The purpose of any legal citation manual is to allow readers and practitioners to efficiently obtain accurate information on how to cite and organize information in written works. The ICM seeks to provide the information necessary to allow legal writers and practitioners to demonstrate support for propositions and arguments of an international nature. In addition each country’s section explores the government and judicial structure to give authors and readers a glimpse into that country’s background. This helps explain the “how” and the “why” of the citation format, beyond instructing where to place commas and periods.
Because the international stage is ever-changing and the rule of law is constantly adapting to various political environments, the range of the authorities cited in the ICM cannot be complete. For the information provided, the ICM presents the traditional format utilized in that particular country. However, when a modern or different format is used pervasively in the relevant legal community, as to render the traditional format obsolete, then the ICM provides both formats, commenting on which is the appropriate format. In cases where a source material is not discussed by ICM, try to locate an analogous authority from that country that provides a model framework.
The ICM presents citation information in English, except where the native language is appropriate. In such cases all nature language words are italicized. English translations are provided where available and immediately precede the native language.
In providing citiation frameworks the ICM utilizes “< …. >” to designate areas where specific information is required to accurately complete the citation. Within the format, the name of the necessary information is provide.
<type of provision>, <name of reporter>, No. <volume number>, <date of passage>, <page number>, “<common name of law>.”
This is the framework for an Albanian administrative regulation. When the information is entered into the framework, it looks like (the common name is not available):
Dekret, Fletorja zyrtare Republikës të Shqipërisë, No. 26, Dec. 7, 1995, 1144-1148.
When citing official foreign constitutions, the ICM advocates for [Constitution] in the citation, immediately after the native language name of the document. Such usage identifies the officially recognize document as opposed to any other governmental or nonofficial text. No English translation is necessary when citing a constitution as the aforementioned structure suffices.
An Exception exists to this rule in cases where the citation format already uses the term “Constitution” in the document’s name. This exception only applies when the document’s citation appears in English.
For example: Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 200 of 1993 (Interim Constitution).
Foreign case law is an area where a country’s traditional citation format is modified by the ICM. Regardless of the traditional of pervasive format, the ICM supplies party names (when available) immediately preceding the citation information. This exception to the traditional format method errs on the side of completeness and is done for ease of locating the correct source information.