Skip to main content

Law Library Guide: Basic Issues of Style & Punctuation

This subject guide provides access to the Library's key resources relevant to the field of Law


Please leave a space between paragraphs, but DO NOT put a tab at the start of the next paragraph – the publishers will do this.

“Foreign” Words and Expressions

Words and expressions in Latin, or in a foreign or African language should be italicised: culpa, bona fides, Grundnorm, ikhazi.


Standard abbreviations will be used. Some examples of commonly used abbreviations are: section (s); sections (ss); subsection (subsec); paragraph (para); paragraphs (paras); second edition (2ed); Judge (J); Acting Judge (AJ); Chief Justice (CJ); chapter (ch); compare (cf); following (ff).

Page Numbers

Where consecutive pages are referred to in references to cases, Acts, textbooks and journals, the page numbers should be referenced FULLY: 165-169, NOT 165-9 or 165-69.


  • Double quotation marks should be used.
  • Single quotation marks should only be used inside a quotation.
  • Quotations should correspond exactly with the original.
  • Any changes or insertions should be indicated using square brackets [ ].
  • Quotations that are three lines or longer in length should be separatedfrom the text by being indented. A space should appear ONLY AFTER THE QUOTATION. The indented text should appear in 10 pt font.
  • Footnote numbers should come at the end of the quotation.

Picture credit: deviantART


Unlike the THRHR we will retain capitalisation for headings, proper nouns and titles of books, journals: The Law of Contract in South Africa, Die Onregmatige Daad in die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, Judge President, Chief Justice.