Style Request: V&A

Some twenty years ago an official citation commission was installed in Belgium to uniformize a Belgian citation style for legal publications. This style is called 'V&A' and is nowadays generally adopted and used by approximately 50.000 Belgian legal scholars. As a progressive PhD Law student I'd like to import this style into the beautiful technology of Zotero. In an effort thereto I tried to initiate myself into programming with the CSL language. Unfortunately this only worked half. Some wrong elements I do not seem to get out of the style document I created. On the other hand I fail to add the missing elements. Can I please call on the help of a professional in the field? If somebody is willing to help me I'll give her/him all the necessary information and docs (my attempt of a style so far, a concise translation of the official style document, answers on all your questions,...)

Thanks in advance!

  • while you can ask specific questions here, I will not be able to help you with the style at large - my knowledge of law-specific citation formats is just too sketchy.
    I'd recommend you get in touch with the folks at who specialize on law-related styles.
  • Any progress on V&A? An integration of this style would be great.
  • @tom.bauwens:

    No. Anyway, as adamsmith said, fbennett (who manages is working on legal styles integration. Is there an online documentation for V&A style?
  • There is, but it's only available in Dutch ( ) or French ( )
  • Good. That's very close to the French legal citation style :
    I've made a custom citation style which might comply to most of these requirements: it could serve as a basis.
  • Thanks Tom to shake up this post.

    My search for a well functioning V&A style, didn't led me very far. Therefore, I made several attempts to write it myself, but I have to admit that it's clearly not my cup op tea.

    So, no progress so far. I'm still hoping however we will be able to scream loud enough, so a good programmer will find him or herself willing to help us, and Belgian legal scholars will no longer be isolated from the great world of Zotero.

    In the mine time I reluctantly switched to Endnote X5, which is far less developed for the 21th century researcher. I miss the full-text search and the ease of creating new references while surfing the net (which is strongly limited). The missing synchronize function is also a shortcoming.

    But, the University payed someone to define and improve a V&A style definition for Endnote. I will only see myself return to Zotero when a correct V&A style is available. Citing takes me to much effort otherwise.

    So, fingers crossed and keep me informed!
  • Dear all,

    Has the V&A style eventually been added to the Zotero Style Repository? The latest guidance can be found here:
    As said before, this is only in Dutch so I am not sure whether this is sufficient, but please let me know if I help in any way.

    Many thanks in advance.
  • edited November 22, 2017
    I recommend you check out Juris-M, a version of Zotero with much more extensive legal support, including better support for diverse international legal citations.
  • Many thanks for this advice!
  • As far as I know, there is no V&A citation style yet. The UGent representative in the citation commission only knows of the Endnote style document. That's a proprietary format though, and not CSL-friendly at all.

    I have started building my own, and have met relative success with regards to inline citing of books, cases and articles. I haven't begun legislation yet.

    I have run in to a roadblock though, in that CSL appears not to enably a custom sorting order. What I mean, is e.g. case law is supposed to be sorted like this:
    - cases from Arbitragehof or Grondwettelijk Hof
    - cases from Hof van Cassatie
    - cases from Raad van State
    - cases from Hof van Beroep, Arbeidshof or Militair Gerechtshof
    The sorting should therefore happen by 'Authority' field, but neither ascending nor descending but by custom order. Does anyone know of a way to achieve this? I found no relative threads on the forum.

    If it's not possible, I'll just add sorting by type (legislation, case law and books/articles) for now.
  • That can't be done, correct
  • Sharing my stylesheet for V&A for Juris-M:
    Seems to work reasonably well although there are some known issues (e.g., the sorting of case law as per aforementioned, for others see Issues on Github).
    Includes support for the relevant abbreviations for journals.
    Let me know when you find any mistakes or bugs.
  • Thank you so much Mvwestendorp, this will come in handy!
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