Refer to schedules that appear at the end of legislation using style conventions. Follow the drafting rules for amending and non-amending schedules so people can find the source information.

Schedules are components of legislation 

Schedules are components (not units) of bills, Acts and some instruments. They appear at the end of legislation. Schedules are either amending or non-amending.

Amending schedules are more common. There are drafting rules about their use and the order in which each schedule appears.

Most amending schedules list amendments to other Acts, bills and instruments that will take effect when the legislation commences. Some contain other provisions such as savings and transitional arrangements.

Non-amending schedules have many different purposes. Units of non-amending schedules are named differently depending on the purpose. Non-amending schedules sometimes include text that could be contained in the body of the legislation as a section. In this case, the basic unit is a clause.

Cite at schedule level, not the basic unit level, for most content.

Style for schedule titles is an initial capital

Use capital ‘S’ for long and shortened forms of named schedules.

Always capitalise ‘Schedule’ or ‘Schedules’ when you write the title of schedules or refer to particular schedules.

The shortened form is ‘Sch’ for singular and plural.


  • ... the age factor under Schedule 1 of the Judges’ Pensions Regulations 1998
  • ... the age factor (Judges’ Pensions Regulations 1998, Sch 1).
  • … namely items 28, 41, 45 and 52 of Schedule 1 to the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006.

The basic unit of an amending schedule is an item

For most texts, you don’t need to identify the units of different types of schedules or to decide how units should be cited. It is enough to cite at schedule level.

Amending schedules are divided into parts, then into divisions. Both are given arabic numerals – for example, Part 1 Division 3. Divisions contain items divided into subitems, which are given numbers in parentheses – (1), (2) and so on.

There is no shortened form for ‘item’ or ‘subitem’.

Release notes

The digital edition has considerable advice on how to cite legal material. It includes new material on Commonwealth tribunals and Australian Tax Office rulings. It expands on sixth edition information on treaties.

The digital edition departs from sixth edition guidance about the capitalisation, punctuation and italicisation of citation elements for some legal material. The current edition also recommends the contraction ‘Cth’ rather than ‘Cwlth’.

These departures are informed by legal material and general publications from Australian courts, government agencies working in the legislative context and academic sources. The digital edition style is for general, rather than specialist, legal content.

The Content Guide briefly mentioned legislation in relation to capitalisation. There was no detailed guidance about how to cite legislation.

About this page


Hansard (2020) Hansard style guide, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliament of Australia, Canberra.

Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc and Melbourne Journal of International Law (2018) Australian guide to legal citation, 4th edn, Melbourne University Law Review Association Inc, accessed 16 June 2020.

OPC (Office of Parliamentary Counsel) (n.d.) Drafting manuals, OPC, accessed 16 June 2020.

OPC (n.d.) Information, Federal Register of Legislation website, accessed 16 June 2020.

OPC (2019) Instruments handbook, OPC, accessed 16 June 2020.

PM&C (Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) (2017) Legislation handbook, PM&C, accessed 16 June 2020.

Thomson Reuters Australia (2017) ‘Legislation and commentary table of abbreviations’, Westlaw AU Guides, Thomson Reuters Australia, accessed 16 June 2020.

Whitbread D and Leary K (2016a) AGS editorial style guide, Australian Government Solicitor, Canberra.

Whitbread D and Leary K (2016b) AGS style guide: summary, Australian Government Solicitor, Canberra.

This page was updated Thursday 10 June 2021.

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