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7.1 Internet materials

7.1.1 General rules

The general form for citation of internet materials, including blogs and working papers published on websites such as the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), is as follows:



Document title


Website name

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)



Dean Knight

“Parliament and the Bill of Rights — a blasé attitude?”

(6 April 2009)

LAWS179 Elephants and the Law










Eg Dean Knight “Parliament and the Bill of Rights — a blasé attitude?” (6 April 2009) LAWS179 Elephants and the Law <www.laws179.co.nz>.

Eg John Corcoran “Timor, Tampa and technology” (November 2001) Law Institute of Victoria <www.liv.asn.au>.

Eg Federico Varese “The Secret History of Japanese Cinema: The Yakuza Movies” (14 May 2006) Social Science Research Network <www.ssrn.com> at 14.

Always give preference to formally published versions of documents. When citing from the internet, give as much information as would normally be given.

Where the internet provides sufficient information to cite to a paper source, cite it as if it were found in a paper source. It is unnecessary to indicate that it has been accessed through the internet unless the internet and paper sources are different.

When a paper version of a document is likely to be very difficult for a reader to access, it may be useful to provide an internet citation following the normal citation.

Citation of online newspapers and magazines should be in accordance with rule 7.2.

7.1.2 Author

Give the author name in accordance with rule 6.1.2.

7.1.3 Document title

Give the title of the article in double quotation marks, with capitalisation as per the original, unless the original is in all caps, in which case capitalise only the first letter of significant words.

Quotation marks within a title of an article should be single.

Retain any italicisation within the title of an article.

Also retain the original spelling of the title.

7.1.4 Date

Where available, give the date on which the document was created in round brackets after the document name. If no date is given, include the month and year or year of publication, if available.

Eg Steven Price “Super-injunctions Debunked” (10 May 2011) Media Law Journal <www.medialawjournal.co.nz>.

Eg Ministry of Justice “Frequently Asked Questions – Electoral Finance Reform” <www.justice.govt.nz>.

7.1.5 Website name

Include the website name where it is different from the author’s name.

7.1.6 Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Give the Uniform Resource Locator after the website name in angle brackets. Do not underline or italicise the URL. It is not necessary to include “http://” when the address begins with “www”.

Give the URL to the website’s main page or to a major directory page. The prevalence of internet search engines generally makes it unnecessary to provide the precise document URL. Further, such URLs are usually long, complicated and quickly become out of date.

7.1.7 Pinpoint

If a pinpoint reference is available, give it after the URL. If the document has numbered paragraphs, use paragraphs for the pinpoint reference.

7.1.8 Podcasts

Podcasts, including video podcasts, should be cited in accordance with the general rule for internet materials in rule 7.1.1 with the addition of the word “Podcast” in round brackets before the date. In place of the author’s name, it may be more appropriate to give the name of the host.

Eg Russ Roberts “Richard Epstein on Regulation” (Podcast, 30 August 2010) EconTalk <www.econtalk.org>.

7.1.9 Cases

The usual rules for the citation of cases apply. If possible, cite to a printed report series. If the case was not reported, cite according to the usual rules of neutral citation.

If neutral citation has not been adopted in the jurisdiction, cite the case in the same manner as unreported New Zealand cases.

Only when insufficient information is provided to cite by any of these methods should reference be made to the website or database from which the case was retrieved.

When using cases from online databases, be careful to avoid using the proprietary citation system used by the database (indicated, for example, by the abbreviation “WL” for Westlaw), unless the proprietary citation information is the only citation information available.

If a database gives an indication of the pagination or paragraph numbers of the original case, use that information. Use online sources that include this information, such as official sites, in preference to other online sources.

Eg Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust [2006] UKHL 34.

NOT Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust 2006 WL 1887041 (HL).

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