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The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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2.3 Citing an Act

Acts can often seem confusing at first, particularly if they are long and use technical or complex language. The use of citation however can work as a sort of shorthand to make discussion of the Act more straightforward and ensure that people know exactly which Act, and which part of the Act or its supporting documents, are being discussed. Table 1 provides an overview guide to citing an Act in different ways and contexts.

Table 1 Citing an Act of the Scottish Parliament
Type of citationExample
Short title including yearHarbours (Scotland) Act 2015
Number2015 asp 13
Citation in written material such as an academic essay(Harbours (Scotland) Act 2015)
Citation where a Section of the Act has been referred to specifically or quoted(Harbours (Scotland) Act 2015 Section 2) or (Harbours (Scotland) Act 2015 s.2.)
If you refer to the Act in a sentenceThe Harbours (Scotland) Act 2015 was designed to …
If you want to refer to a specific Section to explain itSection 2 of Harbours (Scotland) Act 2015 states that …
Reference included in a bibliography or reference list at the end of an article or academic essayHarbours (Scotland) Act 2015 asp 13.