (London, UK: Sweet and Maxwell, 2002).

Secondary Materials: Articles

Borrows, John, "With or Without You: First Nations Law (in Canada)" (1999) 41:3 McGill LJ 629.

All examples are from McGill Guide, 9th ed, "1. General Rules", E-4.

Books on McGill Citation

Online Guides


Thanks to David Michels for help creating the content for this page.