Too many guides, not enough style

New Zealand style guide cover, via the NZ Law Foundation websiteMy previous post on the advent of the Irish Law Journal led to some quite interesting discussion about the nature of citation styles and how crowded the market for legal journals in Ireland is.

By way of supplement, I see that 15 Lambton Quay records the final publication of New Zealand’s uniform style guide. I blogged about it at the proposal stage here. Up until now, Law schools, law firms, publishers and courts have been using their own idiosyncratic and confusing styles when referring to legal material. Now, New Zealand’s six law schools, three main legal publishers, major law reviews, and a number of courts, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, have adopted the guide this year. From the 15 Lambton Quay website [with added links]:

The Guide was launched by Justice John McGrath. A uniform guide has been a long time coming! .. The new guide is the result of the combined efforts of many across the profession. Justice Chambers of the Court of Appeal spearheaded the project … The guide was only made possible through generous funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation. …

A web-based version of the guide has been made available on the New Zealand law Foundation’s website. In my earlier post, by reference to the New Zealand rugby team, I proposed, not quite tongue in cheek, that since the dominant US style is the Bluebook, perhaps we should call the New Zealand style guide the All Black Book. This is even more likely now that it has been published with an All Black cover, above left.

As for the the Bluebook, its 19th edition has recently been published, along with the 7th edition of the McGill Guide, and the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. In my view, there now are far too many style guides world-wide, and some consolidation would be very beneficial.

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