Abbreviations are commonly used in referring to sources in literature or in publications of the institutions of the European Union. Experience has shown that there are quite a few differences between the quoting system used by the institutions and the one found in the legal literature. To establish greater reference uniformity in the legal literature in the Netherlands, the Leidraad voor juridische auteurs (Guide for legal authors) has been around for a number of years now, presenting guidelines for making references. The Citation Manual for European Community Materials produced by the Fordham International Law Journal is the equivalent for the English speaking countries, as well as the section "International Materials" of the The Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (BIG OSCOLA)
In this section, we will present a survey of ways of referring to sources of European law based on the reference system of the institutions. For the reference system of treaty articles, we refer to the Citation of the Court of Justice (under "Notice").
Since 1993, a uniform citation system has been used for legislation. Upon the coming into force of the Treaty on European Union, the name of the European Economic Community (EEC) was changed into the European Community (EC). In citing regulations, directives, decisions, and decrees, this distinction must also be made between references from before 1 November 1993 and those after.
Before 1 November 1993:
After 1 November 1993:
Since 2000, the year is written in full, e.g., Regulation (EC) no.1563/2000 or Directive 2000/42/EC. Moreover, it is appropriate to mention not only the number of the Regulation or Directive, but also where it can be found in the Official Journal. A full reference is as follows.
The Official Journal
The numbering of the Official Journal has changed a few times over the years, which has also affected the way it is cited.
Case law of the Court of Justice
Every case brought before the Court of Justice becomes a case number. Since the establishment of the Court of First Instance (on 15 November 1989), a distinction is also made between the numbers of cases in which judgement has been rendered by the Court of Justice (C cases) or by the Court of First Instance (T cases).
In some cases, the case number is followed by the letters ´P´ or ´R´. The P (pourvoi) means that it is an appeal in a case that, in first instance, was decided by the Court of First Instance, e.g., C-275/92 P. The R (reféré) indicates that the case involves an order of the president of the Court of Justice or the Court of First Instance, e.g., T-13/91 R.
In referring to the judgements of the Court, it is necessary to cite the case number as well as the date of the judgement, (if possible) the names of the parties, and the location in the European Court Reports of the Court of Justice. As regards recent case law, it is possible that the judgement has not yet been published in the European Court Reports. A full reference is as follows.
Since 1990, the European Court Reports of the Court of Justice, in which the official texts of judgements are published, have been split into two parts. Part I includes the judgements of the Court of Justice; Part II contains the judgements of the Court of First Instance. Full references look like this, respectively.
Documents of the European Commission
COM documents are cited as follows.
COM documents that relate to legislation also have an additional code indicating the relevant type of decision-making procedure.
SEC documents are cited as follows.
The Bulletin is cited as follows.
or in case of a Supplement:
Documents of the European Parliament
The numbering of the session documents of the European Parliament consists of a category indication (A, B, or C), a number referring to the session period, a number of the document itself, and the year.
Sometimes, a PE number is referred to, e.g., PE285.964. This numbering is given to European Parliament documents to be able to identify them in the decision-making procedure. You can search by PE number in the Legislative Observatory.
Documents of the other institutions