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Instructions for contributors

Instructions for Contributors Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (231 KB).

Checklist for Authors Download Author checklist in PDF. (60 KB).

Contributors should read David Nelken's editorial, 'Law in Other Contexts' from Volume 8 Issue 1, for advice on what these articles should cover: Download PDF. (85 KB).

To view the PDF file linked above, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

International Journal of Law in Context

The International Journal of Law in Context is the companion journal to the 'Law in Context' book series. It provides a forum for interdisciplinary legal studies and offers intellectual space for ground-breaking critical research. It is not committed to any particular theory, ideology or methodology and invites papers from a variety of standpoints, ideologies, perspectives, and methods. It publishes contextual work about law and its relationship with other disciplines including but not limited to science, literature, humanities, philosophy, sociology, psychology, ethics, history and geography. The journal aims to explore and expand the boundaries of law and legal studies.


Research articles

Please submit your article using the ScholarOne system:

Questions regarding publication may be sent to the Editors-in-Chief:

Professor Penelope Andrews
New York Law School
185 West Broadway
New York
NY 10013-2921


Professor Marc Hertogh
University of Groningen
Faculty of Law, Department of Legal Theory
PO Box 716
9700 AS Groningen
The Netherlands


Professor David Nelken
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any materials, including photographs and illustrations, for which they do not hold copyright and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in the manuscript.

All contributions in the journal are peer-reviewed.

Law in other contexts

Authors interested in submitting a piece to the 'Law in Other Contexts' section should read David Nelken's editorial in Volume 8, Issue 1 for advice on what these articles should cover. This article is found with the Instructions for Contributors.

'Law in Other Contexts' articles should be sent to:

Professor David Nelken
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

Upon acceptance of a paper, the authors will be asked to assign copyright to Cambridge University Press.


The journal publishes book reviews of 1,000 to 4,000 words and longer review essays. Please submit books for review, actual reviews or ideas for review to the Reviews Editor:

Professor Heinz Klug
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall
Wisconsin 53706

Special issues or themed sections

The journal also welcomes proposals for special issues or themed sections of the journal. We encourage you to look at past issues to see examples published by the journal in the past. A complete special issue will typically contain six articles and an introduction but shorter themed collections within a standard issue are also acceptable. Anyone with a proposal of this kind should contact one of the Editors-in-Chief.

Your proposal should include:

  • the title of the special issue or themed section
  • the rationale for this proposal
  • an overview of the collection
  • the titles, authors and ideally an abstract for all proposed articles
  • your expectations for word count
  • when you expect all content to be ready to publish
  • a confirmation that you understand you will be expected as Guest Editor to review and edit each contribution

All proposals will be reviewed by the Editors-in-Chief who also reserve the right to share with external reviewers.

Should your special issue or themed section be accepted, as Guest Editor of the issue or section you will be expected to:

  • work to a deadline which has been pre-agreed with the Editors-in-Chief
  • keep the Editors-in-Chief informed of how work is progressing
  • have each potential contribution double-blind peer reviewed
  • provide the reviews for each article alongside the final articles
  • content edit each article and put it into house style
  • ensure each article is complete including title, author name, abstract, all references complete
  • submit only articles that are publishable and ready for production

The Editors-in-Chief reserve the right to choose not to publish all or some of the articles if they are not satisfied they meet the journal’s quality standards.

Manuscript preparation

Articles should be written in English. They should not have been published already, nor should they be under consideration elsewhere.

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate.

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

Each article should be anonymised and accompanied by the following information on a separate sheet:

  • the title of the article
  • the author’s name, affiliation and institutional address, together with an e-mail address, and telephone and fax numbers
  • an abstract of 100-150 words

Articles should be between 8,000 and 12,000 words, including notes and references.

Please include 3 to 6 keywords to be published with your paper. The first keyword should be the relevant sub-field of law (for example family law). The second keyword should be any non-law discipline the paper engages with (for example sociology). The next keyword(s) should be any sub-topic/niche topic within this (for example children's rights). Any other keywords should address further themes, methodologies or specifics of your paper. If your paper focusses on a particular case or piece of legislation or considers a particular geographic region then those should be mentioned.

Authors should include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their Title Page.

  • Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.
  • Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work.
  • If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the Title Page must include Conflicts of Interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.
  • Example wording for a Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, the declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: Author A and Author B declare none”.
  • Articles must be word processed and double-spaced.

    Any articles containing material subject to copyright restrictions other than those owned or controlled by the contributor must be accompanied by appropriate permissions from the relevant copyright holder(s).

    For referencing use the Harvard-style system. Surname and date should be cited in the text, with a page reference where relevant, together with an alphabetically-ordered end list.

    Use the following style in the Reference List:

    Dworkin R (2000) Sovereign Virtue. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

    Daniels C R (1999) ‘Fathers, Mothers and Fetal Harm: Rethinking Gender Difference and Reproductive Responsibility’ in Lynn M Morgan and Meredith W. Michaels (eds) Fetal Subjects, Feminist Positions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 83–98.

    Macaulay S (2003) The Real and the Paper Deal: Empirical Pictures of Relationships, Complexity and the Urge for Transplant Rules. Modern Law Review 66, 44–79.

    Citations in new editions of previously published works should include the date of the original edition and the new edition in the text and in the reference list e.g. Mill (1859/1989)

    Footnotes should be used rather than end notes. Each time a case is referred to in the text, the case report reference should be set out in a footnote. One report reference is sufficient.

    References to UK statutes should be made as follows:

    Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s.25

    Statutory instruments should be referred to by name and date (i.e. short title) followed by the number e.g.

    Local Authorities (Smallholdings) Order 1974, SI 1974/396

    Tables should be presented on separate sheets at the end of the article and should have short descriptive titles. Figures should be clearly numbered and should have explanatory captions. The author must indicate where Tables and Figures should be placed in the text.

    Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the Journal but it must be clear that colour is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.


    Only essential typographical or factual errors may be changed at proof stage. Resist the temptation to revise or add to the text. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non- typographical errors.


    No paper offprints are provided, but the corresponding author will be sent the pdf of the published article. Print offprints may be purchased at extra cost at proof stage.

    Open Access

    Please visit for information on our open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

    Note: Full journal text is made available on Westlaw

    Last updated 10th May 2019

Checklist for journal article authors

The International Journal of Law in Context encourages junior scholars to submit their work to the journal and has put these tips together in support of this.

Selecting a topic

    • Consider the most interesting areas that have arisen in your research
    • Is there a topic you would like to test for a book?
    • Read widely around your research area to see what is topical and what others are writing and presenting on
    • Consider testing your topic at a conference before writing a full article
    • Discuss your ideas with colleagues

Writing your article in a way that is more likely to be published

    • Write in clear English
    • If English is not your first-language consider using a professional editing service
    • Ask colleagues to proof-read your work
    • Consider attending a writing workshop
    • Your article should present a detailed analysis rather than a simple narrative or commentary on a list of cases or legislation
    • Make sure your argument flows logically, using clear headings to break up the text
    • Take time to check your citations thoroughly, do not assume someone at the journal will do this
    • Ensure you are happy that your article is complete, do not expect to finesse your text or add additional material at a later stage
    • Once you have chosen a journal to submit to, use that journal’s instructions for authors or style guide to ensure the article is put into journal style
    • Closely follow the submission instructions for your chosen journal (e.g. some require submission by email, some through an electronic submission system)
    • Ensure you have adhered to any word limit for your selected journal (being over or under word count is likely to result in immediate rejection)
    • If a journal requires work to be anonymised, please eliminate any author details and anonymise any citations that refer to your own work
    • If a journal has an exclusive submission policy, please abide by this. Finding out an article has been submitted to another journal at the same time is likely to frustrate the editorial team and discourage publication this time or in the future

Choosing an appropriate journal

    • Read widely to give you a clear sense of which are the appropriate journals to your field
    • Read the scopes of journals carefully (often outlined inside a journal or on its webpages), if your article does not fit the scope of a journal it will likely be immediately rejected
    • Ask colleagues which journals they recommend for your particular topic
    • Consider what kind of audience you are hoping for – if a large audience is important than a generalist journal might be most appropriate; if you want to reach those most interested in your field, then a specialist journal may be the best way to go
    • If your piece is particularly innovative or provocative, look for journals that have a tendency to publish these kinds of work
    • Keep in mind that there are some journals that particular favour junior scholars – lookout for journals that offer a junior scholar’s prize
    • If fast publication is important consider publishing in a new or young journal which is likely to have less of a backlog between acceptance and publication
    • Is ranking important – check with colleagues whether your school has its own ranking list of journals and whether Impact Factor is important? Law is a field with few ranking lists but those that seem to count most are the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports that publishes Impact Factors, Scopus’ SCImago list and Washington and Lee’s law journal rankings

If you article is accepted

    • Take seriously any revisions suggested
    • Expect your article to be edited by the journal’s editorial team – treat these edits constructively, they have been made to bring the best out of your article
    • Respond to any queries from the editorial team or any copyeditor promptly
    • Be ready to check proofs quickly (many journals give just three days for this process)
    • Proof corrections should be limited to typos and errors of law, substantial changes to your article are not allowed by any journal at this stage
    • Expect to be asked to transfer your copyright to the journal and complete any documentation relating to this with care
    • Check the re-use and self-archiving policy of the journal carefully before considering re-publishing or archiving in a repository

What to do if your article is rejected

    • Ask for reasons
    • Try another journal
    • Take on board any feedback before submitting to another journal
    • Do not rule out trying this journal again in the future
    • Consider other types of submission such as writing a book review (a good way to show you are eager to write as well as increasing your profile and network of contacts)


International  Journal of Law in Context now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to International  Journal of Law in Context. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via

If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

Last updated June 12th, 2019