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These are the footnote's general rules which are used at my University (Australia). All of these notes are in Australian Guide to Legal Citation Fourth Edition.

When to Footnote

  • Footnotes should be used to, provide authority for a proposition; acknowledge a source that is relevant; provide information that enables the retrieval of relevant citations and quotations that appear in the text; and provide other (often tangential or extraneous) information that is not appropriate to include in the text.

  • A footnote should always follow direct quotations unless their source is fully provided in the text.

  • The first citation of a source should appear in full.

The Position of Footnote Numbers

  • Footnote numbers should generally appear after the punctuation at the end of a sentence. However, footnote numbers may appear directly after the relevant text (after any punctuation except em-dahses) if this is necessary for the sake of clarity

Multiple Sources in Footnotes

If a series of sources are cited in a single footnote, a semicolon should be used to separate the sources. The word 'and' should not be used to separate the last two sources.

When citing additional sources with a different introductory signal, a new sentence (and not a semicolon) should be used.

Closing Punctuation in Footnotes

A full stop (or other appropriate closing punctuation) should appear at the end of every footnote.

Discursive Text in Footnotes

Footnotes may contain discursive text (ie text that is not a citation). Citations relating to discursive text in footnotes should appear after a colon at the end of the relevant text (unless the full citation appears) within the discursive text, including any relevant pinpoints).

When citing a source that has been cited earlier in the same footnote, or citing a different pinpoint to that cited earlier, 'at' may be used in accordance with rule 1.4.6.

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