News Item

January 2012

Second Edition of New Zealand Law Style Guide Published

The second edition of the highly successful New Zealand Law Style Guide is out now and accessible from this site.

The first edition, funded by the Law Foundation, and published in 2009, has quickly become the standard for the citation of New Zealand legal material. Justice Robert Chambers, who again led the project, comments in his preface:

“The first edition of the New Zealand Law Style Guide was published in late 2009. It would be going too far to say it was a runaway best seller, but the take-up has been nothing short of amazing. All the New Zealand law schools adopted it. So did all the New Zealand publishers of law reports and journals. Most courts (including the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal) and many tribunals follow it. Other entities, such as the Law Commission, have used it in their publications. Many barristers now follow it in their court submissions.”

The project team consisted of Wellington Barrister Jonathan Orpin, LexisNexis Managing Editor Chris Murray, and the Law Commission’s Geoff McLay and Sophie Klinger, along with Justice Chambers. The team again sought and considered submissions from a wide range of stakeholders including the judiciary, legal academics, law libraries, legal publishers and others. The lion’s share of the updating was carried out by Jonathan, ably assisted by Chris. The group’s primary aim was to preserve the rules that many have learnt from the first edition, but to provide clarifications and more examples wherever possible to help users.

The second edition aims to build on the success of the first edition by:

  • Providing new or expanded rules for a range of material not included in the first edition;
  • Clarifying rules, including the cross referencing rules; and
  • Simplifying the rules relating to the citation of international material.

Some sections have been rewritten and reordered to make them easier to understand. As a result the Guide is much more user-friendly and the new edition is essential for anyone who has to cite legal materials. It is intended that there will be no further editions until 2017 at the earliest.

The New Zealand Law Foundation supported the production of the first edition and owns the copyright to the Guide.

Hard copies can be purchased from Thomson Reuters at $19 + GST ($21.85 incl GST).