Law (act): how to cite in Harvard style?

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General rules

A problem inherent of most international citation styles is the lack of adequate recommendations for referencing laws. Thus, most institutions publishing the guides develop recommendations for citing laws adopted only in their particular country (you can read about it in more detail in our articles on referencing laws under APA Style – 7th ed. and Chicago Style – notes and bibliography – 17th ed.).

For the Harvard referencing system, various institutions' detailed recommendations can be found for citing acts of the United Kingdom, Australia, and so on. Taking into account the general structure of references in such guides, we advise using the following uniform template for referencing a law, a government resolution, a presidential decree, etc. in your bibliography:

Country. Institution that passed the law, (year). Law Title Law type law number [online], date adopted. [Viewed date viewed]. Available from: URL

If the title of the law already contains its type (for example, Digital Economy Bill), the 'Law type' element is omitted from the reference.

The web service Grafiati allows comfortably referencing laws under the Harvard style in accordance with the templates above.

Examples in a list of references

Great Britain. Parliament, (2017). Digital Economy Act 2017 [online], 27 April 2017. [Viewed 13 January 2021]. Available from:

France. Assemblée nationale, (2017). Loi relative au devoir de vigilance des sociétés mères et des entreprises donneuses d'ordre 2017-399 [en ligne], 27 mars 2017. [Consulté le 13 janvier 2021]. Disponible sur:

Other citation styles: