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Legal Abbreviations: What do they mean?

Find out more about interpreting legal abbreviations

Legal abbreviations are used throughout the scholarly and practitioner legal literature.

Many databases will allow you to use the abbreviation when searching.  

However sometimes you  need to know what the abbreviation stands for in order to locate an item - for example when searching for a journal title via Library Search

View the full Law Subject Guide for guidance on other legal materials

Legal Abbreviations Examples

You will become familiar with the use of legal abbreviations over time.  Below are some common law report and legal journal examples.


Law Reports Abbreviation Examples

AC             Appeal Cases

All E.R      All England law reports 

Env.L.R.    Environmental law reports


Journal Title Abbreviation Examples


AJIL              American Journal of International Law


ICLQ             International & Comparative Law Quarterly


IHRR             International Human Rights Reports


Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

If you come across any abbreviations that you are unsure of from your database searching or from bibliographies or reference lists, then you can quickly check them out in the Index.

You can search by abbreviation to find the title. You can also do the reverse and search by publication to find the standard abbreviation used for that title.

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