OSCOLA - square brackets for paragraph numbers

If I cite a case, the paragraph number appears, correctly, in square brackets.

If I cite the same case immediately again, it appears, correctly, as 'ibid', but the paragraph number now appears as a plain number. As one would expect in, say, a journal.

Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua - Merits, Judgment ICJ Reports 1986, p 14 [263].
ibid 15.
ibid 205.
ibid 265.

Any thoughts on how the 'ibid' paragraph numbers might be made to appear in square brackets?

Thanks all ...
  • Is this case explicitly discussed in the OSCOLA guide?
    Also, how about subsequent citations (so if there's a different citation between two citations to the same case, so it's no longer ibid.) From the styled code it looks like that'd be without square brackets, too?

    Either excerpts from or page numbers to the OSCOLA guide would help speed this up so I don't have to dig in.
  • Thanks for the quick reply Adam.

    The following 'use of ibid' is found in OSCOLA 4th edition (the current edition).
    It shows square brackets around paragraph numbers in the 'ibid' citation.

    1 [2009] UKHL 5, [2009] AC 564.
    2 ibid [34] (Lord Hope), [39] (Lord Scott), [43]–[47] (Lord Walker), [58]–[60] (Lord

    To answer your question regarding an interfering citation ("no longer ibid"):

    11. Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua - Merits, Judgment ICJ Reports 1986, p 14 [263].
    12. SPP v. Egypt - Merits (n 8) para 45.
    13. Nicaragua v. United States of America (n 11) para 15.
    14. ibid 102.

  • OK, so square brackets for ibid paragraphs but not for subsequent ones: those get para #, as the style already does. That should be an easy fix.
  • Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that "(n 8) para 45." is correct, I was just trying to answer your question by showing what does happen. In my view that also should be "(n8) [45]". It's just that there's no specific example in OSCOLA. This is what it says on the matter of pin-pointing cases:

    If the judgment has numbered paragraphs (as will generally be the case where there
    is a neutral citation), pinpoint to a particular paragraph by putting the relevant
    paragraph number in square brackets. If pinpointing to more than one paragraph,
    separate the paragraph numbers in square brackets with a comma. If citing spans of
    paragraphs, insert a dash between the first and last paragraph being cited". I read that to be for the case of a straight citation; an ibid; and a see above (n x).

    Would any other OSCOLA users care to chime in here ?
  • FWIW I have always assumed that OSCOLA would apply brackets to paragraph numbers across all forms of a citation.

    As an out-of-scope aside, and while I've just noticed that I only mention it in passing in the docs, this use case prompted an extension in CSL-M/Jurism, where bracketed locators can be set by defining a special form of the term:

    <term name="paragraph" form="static">[%s]</term>

    Then in the CSL, it can be expressed with something like:

    <macro name="my-locator">
    <group delimiter=" ">
    <if locator="paragraph">
    <label variable="locator" form="static"/>
    <else-if locator="page"/>
    <label variable="locator" form="short"/>
    <number variable="locator"/>

    The brackets are then applied to the individual numbers of a paragraph locator, so ranged output comes out looking like:

    Smith v. Jones, [2000] EWHC 1234 [10]-[15]
  • thanks Frank -- yes, I was surprised paragraphs wouldn't be bracketed in subsequent cites, but I'm open for all sorts of surprises with legal cites. Will implement this then.
  • Hi - I am working in a team on a major project with a tight deadline. We have encountered a few issues with Zotero OSCOLA referencing.

    There is still an issue regarding the square brackets not appearing for paragraphs in subsequent citations. It would be very helpful if this could be resolved!

    Also, we were also wondering if it is possible to create a category for "resolution" - for international bodies e.g. UN General Assembly; UN Human Rights Council.

    Could you let us know if there is a way for us to make a new bespoke category for our own use, with the ability to customise elements for the inputs required for OSCOLA referencing of international materials.

    Thanks very much!
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