McGill References


Guidelines for converting from APA style to McGill style (Word)



The McGill Guide specifies a reference style that applies only to citations in footnotes, in-text references, bibliographies, and reference lists.

Given the nature of some Emond manuscripts, the difference between a citation in the running text and general discussion in the running text — and thus the extent of the McGill Guide's application — can be difficult to determine. This page outlines the basics of McGill Guide style, and also seeks to define the difference between McGill style and Emond style by way of examples. The general rule for defining the difference is the one stated above.

Note that a citation includes both a full reference to a work, with all bibliographic information, and a reference to part of a work — e.g., a case name, the title of an article, or a paragraph pinpoint.

In brief:

  • Inclusive page numbers: legal style (e.g., 101-2, 123-24)
  • Inclusive page number separator: hyphen
  • Dates: in references, "day month year"; in running text, "month day, year" and, especially, "month day"
  • Honorifics: in references, no periods; in running text, periods per CanOx/Emond style
  • Other abbreviations: in references, no periods, in running text, periods per CanOx/Emond style



Full statute and regulation titles are italic.

Short statute and regulation titles and abbreviations (including Charter) are roman.

Note: This is contrary to the McGill Guide.

Ibid, supra, and infra are italic.

Periods are omitted from most abbreviations.

A short form is given in square brackets immediately following the citation and pinpoint (if any), and before any parenthetical information.




Constitution Act, 1867 (UK), 30 & 31 Vict, c 3, reprinted in RSC 1985, Appendix II, No 5.
Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11 [Charter].
Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, SC 1994, c 28, s 1 [CSFAA] (in force 1 August 1995).
Legislation Act, 2006, SO 2006, c 21, Schedule F, ss 14-15.
Limitations Act, 2000, SO 2002, c 24, Schedule B.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27, ss 4(2)(a)-(c), 7 [IRPA].
Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, 2nd Sess, 39th Parl, 2008, cl 4 (first reading 12 June 2008).
Pacific Pilotage Regulations, CRC, c 1270 (1978). year is optional
Pacific Hake Exemption Notice, SOR/86-750.
Rules of Civil Procedure, RRO 1990, Reg 194, r 60.03.


UFCW, Local 1518 v KMart Canada Ltd, [1999] 2 SCR 1083, 176 DLR (4th) 607.
RMH Teleservices v BCGEU, 2003 BCSC 278.
R v Marcocchio, 2002 NSPC 7, 213 NSR (2d) 86.
Weitzner v Herman (2000), 33 ETR (2d) 310 (Ont Sup Ct J).

Include a neutral citation when available; list the neutral citation first. If a parallel print citation is not included, it is not necessary to find/add one (contra McGill). If a neutral citation is available, delete any Quicklaw etc. citation (OJ, BCJ, CarswellOnt, etc.).

Government Documents

Canada, House of Commons Debates, 41st Parl, 1st Sess, No 2 (3 June 2011) at 15 (Hon Stephen Harper, PM).
Parliament of Canada, LEGISinfo, online: <>.
Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, PC 2014-1246, (19 November 2014) C Gaz II, vol 148, no 24, online: <>.
Government of Ontario, Ontario Gazette, online: <>.
Statistics Canada, "Homicide in Canada—1998," by Orest Fedorowycz, in Juristat 19:10, Catalogue No 85-002-XIE (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 1999) at 6.
Statistics Canada, Table 252-0059, "Adult Criminal Courts, Guilty Cases by Mean and Median Length of Custody," CANSIM (database) (accessed: ).

include the access date if provided; omit otherwise

Secondary Sources

Black's Law Dictionary, 9th ed, sub verbo "judicial notice."
Anthony Duggan & Jacob S Ziegel, Secured Transactions in Personal Property: Cases, Text, and Materials, 6th ed (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2013).
Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Model Code of Professional Conduct (2014), online: <>.
Allan Manson, "Sentencing Options" in The Law of Sentencing (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2000) ch 9.
A Manson, "The Supreme Court Intervenes in Sentencing" (1995), 43 CR (4th) 306

Criminal Reports (CR) is a case reporting journal

McGill Law Journal, Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 8th ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2014) [McGill Guide].
Audrey O'Brien & Marc Bosc, eds, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 2nd ed (Ottawa: House of Commons, 2009) [O'Brien & Bosc], online: Parliament of Canada <>, ch 17, Delegated Legislation, "Historical Perspective."
Kent Roach, "Be Careful What You Wish For? Terrorism Prosecutions in Post-9/11 Canada" (2014) 40:1 Queen's LJ 99.
Tracey Tyler, "Widow Wins Fight for Hidden Cash of Husband," Toronto Star (22 March 2000).
Email from Ingrid Ludchen, Chief Legislative Editor, Legislative Editing and Publishing Services Section, Department of Justice, to Annette Demers (7 February 2011) [Ludchen (7 February 2011)].



In citations, omit periods when using an abbreviation or acronym, unless the McGill Guide explains otherwise. In all other parts of the text, follow the rules regarding use of periods set out in the Emond Style Guide.

The abbreviations "e.g." and "i.e." are exceptions. Retain the periods. Use "e.g." and "i.e." in reference entries instead of "for example" and "that is," but use "for example" and "that is" in regular running text. The abbreviations "e.g." and "i.e." are set in roman type and are used without preceding or following commas.

Examples etc., et al, v, R, Ltd, Co, Corp, Inc, e.g., i.e. etc., et al., v, R, Mr., Mrs., Ms., e.g., i.e.
See e.g. RMH Teleservices v BCGEU, 2003 BCSC 278 and R v Marcocchio, 2002 NSPC 7, 213 NSR (2d) 86. As explained in R v Marcocchio, the requirement is not applied, for example, where the plaintiff has supplied goods and services to a defendant who has breached the contract.
Tanenbaum v WJ Bell Paper Co Ltd (1956), 4 DLR (2d) 177 (Ont HC). The W.J. Bell Paper Co. Ltd., in October 1951, purchased a parcel of land.



In citations, follow the general capitalization style of the source document — i.e., either title case or sentence case. Where title case is used, follow Emond capitalization style for headings.

In citations where a mixture of title and sentence case is used (e.g., An Act to amend the Criminal Code (prize fights), SC 2013, c 19), reproduce the original pattern of capitalization.

In other parts of the manuscript, capitalize text in accordance with Emond style.

Examples Bill Curry, "PM, premiers work out deal on aboriginal health care," The Globe and Mail (26 November 2005) A4. In Chapter 3, The Kinds of Promises Legally Enforced, two kinds of promises are examined.
Benjamin Phelan, "Buried Truths," Harper's Magazine 309:1855 (December 2004) 70.




Abbreviate pinpoints as shown below. Write numbers (page, paragraph, section, etc.) as they appear in the source text (e.g., if a page pinpoint appears as 6 in the source, use 6; if it appears as vi, use vi).

Note: Pinpoint references to pages or paragraphs are preceded by "at" (without a comma). Pinpoint references to statutory sections are preceded by a comma (without "at").

PINPOINT cl (cls), s (ss), para (paras), ch

"page" is omitted, not abbreviated
clause(s), section(s), paragraph(s), chapter(s)

Use McGill Guide abbreviations in the running text of casebooks.

Examples Bill C-61, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, 2nd Sess, 39th Parl, 2008, cl 4. Among other clauses in the lease, clause 12.04 provided that, if Woolworth acquired the adjacent lands, it would ...
When did the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27, s 4 come into force? The contract between Mr. Jones and Ms. Smith stated, at section 7, that the seller is responsible for delivery of the goods.
R v Grandinetti, 2005 SCC 5 at para 8, [2005] 1 SCR 27
Del Zotto v Canada, [1999] 1 SCR 3 at 10, 169 DLR (4th) 130
R v McMillan (1975), 7 OR (2d) 750 at 757 (CA)

Note: Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) pinpoints are treated differently; see under LSUC (Law Society of Upper Canada) in Spelling.

Numbered Paragraph Pinpoints

Pinpoint references to numbered paragraphs within sections or subsections of a statute are rendered as follows:

Under section 19(3)2(i) of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, attendant care benefits are limited to $1 million.
Subparagraph i of section 19(3)2 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule limits attendant care benefits to $1 million.
Attendant care benefits are limited by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule to $1 million (s 19(3)2(i)).

Pinpoint references to numbered paragraphs in the Constitution Act, 1867 are rendered more conventionally:

The provinces have jurisdiction under section 92(15) to impose punishment by way of fine, penalty, or imprisonment in order to enforce valid provincial laws.

Integration and Placement

Run-in quotations: Pinpoint references are generally placed after quoted text, in parentheses.

The court held that "evidence of a statement made to a witness by a person who is not himself called as a witness may or may not be hearsay" (at 970).

Block quotations: Pinpoint references should be incorporated into the introductory text or should appear before the quotation, in parentheses.

Under section 1 of the Highway Traffic Act, "roadway" means "the part of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic."
In considering whether this defence should have been put to the jury, the Supreme Court stated (at paras 50–51):

The principle that a defence should be put to a jury if and only if there is an evidential foundation for it has long been recognized by the common law. This venerable rule reflects the practical concern that allowing a defence to go to the jury in the absence of an evidential foundation would invite verdicts not supported by the evidence, serving only to confuse the jury and get in the way of a fair trial and true verdict.



A general discussion regarding the use of ibid, supra, and infra follows. For a full discussion, see McGill, 8th, sections 1.4.2 to 1.4.4.

Use ibid to refer the reader to an immediately preceding reference.

Ibid at 41.

Use supra to refer the reader to a reference containing the original, complete citation.

Supra note 3 at 6.
See the Employment Standards Act, supra note 1, s 73(2).

Use infra to refer the reader to a subsequent reference.

Infra note 23 at para 4.




The abbreviation used for a given jurisdiction or location varies according to the type of source cited. See the sections Case Citations and Secondary Sources below.

For jurisdictional abbreviations, include the country if the province, territory, etc. is likely to be unfamiliar to readers.

Case Citations

If a neutral citation is available, cite it before any other parallel citation. Where a neutral citation is not available, and the jurisdiction and court are not evident from the title of the case reporter, indicate the jurisdiction and court in parentheses at the end of the citation.

Generally, leave a space in abbreviations that consist of both uppercase letters and lowercase letters — e.g., "Ont CA".

Do not insert a space between jurisdiction and court in abbreviations that consist solely of uppercase letters — e.g., "BCCA".

Where an abbreviation consists of uppercase letters in parentheses and uppercase letters not in parentheses, leave a space between the two — e.g., "SC (AD)".

For a list of jurisdiction abbreviations used in neutral citations and other court citations, see Canadian and US Abbreviations (the Neutral and Court columns, respectively); for a list of court abbreviations, see Common Court Abbreviations.

For complete lists of jurisdiction abbreviations, see the McGill Guide, Appendix A. For complete lists of court abbreviations, see the McGill Guide, Appendix B. For additional information on the treatment of jurisdiction and court in case citations, see the McGill Guide, section 3.9 and Appendix B (A-13 to A-14).

Falkiner v Ontario (Director, Income Maintenance Branch, Ministry of the Attorney General) (2002), 212 DLR (4th) 633 (Ont CA).
AG of Canada v Brock (1991), 67 CCC (3d) 131 (BCSC).
Bernard v Dartmouth Housing Authority (1989), 88 NSR (2d) 190 (SC (AD)).

Secondary Sources

Where an abbreviation of a province or territory is needed to identify the place of publication in a citation, use the abbreviation found in Canadian and US Abbreviations (the McGill Biblio column).

Haber, Harvey. The Commercial Lease: A Practical Guide, 4th ed (Aurora, Ont: Canada Law Book, 2004).



In citations to secondary sources, indicate the author's name as it appears on the title page of the document. This rule also applies to multiple authors.

In citations that include the publisher's name (e.g., in book citations), omit the definite article "the," terms that indicate corporate status, and "Publishers," "Publishing," etc.

Exception: Retain such information where the name without it would be confusing: e.g., "Book Publishing Company" or "The Book Publishers."

Dates may appear in citations to secondary sources, legislation, jurisprudence, and other materials. Where a date forms part of a citation, style it in the format shown below.

AUTHORS Fuller & Perdue, "The Reliance Interest in Contract Damages" (1936) 46 Yale LJ 52.
PUBLISHERS Ziff, Bruce. " 'Taking' Liberties: Protections for Private Property in Canada" in E Cooke, ed, Modern Studies in Property Law, vol 3 (Oxford: Hart, 2005) 347.
[The full name of the publisher is Hart Publishing.]
Hart Publishing is a good source for materials on the topic of property law.
DATES day month year
30 December 2013
month day, year
December 31, 2013
Secondary Source Bill Curry, "PM, premiers work out deal on aboriginal health care," The Globe and Mail (26 November 2005) A4. On November 15, 2005, B wrote to C, offering to sell C his farm for $150,000.
Legislation Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Energy Efficiency Act, 2nd Sess, 40th Parl, 2009, cl 5 (first reading 29 January 2009). It wasn't until May 14, 2009 that the Act was given royal assent.
Jurisprudence Acuity Fund Ltd et al (13 March 2009), online: OSC <>. On March 13, 2009 the Ontario Securities Commission rendered its decision in Acuity Fund Ltd et al.



Place commas inside the closing quotation mark.

Note: This is contrary to the McGill Guide.

Bill Curry, "PM, premiers work out deal on aboriginal health care," The Globe and Mail (26 November 2005) A4.



  • Enclose URLs in angle brackets. Include "http://".
  • Retain capitalization of URLs to aid legibility. (Some URLs use a mixture of upper- and lowercase letters).
  • Omit the trailing slash if it is unnecessary (e.g., especially in root URLs).

Note to editors: In Word, type angle brackets as \< and \>.

Law Society of Upper Canada, Rules of Professional Conduct (adopted by Convocation 22 June 2000; amendments based on the Federation of Law Societies Model Code of Professional Conduct adopted by Convocation 24 October 2013), online: <>.
Task Force on the Canadian Common Law Degree, Final Report (Ottawa: Federation of Law Societies of Canada, October 2009) at 7-9, online: <>.
For more information on rules of conduct for lawyers and paralegals, visit the Law Society website at <>.
Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, 1577 UNTS 3, Can TS 1992 No 3 (entered into force 2 September 1990), online: <>.


Where Used 

McGill style is used:

  • in professional legal texts
  • in new and revised casebooks
  • in new and revised editions of law clerk and paralegal texts and policing texts

McGill style is not used in social science texts (APA or Chicago). Whether McGill is used in university law-related texts is decided from book to book.


For another summary of McGill Guide legal citation style, see the Queen's University Lederman Law Library site.