Skip to Main Content
+27 21 959

ukwazi 2   

Referencing: Harvard

Comprehensive guide to the Harvard Referencing Style

Legal Sources

Legal sources have the same format for both in-text citations and reference list entries, and the format varies depending on the type of legal material.


What is a Bill?

It is a draft version of a law. Most Bills are drawn up by a government department under direction of the relevant minister or deputy minister. This kind of Bill must be approved by the Cabinet before being submitted to Parliament. Bills introduced by individual Members are called Private Members’ Legislative Proposals.

Bills have a short title, which includes the year, and a long title which is a description.  Use the short title for the in-text citation and reference list entry. Use roman type instead of italics, and use title case (maximum capitalisation) rather than sentence case.

National Health Amendment Bill (B29-2018) [short title]

To amend the National Health Act, 2003, so as to provide for clinics to operate and provide health services 24 hours a day and seven days a week; and to provide for matters connected therewith. [long title]


Acts of Parliament or Primary Legislation

If the Bill passes through both the NA  (National Assembly) and the NCOP (National Council of Provinces), it goes to the President for assent (signed into law).
Once it is signed by the President, it becomes an Act of Parliament and a law of the land.


Style for Act titles is title case, not always italics

Use title case (maximal capitalisation) for the titles of Acts. Use italics for the first mention of these titles.

Use roman type for the titles of Acts in reference lists and other long lists. Blocks of italics are difficult to read.

The year the legislation is first enacted forms part of the title. Don’t use a comma before the year.


Civil Aviation Amendment Act 2021


Civil aviation amendment Act, 2021


If the Act’s title has a number, include the number exactly as written. The contraction ‘No.’ retains the full stop in this situation, which is an exception to the general rule for the shortened form for ‘number’.


  • Appropriation Act(No. 3) 2010
  • Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (No. 2) 2010

At first mention, use the short title in italics

The first time you name the Act in text, use the short title in italics.


The PAJA Act 2000 ensures procedurally fair administrative actions, giving people the right to request reasons for administrative actions and decisions to have such actions reviewed in court.

After first mention, use the short title in roman type without the year

Always use the short title in italics the first time you cite the Act in your text.

If there are subsequent mentions of the Act, use the short title in roman type without the year.

Add the shortened form in parentheses at the first mention if it does more than just remove the year or the word ‘Act’ from the title.


  • … was convicted of criminal offences under the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 2000.  The PAJA Act specifies that …


​​​​​​​Acts from other countries

Use roman type (without italics) for acts from other countries, followed by an abbreviation for the country in parentheses.


Digital Economy Act 2017 (UK)

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (US)

Case Law

A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. 

The people or organisations named in the case are known as ‘parties’. Capitalise the names of the parties but use a lower case ‘v’ between the party names. There is no full stop after ‘v’.

Case names have this basic form: Party v Party.


Tuta v The State (CCT 308/20) [2022] ZACC 19 (31 May 2022)

Write the name of the case in italics in your in-text citations.  If you include cases in your reference list, write them in roman type. If the case has an abbreviated title, include this title in parentheses after the case name the first time you cite it, and then use the abbreviated title in subsequent citations.

Example: … The State of New South Wales v The Commonwealth (Wheat Case). The Wheat Case ... 


Use of separate reference lists for legislation and legal cases:

As a general rule, you only need to include in-text citations for legal sources.  However, you may need to include your legal sources in a reference list under some circumstances. If so, include legal sources as a separate reference list and separate legislation (bills, acts, and treaties) from legal cases. List the entries in alphabetical order in each list.



Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act 21 of 2021

Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Amendment Act 6 of 2021

Digital Economy Act 2017 (UK)


Legal cases

Dutton v Republic of South Africa [1999] FCA 2

Nkamela on behalf of Okuhle Nkamela v Member of the Executive Council for Health: Eastern Cape Province (308/2018) [2022] ZAECBHC 15 (31 May 2022)


University of the Western Cape,

Robert Sobukwe Road,



Tel: 021 959 2946