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APA 7th Referencing

American Psychological Association, 7th edition

Legal cases format


Holmesglen students are expected to locate their legal cases from the AustLII database. The AustLII Style Guide for Citing Legal Materials (1999) was consulted in the making of this section.


Reference elements

Screenshot of an annotated reference of a legal case


In-text citations

  Format Example

... [Name of Case, Year]


Name of Case [Year] ...

... was used as evidence at the trial [McKell v The Queen, 2019].


In the case of McKell v The Queen [2019] ...


"..." [Name of Case, Year, para. xx]


Name of Case [Year, para. xx], "..."

The trial judge acknowledged the "entitle[ment] to express a view" ... [McKell v The Queen, 2019, para. 21].


In the case of McKell v The Queen [2019, para. 29], "... judicial balance...".

  • The name of a case consists of the plaintiff(s) versus (v) the defendant(s).
  • If the case involves multiple plaintiff(s) and/or defendant(s), only list the first plaintiff and defendant.
  • If the case involves more than one action, only list the first action. 
  • If citing direct quotes, mention the paragraph number e.g. para. 29.  



Format Example

Name of Case [Year] Unique Court Identifier Judgement Number

McKell v The Queen [2019] HCA 5

Finding the information for referencing

From the AustLII (Australasian Legal Information Institute) database


example of a legal case from the AustLii database