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1.2.3 Numbers and dates

(a) Numbers

Use numerals as opposed to writing numbers out in words wherever possible, except that:

(1) Write out whole numbers under 10 (except footnote numbers, numbers in dates and numbers relating to legislative provisions) in words.

(2) Where a number begins a sentence, write it in words. Where possible, however, it may be better to rewrite the sentence to avoid beginning with a number.

(3) In pleadings, the relevant court rules should be followed (see in particular r 5.15 of the High Court Rules 2016).

Express percentages in the format “75 per cent” or “nine per cent”, with “per cent” written as two words.

Eg The section refers to 0.25 of one per cent.

Write page and paragraph number ranges out in full: 360–365 (not 360–65); and [32]–[38].

Use commas to indicate thousands from the number 1,000 and upwards: hence “4,500” and “12,300”.

Large round numbers may be expressed in terms of millions and billions rather than written out in full.

Eg 1.5 billion or 1,500,000,000

NOT 1.5 bn

(b) Dates

Always write dates in the format 28 October 1965.

(c) Times

Times may be given using the 24-hour clock format or the 12-hour clock format. When using the 12-hour clock format, include a space between the time and “am” or “pm”. When giving a period of time “am” or “pm” should be included after both the start and end time.

Eg 9 pm or 21.00

Eg 8.15 am or 08.15

Eg 1 pm – 3 pm

(d) Decades

Give references to decades in full.

Do not put an apostrophe between the year and the “s”.

Eg 1990s

NOT “the nineties”

NOT 90s

When spans of years are written give both years in full.

Eg 1985–1987

NOT 1985–87

(e) Centuries

Write centuries up to and including the ninth in full, in the format “eighth century”.

Write all other centuries in figures with the “th” in lowercase letters, not superscript, in the format “19th century”.

(f) Ordinal numbers

Write ordinal numbers under 10 out in full. Use numerals for all other ordinal numbers.

Eg The first time the Court considered …

Eg The Magna Carta’s 800th year anniversary.

(g) Ranges of numbers

Ranges of numbers should be separated by an en dash (–), not a hyphen. An en dash is longer than a hyphen and shorter than an em dash. The keyboard shortcut for an en dash on Windows computers is “Ctrl + -” (where “-” is the minus symbol) and on Apple computers “Option + -” (where “-” is the hyphen symbol).

Eg At [32]–[33].

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