CSL Discourse

EU project submission for legal citation styles in Europe



it’d been a very long time without working on CSL – hope everyone is doing fine! – when, a few days ago, I was contacted by an Italian colleague who is planing to apply for some EU founds for a project related to European legal citation styles.

The aim of the project is twofold:

  • provide an overview of citation styles of legal material in every European jurisdiction;

  • provide a set of corresponding CSL styles.

We are searching for possible academic partners (at least 2 for the initial submission, due in a week time).

I’m contacting you to see if you have any contact you could share with me.



Cool! The obvious person to contact would be @Frank_Bennett https://www.law.nagoya-u.ac.jp/en/directory/staff/Bennett_F.html who is a comparative law scholar himself, maintains juris-m, and citeproc-js. No one has spend more time thinking about automating legal citation than him. If he doesn’t have time, he’d probably have the names of some European colleagues who might be interested.


Frank has been contacted by my colleague and he’s aware of the project – but seems to lack the contacts we need… European legal scholars in Universities, with some involvement in legal documentation and CSL.


The only other ideas I’d have is to look at the people maintaining OSCOLA, who have been in touch with Zotero and seem very open to automation www.law.ox.ac.uk/oscola . There have been several people working on this in Germany https://www.offenenetze.de/2015/01/13/juristische-beitraege-mit-der-literaturverwaltung-zotero-einfuehrung-und-erfahrungsbericht/ and https://doi.org/10.7328/jurpcb20132812206 , but best I can tell they’re not academics but a judge and (now) a lawyer in private practice respectively.
I think @Philipp_Zumstein has helped some lawyers with citation styles recently though, so he may know?


I don’t know more legal scholars with involvement in CSL, which is might be the most restrictive condition here. A quite detailed description for legal citations in Germany is from Stüber: https://www.niederle-media.de/Zitieren.pdf, but the author is AFAIK working at a ministry and I doubt that he using CSL or any reference management system.

However, maybe it would be possible to split your requirements among several persons in one institution. Indeed, as Sebastian mentioned, I helped some PhD students in law sciences recently to optimize a CSL style for their thesis. We started with an existing style, then they had some special requirements, which I then tried to implement in CSL. Or is it inevitable for your project that the legal experiences and CSL involvement have to come from the same person?


“legal scholars with some involvement in CSL” is meant to be very broad (referring mostly to the CSL environment – like zotero, for instance). And yes, the requirements may be split, even among different institutions (and/or member state).

Many thanks for your useful suggestions and your kind attention.


Andrea: Welcome back! (I’ve also been away for the past few months.)

Are you thinking of possibly an application in the next round? I can post to the Juris-M support lists to see if we can scare up interested parties in the EU domain.