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The Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT)



JUNE 2015


JUNE 2015
AUTHORITY: The Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT)
Nigerian Association of Law Teachers Uniform Format and Citation Guide for Legal Research
Writing, hereunder referred to as: NALT UNIFORM FORMAT & CITATION GUIDE
The desire to develop a uniform approach to legal research writing and style of referencing has a
long history. It is worth noting that the aspiration to have the uniform approach is based on the
yearnings of members of NALT.
This is informed by the perennial problems of poor handling of both undergraduate and the
Postgraduate, (PG), research projects in the various Faculties of Law across the nation. It is also
based on the general observations and complaints by the external examiners of poor and lack of
uniform preparation of PG theses and dissertations. Hence, the NALTs Uniform style of
referencing is drawn based on the different existing styles of referencing, such as Modern
Language Association, (MLA); American Psychological Association, (APA); OSCOLA; Blue
Book, etc, which the various Faculties of Law in Nigeria are already familiar with. NALT
members and students are therefore enjoined to follow the standardized NALT uniform format
and the citation guide as presented here.
a. PhD candidates are expected to write a short proposal (1 - 2 pages) making their
intention known on the choice of topics for the PhD thesis.
b. Both Master and PhD students are expected to choose their own topics for the
dissertation/theses. The choice is to be in consultation with lecturers which must
subsequently be approved by the Faculty Board.
c. PhD candidates are expected to present their final defence (viva voce) at the Faculty
level after all the requirements of the Postgraduate School have been met. The
Faculty committee for defence shall comprise of:
The Dean (Who shall be the host and present the PhD candidate(s) for the
viva voce to the External Examiner)
Dean of Postgraduate School or a Representative
An External Examiner who shall preside over the defence
All the Heads of Departments and two senior colleagues from each
Department from the Faculty

The University Librarian or a Representative

A Representative of the Faculty of Social Sciences
The supervisor of the PhD candidate and
The Faculty Officer
All lecturers (especially PhD candidates) in the Faculty

d. Two External Examiners shall be nominated for the PhD viva voce. One on Reserve
in case the substantive nominee is indisposed.
e. Master students are expected to undergo oral defence of their final research work by
External Examiner(s) who shall be nominated by the Dean;
f. Defence shall take place in the Faculty after students must have been scored by their
respective supervisors.
g. Numbers of Chapters and pages:
The body of essay is divided into five (5) for master dissertation, while PhD thesis is
divided into six (6) chapters
i. 60 pages minimum and 120 maximum for master.
ii. 150 pages minimum and 300-400 maximum for the PhD
h. Font: Times New Roman font size 12, double spacing on A4 paper.
i. Only one side of paper should be used for typing
j. NALTs Footnotes shall be adopted in-text while students are also expected to
prepare table of bibliography of sources consulted at the end of the research project.
k. All students are expected to write non-paragraphed abstract of one page. The entire
abstract should not be more than 500-600 words for both master and PhD students. It
must be the same font with the body of the essay but in single line spacing,
Approaches to Legal Research Writings
There are two acceptable approaches to legal research writing in Nigerian Law Faculties and
(1) Doctrinal or Conceptual Legal Research Approach
(2) Non-doctrinal or Empirical Legal Research Approach
Note: Candidates are generally allowed to adopt the doctrinal approach which is basically
applicable to legal research and for which law students are expected to have been exposed to
during the teaching of legal research methodology. However, PhD students are encouraged to
adopt both doctrinal and non-doctrinal approaches provided they have sound knowledge and had
been exposed to the social sciences research methods such as research designs, hypothesis
formulation and structuring of questionnaires, data collection through field works and analysis of
data, conceptual framework, theoretical and empirical literature review.
There are two major parts to this legal research writing. Part I focuses on formats for structuring
postgraduate, i.e. Master dissertation and PhD thesis, while Part II focuses on the citation
guides, i.e. the style of referencing

a. Master Dissertation/PhD Thesis
The body of a Masters dissertation is divided into five chapters. However, the chapters are
preceded by preliminaries and end with bibliography and appendices (if any). Below are the
general contents for the Masters dissertation and PhD thesis.
The Preliminaries
The parts (of general application to both Master and PhD students) which are numbered in
Roman figures contain:
The blank fly leaf. (Nothing is written on this page and is not numbered).
The title page. (Page numbering, although it starts with the title page but it has no
page number)
Declaration page - (by candidate and page number first appears here).
iv. Approval/Certification page - (by Supervisor/Dean of the Faculty, etc).
v. Dedication.
Table of Contents (this may span over two pages and must be numbered accordingly).
Table of Cases in alphabetical order (if any).
Table of Statutes in alphabetical order (if any).
Abbreviations in alphabetical order (if any).
Abstract: Guidelines on how to write an Abstract
Abstracts are written after the conclusion of the body of the essay to reflect what the author set
out to do and the final outcome of the project. It gives a concise summary of the contents of the
essay/thesis. It helps researchers to present a quick and general overview of the subject matter of
a dissertation, thesis or an article. Abstract is preferably the last page of preliminaries before
chapter one. Abstract essentially contains general introduction of the project topic; the main aim
and objectives of the study; research methodology and method of analysis, summary of the
findings and the recommendations made. Therefore, an abstract is not a chapter by chapter
review. It is the summary of the entire work written in an un-paragraphed block. It must contain
summarily a little of the following:

background information on the topic;

aims and objectives of the topic;
methodology used in carrying out the research;
findings of the research; and
the recommendations and conclusion.

Breaking down the Research Topic(s)

The breakdown of a research topic into chapters and sub-divisions must be logical and be devoid
of any ambiguity. Here we shall present chapters one and five as examples, because all students
are expected to present the two chapters in the same manner, regardless of the differences in the
choice of research topics.
Note: All chapters must have main headings and sub or sub-sub headings as shown below.
CHAPTER ONE (centralised)
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM (This is followed by Research questions)
CHAPTER FIVE (centralised)
Body of Long Essay
The breaking down of a research topic into chapters and sub-divisions and the format of
presentation in sequence and logical order are as stated below:
Chapter One is titled GENERAL INTRODUCTION and Chapter Five is titled
two chapters of the project are presented in the same format by all students immaterial of
the choices of different topics.
Chapter Two also applies to all students as it reflects the theoretical and conceptual
framework or analysis of the subject matter of the chosen topics. Theoretical frameworkthis contain the principles or ideas which form the premise for the research topic.
Conceptual framework of the research topic contains historical background and
development of the research topic under consideration, the nature, historical evolution
and such other preliminaries relevant to the chosen topic are also discussed.

Chapter Three goes in-depth to the research topic addressing main issues of the subject
matter of the research topic. These require a thorough and critical analysis and overview
of data and proper presentation.
In chapter Four, the student already has a clearer understanding of the subject matter of
his or her research topic. He or she makes input and findings as regards the problems or
challenges relating to the research topic upon which suggestions and or recommendations
are to be made in chapter five
Chapter Five which is titled CONCLUSION is the final and concluding part,
containing the summary of findings, the observations and recommendations made by the
Bibliography and appendices
Bibliography and appendices (if any) are presented at the end of the whole exercise with the
sub- heading as BIBLIOGRAPY, which is separate from Chapter Five.
Oral defence
Students of the Master of Laws (LL.M.) programme are expected to undergo an oral examination
in defence of their chosen research work after completion. However, supervisors must have
scored the prospective students based on their close supervision of the research work before
being subjected to external assessors for the purposes of final scores.
b. PhD Thesis
The general rules relating to the LL.M. dissertation apply in respect of the PhD thesis. The
approaches to a PhD thesis are similar to the Masters dissertation with some of the following
Students are expected to write an extensive research proposal for presentation (Such a
Research Proposal, which will not be not chapterised, should not be less than 30 pages
and should not be more than 60 pages addressing both the background to the study and
conceptual issues of the proposed topic)
PhD candidates are allowed to engage in field work.
The project work is divided into six chapters for a PhD thesis.
iv. If PhD students wish to adopt both doctrinal and non-doctrinal approaches then chapter
five (5) must be devoted to research design, analysis and data presentation. However,
such students must demonstrate some ability to be able to move beyond the conventional
way of carrying out legal research, and of course there must be a supervisor to guide the
candidate through.
v. PhD candidates are expected to undergo oral examination in defence of their PhD
research work after completion.

It is important to state here that project supervisors are mentors to the students assigned to them
and therefore they need to avail themselves to the students at this stage to make useful input to
students drafts. Students should not hesitate or be afraid to approach their respective supervisors
who at best are their guardians for the research.
Doctrinal and Non-Doctrinal Approaches
Where students (especially the PhD students) wish to adopt both doctrinal and non-doctrinal
approaches, there are slight differences in the structuring and presentation of the research
projects. Students while opting for non-doctrinal format should also note that the legal research
field is yet to develop full capacities for in-depth teaching of the non-doctrinal approach. There is
also a challenge of getting external examiners in fields of legal research to examine students who
wish to solely undertake empirical studies. While the non-doctrinal approach may be attractive,
the academic lawyers and student researchers must thread this line with caution so as not to lose
focus on legal research with its own peculiarities and uniqueness. Therefore, students of law and
other legal researchers should meanwhile work closely with experts in the fields of social
sciences research when the need arises in order to achieve the desired result in the of nondoctrinal legal research.
Below are general information on the available alternative structures of the chapter analysis
under non-doctrinal approach:
The research project under non-doctrinal approach contains six chapters with similar structure as
obtain under doctrinal. However, there are some differences in the contents.
Like the formats under doctrinal approach, chapter two (2) is devoted to conceptual
framework of the subject matter of research. However, chapter two under non-doctrinal
approach is more elaborate, Literature review is shifted from chapter one to chapter two
as empirical framework of previous field studies. This is a place for the review of related
literature in the field of study
Chapter three is devoted to data collection and research methodology
Chapter four is devoted to data analysis, presentation, results and discussions.
iv. Chapter five on the other hand contains critical analysis and examination of challenges
associated with a chosen research topic.
v. Chapters one, two and six are similar or the same as under doctrinal formats
The details of the varied formats are as explained hereunder:
Chapter One: Introduction
This chapter addresses diverse issues of general nature and is highly technical. Students must be
well informed that this aspect is crucial to their project writings at all levels. Therefore, they
must endeavour to follow the technicalities involved to get the desire results. As a matter of fact,
this chapter anchors the remaining parts of research project writing.
The main contents of Chapter One include the following:
(1) Background to the Study. (This should include, short historical background and events that
culminated into the choice of research problem. Here also there should be a brief description of
the area of the study),

(2) Statement of the Problem. This portion presents the ideal situation and the present situation
which heralds the problem or a gap which is dissatisfying to you. As much as possible the
problem should be backed up with some empirical, theoretical and practical evidence. The
statement of the problem is backed up by research questions. These complete interrogative
statements emanate from the specific objectives. As a convention, the questions must correspond
with the numbers of specific objectives raised.
(3) Purpose of the Study: This is generally referred to as the aim and objectives of the study
(This consists of one sentence which is a restatement of the title of the study and it follows from
the statement of the problem. This purpose is usually broken down into specifics, bringing out
the specific objectives to be achieved by this study. Each objective must have a transit verb and
must be specific and open only to one meaning. Specific objectives should not be too numerous
in other not to make the study lose focus. Three to six objectives are adequate)
(4) Hypothesis (es): This is similar or equivalent to statement of the problem under the doctrinal
research approach at law. Therefore hypothesis can be replaced with statement of the problem
under legal research. However, for the sake of knowledge and because of the interdisciplinary
nature of law we shall touch on the principle. Hypothesis is a preliminary assumption or tentative
explanation that accounts for a set of facts, taken to be true for the purpose of investigations and
testing. Any assumption raised should be based on already identified independent and dependent
(5) Significance of the Study: This states the importance of the study and the expected findings,
which would be of benefit to people. This should be spelt out as to who will benefit and how will
the benefits be derived from the study?
(6) Scope and the limitations of the study: This has three dimensions: geographical coverage,
content coverage and subjects correspondents. This means that the geographical boundaries to be
covered are described and the aspects of the topic to be covered and subjects are described. There
is need to state why you have so delimited yourself. Secondly, the limitations inform of the
challenges countered such as, funds, time frame, and such other factors that make the study
Chapter Two: Literature Review and the conceptual framework of the study
This chapter shall contain the following clearly designated parts:
i. Theoretical framework- this contains issues, nature or principles associated with the research
ii. Conceptual framework of the research topic; such as definitions, historical background and
development of the research topic under consideration.
iii. Empirical framework of previous field or empirical studies. This is also a place for the review
of related literature in the field of study.
iv. By way of concluding this part, the final portion would contain the summary of review and
gap in knowledge to be filled.

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

This Chapter should contain both the primary and secondary data collections and will include the
i. Data collection and research design. (The design adopted in the study should be indicated.
The Meaning and of course, one of the proponents of this design should be indicated to justify
the adoption of the design).
ii. Population (Population should be specific and identifiable. Therefore, the source needs to be
iii. Sample and sampling techniques Sample should be stated and specific. The method(s) used
in drawing the sample should be described convincingly.
iv. Instrument for data collection (The source of the instrument which might be in form of
questionnaire, interview schedule, observation schedule, or any other standard method of data
collection has to be indicated and arranged in parts or sections. It is necessary to describe the
instrument and how it was developed.
v. Validation of the instrument (Instrument should be validated by at least three experts. Make
three or more copies of the instrument and give to the experts for the validation. Note that the
supervisor is not part of the validation process. This is more so that on the average, legal
practitioners and academic lawyers/lecturers are not adequately exposed to empirical research.
Therefore, student researchers who wish to adopt the non-doctrinal approach are encouraged to
consult widely among the social science researchers/lecturers to be guided.
vi. Reliability of the Instrument. After validation, the instrument should be tested for
consistency in measuring what it intends to measure. The method to be adopted is dependent
on the nature and type of instrument.
vii. Method of data collection. here describes how you obtained data for the study. This may
include how you reached the respondents and the approach used in administrating copies of the
instrument and how they were retrieved, and,
viii. Method of data analysis. Analysis is based on type of data. Just like the types of research
methodology among which researchers are obliged to choose the method that best addresses
their research topics, so also there are different types of methods of data analysis. Therefore,
students are advised to discover the analytical methods that best addresses their data analysis.
Chapter Four: Data Analysis, Presentation, Results and Discussions:
This chapter presents a summary of what you have including a report on the return rate. It should
contain the following:
i. Data presentation and results, and
ii. Discussion.
The findings are presented, according to the research questions and hypothesis (if any) that
guided the study. Present the findings in tables and interpret in words. Explain how your findings
answer the research questions/prove the hypotheses in chapter one. In addition to your
discussion, you must show how the findings relate to existing literature in chapter two. That is to
say, is the finding consistent with what obtains in literature? How has the study helped to resolve
the original problem? What is the implication of the finding to the development of the field of
study in law or to legal jurisprudence generally? Etc.

Chapter Five: Critical analysis and examination of challenges associated with your chosen
research topic.
This chapter gives general overview of the problems discovered in the course of carrying out of
the research topic, which might have been responsible for non actualisation of the principle and
the objectives of the given topic under consideration
Chapter Six: Conclusion
This chapter is a briefly summary of what had been achieved under the research project - the
restatement of the purpose of the research topic, descriptions of the design, either general
population or sample, and instrument and the findings. The second part presents the major
observations derived from the general discussions and or summary of your findings. Next are the
recommendations. These are also based on findings and observations. Here, it is good to make all
observations by points-by points so that each recommendation will be based on each observation
made arising from the general findings. Avoid making any unrealistic recommendations. After
the recommendations, make your suggestions for Further Studies. Next is that students need to
make few paragraphs indicating specific areas of contributions to knowledge. Finally, there is
need for one or two paragraphs concluding the whole research exercises. A guide to a good
writing here refers students to the research aim and objectives so that the conclusions do not
sound like the findings.


The recommended NALT Uniformed Citation Guides adopt Footnotes style of referencing,
whereby Arabic numerals are used (in superscripts) in the body of the essay to identify sources of
document consulted, or the issues sought to be clarified and emphasised. This means that, every
source cited must be reflected at the foot of each page (with Arabic numeral-1, 2, 3...) to see at a
glance, all information concerning the sources referred to with the Arabic numeral in the text.
Some Tips on General Uses of the NALT Uniformed Citation Guides
The Guides use punctuation minimally to reduce the technicalities associated with other
styles of referencing. For example, no full stops after abbreviations. E.g., Laws of
Federation of Nigeria can be abbreviated- LFN instead of L.F.N. In citing of cases
v is used in place of versus for parties to litigation. E.g. Bankole v Eshugbayi Eleko
Where more than one citation is given in a single footnote reference, separate them with
semi-colons. E.g., P. Oche, Oil and Gas in Nigeria; S.S. Shikyil, Legal Methods in
Comma is used to separate distinct parts of a book reference, notably between the author
and the title. (E.g. Joash Amupitan, Corporate Governance in Nigeria.
If you source a publication online which is also available in hard copy, cite the hard copy
version. Hard copy may be more authentic.
Publication which is only available online should end with the web address in angled< >
brackets followed by the date of the most recent access. (E.g. Graham Greenleaf, The
Global Development of Free Access to Legal Information (2010) 1(1) EJLT
<> accessed 27 July 2015
Colon is used to separate a title from a subtitle, as in the following example Competition
Law: Precedents and Procedures. Researchers can insert the colon even where the
author fails to
Case names should be in italics and in lower case (except the first letters of the names)
including the v. E.g. Bankole v Eshugbayi Eleko
In case reporting, the date should be in round or square brackets according to the style of
the law report series. (E.g. [1967] 2 NWLR 46. or (1967) 2 NWLR 46. Researcher is
free to choose either of the two but must stick to one chosen for consistency.
Acts should be cited by their short title, using capitals for the major words. (E.g.
Criminal Procedure Code 2004, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1985)
Statutes are divided into parts, sections, subsections, paragraphs and sub-paragraphs. Use
the full form of the part/section etc at the beginning of a sentence or when referring to a
part of a statute without repeating the name of the Act. The short form should be used in
footnotes. (E.g. Criminal Procedure Code 2004, becomes-CPC; Police Act becomes
PA; Evidence Act 1985 becomes-EA under footnotes)


a. Citation of Primary Sources

These sources include all statutory provisions, legislation, treaties, conventions, etc.
i. A Statute (Act) should be cited in its short title form in-text using capitals for the first
letter of each word, and without a comma before the year for example: Police Act and
Criminal Evidence Act 1985; Child Rights Act 2003
ii. If you are referring to an Act a number of times in quick succession, you can provide an
abbreviated form of title in the footnotes, as long as the full citation is in the text. E.g. the
Human Rights Act 1998 would become HRA 1998 and Child Rights Act 2003
becomes CRA 2003 in the footnotes.
iii. Where the text does not include the name of the Act or the relevant sections in the text,
this information should be provided in a footnote. E.g., Text: The Supreme Court of
Nigeria can only consider any matter arising from the Chapter II of the 1999
Constitution; it is not bound by it. The Footnote will be: HRA 1998, s2.
iv. Statutes are divided up into parts, sections, subsections, paragraphs and subparagraphs. It
may also have schedules. E.g. When referencing, the relevant abbreviations are written
part/parts to be cited as -pt/pts;
section/sections to be cited as -s/ss;
subsection/subsections to be cited as -sub-s/sub-ss;
paragraph/paragraphs to be cited as -para/paras;
schedule/schedules to be cited as -sch/schs.
For example, if specifying a paragraph or subsection as part of a section, use only the
abbreviation for the section in the text. E.g.: paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 15 of the
Child Rights Act 2003, should be written thus: Child Rights Act 2003, s15(1)(b) in the text
while the footnote would be: CRA 2003 s15(1)(b)
v. All courts procedure rules, like the Supreme Court Procedure Rule, High Court Rules,
Criminal Procedure Code and Civil Procedure Act can be abbreviated both in the text and the
footnote after they have been incessantly used. For example, abbreviation would be: SCPR,
HCR, CPC, and CPA.
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be cited as CFRN, 1999; 1989; 1979 and
Legislative Acts/Statutes
Laws of Federation to be cited as LFN 2004
Criminal Code Act Cap 38, Vol. 4 as CCA in force since 1961, also Cap 77, vol. V. (1990)
Criminal Justice Release from Custody) Special Provisions Act as CJA Cap 40, vol. 4, in force
since 1977. Criminal Procedure Act as CPA 41, vol. 4, in force since 1945, Cap 80 (1990)
Criminal Procedure (Northern States) Act, Cap 42, Vol. 4, 1960 and Cap 81 (1990).

Evidence Act (EA) Cap E14, vol. 6 1975, Cap 62 1990Penal Code as PC (Northern States),
Federal Provision Act, Cap P3 Vol. 13 1960. Police Act, Cap 359, LFN 1990, Prison Act Cap
366, Child Rights Act 2003 as CRA 2003

B. Citation of Secondary Sources

These include, textbooks, government publications, articles in peer reviewed journals,
periodicals (newspapers, magazines etc.); edited works, theses and dissertations, online sources
and materials for possible consultation in the course of carrying out research
Text Books
a. Give the authors name exactly as it appears in the publication, omitting post nominal prefix
or titles, such as Mr., Mrs. Dr., Professor, Hon. Justice, Rev., Bishop, As he then was, and the
Examples. Professor Hajiya (Mrs) Jamila Nasir, The Law of Contract in Nigeria, will be
cited under footnote as: Jamila Nasir, The Law of Contract in Nigeria, (Gbile Publishers
2000), while citation under bibliography would be: Nasir, J. This means researchers should
try and copy authors name at it is written minus the titles of the authors.
Professor M.O.U. Gasiokwu, Human Rights History: Ideology and Law; will be cited under
footnote as: MOU Gasiokwu, Human Rights: History, Ideology and Law (Mono Expression
Ltd . 2001) while citation under bibliography would be: Gasiokwu,M.O.
b. Where there are up to three authors, insert and between their names as in the following
example: D. Chalmers and G. Davies and G. Monti, European Union Law: Text and
Materials (2nd edn, CU Publication 2010).
c. For more than three authors, give the details of the first author and add and others, in the
following format: C. A. Omaka, and others, Municipal and International Environmental
Law. (LUC Publishers Lagos. 2012) while citation under bibliography would be: Omaka, C.
and others.
d. For books, cite the authors names with initials first, followed by a comma, and then the title
of the book in italics. The (edition, publisher and year of publication follow in brackets or
parenthesis). If a book has a title and a subtitle not separated by punctuation, add a colon.
Typical citation should be in this form: Author, | title | (additional information, like, 2nd
edn, or rev edn| publisher |year). For example: Jerome Gamaliel, Administrative Law
(Evan Publications 2009), the first case has no additional information; Thomas
Oyelami, The Law of Banking in Nigeria: A critique (1st supp, 7th edn, Sweet &
Maxwell 2009). The second citation is with additional information. Note: no need for
place of publication any more)
e. To cite a chapter in a book edited by one or more people, cite the author and title of the
contribution in a similar format, as used when citing an article, in a journal, followed by the
editors name (use ed or eds), the title in italics, and the publication information:
Example: Author, | title | in editor (ed), | book title | (additional information, | publisher

| year).
Example, David Jangkam, The Value of Authorship in the Digital
Environment in Clement Francis Kwede and Karen Shaakaa (eds), World Wide
Research: Reshaping the Sciences and Humanities in the Century of Information (MIT,
2010), 62-80
(Note, page numbers stand alone without p or pp. If citing a chapter with a page number,
include a comma before the page number. Where possible, specify the range of pages.
f. In footnotes, the authors first name or initial precedes their surname (E.g. Tolulope
Ogboru). In bibliographies, the surname comes first, then the initial, followed by a comma.
E.g. Ogboru, T.O
g. Titles of books and similar publications are italicised. The first letter of all major words in a
title should be in capitals, minor words such as an a and of do not need to be capitalised
unless they begin the title or subtitle. (E.g. Dominic Asada, Law of Taxation in Nigeria.
h. If there is no individual author, but an organisation or institution, cite them as the author.
E.g., Faculty of Law, Vista book of Reading...
i. If there is no author or organisation / institution, start the citation with the title. E.g., Vista
book of Reading in Law...

C. Citation of Articles in Journals

All titles of articles in journal, newspapers, magazines, chapter in a book, etc,) should be in
single quotation marks () not double quotation marks () and the first letter of all major words
in a title should be in capitals, minor words such as an a and of need not be capitalised
unless they begin the title or subtitle. While the name of journals, newspapers, etc., should be in
italics. Example: Friday Nwoke, International Labour Law: An Appraisal [2005] (3) (1)
Journal of Public Law and Constitutional Practice, 40-51
a. Hard Copy Journals
Authors name as it appears in the publication followed by a comma, then the title of the article,
within single quotation marks. Year of publication, in square brackets, the name of the journal or
abbreviation italised, the volume in round brackets if any, including issue number in brackets
immediately after the volume number. It should be in the form: author, | title of the article|
[year] | journal name or abbreviation italised| volume/issue /number/ first page of article.
For example: Alemika, E.I. Criminal Justice System and Respect for Human Rights:
Problems and Imperative for Reform [2011] (l2)(2) Human Rights Review: An
International Human Rights Journal; 25
b. Case Notes
Treat case notes with titles as if they were journal articles. Where there is no title, use the name
of the case in italics instead, and add (note) at the end of the citation, as in the following
example: Andrew Ashworth, R (Singh) v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police [2006]
Crim LR 441

c. Online Journals
If article is published electronically,

Provide publication details as you would for a hard copy article in a journal

The citation should be followed by the web address in angled brackets (< >)
The format for online articles should be: Author, | title | [year] | volume/issue |
journal name or abbreviation | <web address> | date accessed.

Example: Clement Dakas, The Right of Franchise and the Imperative of a

<> accessed 27 July 2010

d. Periodicals
Newspapers and Magazines
The author, title of the articles, name of the newspaper in italics and then in brackets the city of
publication and the date. Some newspapers have The in the title and some dont. Include it if it
is there. Provide the number of the page on which the article was published, after the brackets.
Example: J.N. Aduba, Constitutionalism and citizenship: What is the Way Forward? New
Era Magazine (Lagos October 13 2012)10
If the reference is an editorial, cite the author as Editorial.
If the item is sourced from the web and there is no page number available, provide the web
address and date of access. For example: Martin Gasiokwu, Supreme Court Warns on Quality
Financial Times (London, 1 July 2010) 3
Ladi Kigbu, The Great Victim of this Get Tough Hyperactivity is Labour The Guardian
(London, 19 June 2008) <>
accessed 19 November 2009.

D. Citation of Cases
Give the following information:
Case name | [year] | court | number | [year] or (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first
page. For example: A comma separates the neutral citation and the law report citation (always
abbreviated). There are no full stops in the abbreviations (ie do not use U.K.H.L. but rather
Use italics for the name of the case, with an unpunctuated italic v to separate the names of the
adverse parties.
The neutral citation is a unique number given by the official shorthand writers to each judgment
issued out of all divisions of the High Court. They are a relatively recent development (from

2001), introduced to acknowledge the extensive use of electronic law reports, so many case law
citations consist only of the case name and law report.
The year may be enclosed in square or round brackets. [ ] indicates the year the case was
reported, so you would use the date to locate the case; ( ) indicates the date of judgment (a case
could have been judged in one year but reported the following year) so you would use the
volume number to locate the case.
Case Citations with No Neutral Citation
Give the Law Reports citation followed by the court in brackets.
Case name | [year] | volume | report abbreviation | first page | (court)
When the case is not reported in the Law Reports, cite the Weekly Law Reports (WLR) or All
England Law Reports (All ER).
There is also a recognised order of authority in case reporting and the abbreviated form
should always be given. The Law Reports series is seen as the most authoritative as the text is
approved by the judge involved, before publication:
Law Reports eg. Appeal Court (AC);
Weekly Law Reports (WLR)
All England Law Reports (ALL ER)
Cases Reports; Criminal Appeal Reports
Nigerian Weekly Law Report (NWLR)
Most cited case reports in Nigeria
If the name of the case is given in the text, it is not necessary to repeat it in the footnote.
However, it is also acceptable to include the full case reference in all footnotes. An example of
how case may look in the body of the text, with the superscript number after the punctuation, is
It is well represented in the case law, perhaps most notably in the expression of the no
conflict rule advocated by Lord Upjohn in Phipps v Boardman,31 and in the earlier Court
of Appeal decision in Boulting v Association of Cinematograph, Television & Allied
Technicians.32 In Boulting [or in the Boulting case], Upjohn LJ said that the rule must be
applied realistically to a state of affairs which discloses a real conflict of duty and interest
and not to some theoretical or rhetorical conflict.33 In Phipps, Lord Upjohn developed
his view of the rule further by adding that there must be a real sensible possibility of
The footnotes would then look like this:
31 [1967] 2 AC 46 (HL).
32 [1963] 2 QB 606 (CA).
33 Boulting (n32) 638. or
33 ibid 638.
34 Phipps (n31) 124.

The numbers at the end of 33 and 34 are pinpoints which show the page number where the
quotation can be found.

Where there are multiple parties, name only the first claimant and others, and the first
defendant and others. Where the parties are individuals, omit forenames and initials.
Abbreviate common words and phrases e.g. use Co. for Company.
Use Re in preference to In Re, In the Matter of For example: Re the Companies Act
1989 rather than In the matter of the Companies Act 1989
Abbreviate Ex parte (on behalf of) to Ex p with a capital E only if it is the first word of the case
name. The p has no full stop.
Do not include expressions such as and another which may appear in titles in law reports.
Omit descriptions such as a firm if the party in question is named, but if only the initial of the
party is provided, then the description (such as a minor) should be given, at least in the first
Terms indicating corporate status (Ltd or Plc) should not be omitted if included in the heading of
the report.
Popular names for cases can be used give the popular name in brackets after the full citation;
then use the popular name in subsequent citations.
Examples of these rules are:
Re A (conjoined twins) [2001], Fam 147
Re Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities LLC [2009] EWHC 442 (Ch), [2010] BCC 238
Emerald Supplies Ltd v British Airways plc [2009] EWHC 741 (Ch), [2010] Ch 48 25 Leigh &
Sullivan Ltd v Aliakmon Shipping Co Ltd (The Aliakmon) [1986] AC 785 (HL).
Subsequent citations would then look like this: 40 The Aliakmon (n25).
Unreported Cases
If a case has not been reported in a law report series, you should cite the case using a neutral
citation, if one is available. Where it isnt, cite the case as follows, omitting first names and
abbreviating Limited:
Names of parties (Court Date of Judgment) For Example: Scott v Process Mechanical Ltd
(Bradford County Court 20 July 2006) Source: 2010
Guides on Quotations
There are various ways of presenting quotations. There are short and long quotations. In quoting
verbatim, there is need to use the exact words of the original. If there are mistakes in the
originals, show this by using the word [sic].


Short Quotation.
If the quote is mid-sentence in the text which is not more than three lines long, it must be in
single quotation marks. Punctuation follows the closing quotation mark, unless it is an essential
part of the quotation (such as a question or exclamation mark). The footnote marker comes last
after both the closing quotation mark and the punctuation. For example: The Chief Justice
explained that this power is not limited to defence against aggression from a foreign
nation. 61
Quotations within short quotations take double quotation marks. ( )
Long Quotations
In quotations which are longer than three lines is indented both left and right, with no
further indentation of the first line. For example, a long quotation would be indented thus:
Children or young person found destitute, or is found wandering
without any settled place of abode and without visible means of
subsistence, or is found begging or receiving alms, whether or not
there is any pretence of singing, playing performing or offering
anything for sale, or is found loitering for the purpose of so begging or
receiving almsslavery, prostitution or immorality of any kind.
Also, no need for quotation marks, except for single quotation marks around quotations
within quotations. Leave a line space either side of the indented quotation.
When a quotation begins in the middle of a sentence in the text, the first letter of the
quotation should be capitalised if the quotation itself is a complete sentence, but not
When a quotation begins at the start of a sentence in the text, the first letter should be
capitalised with square brackets around it if it was not capitalised in the original text.
When text is missing from the quotation, or if it ends mid-sentence in the original text,
use an ellipsis () to indicate that some of the original text is missing. Leave a space
between an ellipsis and any text or punctuation, except quotation marks.
If a quotation is incorporated in to the text, then no more than a comma at most is
needed to introduce it.
For example: Alubo raises the question, What is the point of dissent, after all, at least on
the highest court of the jurisdiction, is the law simply is whatever the majority on that
court says it is? Usually, a colon is used to introduce an inverted quote.
If you add your own emphasis in a quotation to strengthen your argument, put
(emphasis added).


Bibliography is the systematic listing of published work consulted-(books journals, magazines,
news papers, theses, dissertation , and e.t.c.) by the researchers, arranged in a specific or
alphabetical order containing information such as author, title, volume/edition, place of
publication, publisher and year of publication. For project work either at undergraduate or post
graduate the use of References or bibliography is preferable because work cited may limit
researchers to listing only materials cited to the exclusion of other materials consulted in the
course of the research work. Therefore, NALT is favourably disposed to references or
bibliography whichever one is chosen faculty must instruct students to stick to it.
Items in bibliographies take the same format with the footnote citations, except in the
a) The authors surname should precede his or her initial(s), with no comma separating
them, but a comma after the final initial; Example: Alemika E.I.,
b) Only initials should be used and not forenames;
c) Titles of unattributed works should be preceded by a double em-dash (--).
d) Works should be presented in alphabetical order of author surname, with unattributed
works being listed at the beginning of the bibliography in alphabetical order of first major
word of the title.
A citation in a footnote would look like this: 1.Bunmi Lar, Risk Regulation and Administrative
Constitutionalism (Dede Publishing 2007).
In bibliography, it would look like this: Lar B, Risk Regulation and Administrative
Constitutionalism, (Dede Publishing, 2007)
If citing several works by the same author, list the authors works in chronological order,
beginning with the oldest, and in alphabetical order of the first major word of the title within a
single year. After the full citation of the first work, replace the authors name with a double emdash (--). Examples
-- Varieties of Responsibility (1967) 83 LQR 346
-- Punishment and Responsibility (OUP 1968)
Works by more than one author should be presented in alphabetical order under the first
authors name, but place them after any titles by that author as a sole author.
If the first author has more than one co-author, arrange the co-authored works in alphabetical
order of the co-authors surname, and if you are citing more than one work by the same first
author and co-authors names, arrange the works in chronological order, repeating the
co-authors name each time.