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International Review of the Red Cross

The International Review of the Red Cross is a peer-reviewed academic journal, produced by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and published by Cambridge University Press. First published in 1869, it is one of the oldest publications in the field of humanitarian law, policy and action.

The Review publishes three editions per year, each focused on a particular theme of importance for humanitarian law, policy and action. The Review's principle audiences include governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, humanitarian practitioners, academics, the media and all those interested in humanitarian issues. Driven by a desire to address humanitarian issues in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary way, the journal hosts contributions from various disciplines, such as law, political science, history, sociology, psychology and so on.

I. Submission of Manuscripts

The International Review of the Red Cross invites submissions of manuscripts on subjects relating to international humanitarian law, policy and action. Articles may be submitted in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. Selected submissions are translated into English if necessary.

Issues of the Review focus on particular topics, decided by the Editorial Board. Submissions related to these topics are particularly welcome. Open calls for papers for upcoming issues are available on the Review’s website.

Submissions must not have been submitted, accepted or published elsewhere. Articles are subjected to a peer-review process prior to acceptance. The final decision on publication is taken by the Managing Editor. The Review reserves the right to edit articles. More information on the editorial policy can be found in the Review’s guidelines for authors. Manuscripts may be sent by e-mail to:

II. Editorial Policy

The editorial line of the Review incorporates three core dimensions: 1) Humanitarian problems emanating from armed conflict and other situations of collective violence; 2) Operational humanitarian responses to those problems; and 3) Legal challenges or possible legal developments needed to respond to humanitarian challenges.

Manuscripts must be original, unpublished work. They must be academic in tone. The Review does not consider submissions that are currently being considered by other journals.

Opinions published in the Review reflect the authors’ views only. As the Review is produced and distributed by the ICRC, the Review reserves the right to reject submissions if their publication would jeopardize ICRC operations in the field.

Potential authors who work for the ICRC should refer to their employment contract to see the staff rules and regulations. Where the author is not speaking in his or her capacity as an ICRC employee, s/he may be asked to remove the affiliation from the author bio. Where the position is not the official position of the ICRC, a disclaimer may be added.

All authors are expected to take note of and follow the journal’s editorial policy. The editorial team reserves the right to reject a submission at any stage of the production process if it falls outside of its editorial line.

III. Revision and editing process

The editorial team cannot guarantee publication of any submissions, be they solicited or spontaneous.

All submissions undergo an initial screening by the Review’s editorial team prior to peer review. Manuscripts that provisionally meet the requirements of the journal are sent to peer review. Manuscripts that do not provisionally meet the requirements are returned without review.

The Review uses a double-blind anonymous peer review process. Peer reviewers are identified based on their expertise and can be members of the journal’s Editorial Board, ICRC staff, or external peer reviewers approached because of their specific expertise.

Based on the feedback of the peer reviewer(s), the editorial team evaluates the manuscript and notifies the author of one of the following possible outcomes: 1) Accept; 2) Accept with minor revisions; 3) Accept with major revisions; 4) Reject with invitation to resubmit; 5) Reject.

Once revised drafts of accepted manuscripts are received, the editorial team works with the author(s) to finalize the piece, consulting with the peer reviewer(s) for clarification where necessary. The manuscript is then sent to Cambridge University Press for copy editing and type setting.

IV. How to treat editorial comments

Once the author receives his or her draft article from the Review team with editing notes and comments, it is important that the author goes through these edits and comments as soon as practicable to send the revised draft back to the Review staff within the specified deadline.

Changes: It is important that all changes to the draft be implemented using the “track changes” function, to enable the Review staff working on the article to easily identify the differences from the previous version.

Areas of disagreement: Should the author disagree with an edit or a comment and he or she does not wish to implement the change in the revised draft, the author should include a comment bubble giving, in one or two sentences, a brief reason for this disagreement and lack of implementation.

V. Formatting requirements

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word format in 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1.5 line spacing (including for the footnotes).

  1. Length: Manuscripts submitted to the Review should be approximately 10,000 words, footnotes included.
  2. Abstract: All manuscripts should be accompanied by a short abstract (less than 100 words) summarizing the main content/argument of the article.
  3. Keywords: A few keywords should be identified for easy web search and referencing.
  4. Biography: All manuscripts should be accompanied by a short biography (one or two sentences per author) describing the current function/affiliation of the author. You may want to add your email contact if you wish it to appear in the Review. This information will appear following the affiliation of the author, below the title of the article in the Review.
  5. Highlighting: No highlighting (strong, italics, underlined) should be used within the text body, except for italics for foreign language terms: e.g. a limine. Foreign organisations should not be set in italics.
  6. Headings:Please do not use more than 3 different levels of headings:
    1. Title Level 1
    2. Title Level 2
    3. Title Level 3
  7. Spelling:
    1. Please use British English spelling (labour, not labor; - judgement, not judgment (except in the case of legal judgments); but note -ize, not -ise).
    2. Please use the spellings found at (use the main spelling rather than any spelling listed as ‘alternative’).
  8. Punctuation:
    1. Punctuation points should be followed by a single space.
    2. Double inverted commas should be used throughout. Single inverted commas should be reserved for quotations within quotations.
    3. If the quotation forms a full sentence, the closing full stop should be inside the quotation mark.
    4. Quoted passages of more than about forty words should be indented, without quotation marks.
    5. Ellipses “…” should be used to indicate an omission of words within a quotation.
    6. The first word after a colon should always be lower case, except for subtitles in references.
    7. Centuries should be referred to as follows: twentieth century. When used adjectivally they should be hyphenated (e.g. twentieth-century phenomenon).
    8. Please do not use Oxford commas, unless it actually helps clarify the list of items.
  9. Capitals: Capitals should be used when
    1. A specific reference is intended (e.g. the Parliament)
    2. Please note:
      1. “States” is always written with a capital S.
      2. “States party to + name of the treaty”, but “States Parties”.
      3. Occupying Power, Detaining Power, Protecting Power
      4. Capitals for official titles when followed with the person’s name (e.g.: “Minister of Health Joe Bloggs”) but otherwise lower case (e.g. “The ICRC president met with the minister of health”). But Ministry of Health with capitals
    3. Abbreviations:
      1. Abbreviations should be used as rarely as possible in the article, and only when indispensable (e.g. too frequent occurrence of otherwise complex expressions)
      2. Abbreviations are generally followed by a full stop (Doc., Vol., No., Q.C.), except in the cases of acronyms (EU, USA, ECHR, UN) and after functions or titles (Mr and Dr, not Mr. and Dr.)
      3. Abbreviations within footnotes and parentheses are permissible (e.g., etc., i.e., ibid.). Abbreviations of the Geneva Conventions and Protocols are also permissible after having spelt them out on first use (GC I/ GC II/etc./ AP I …).
      4. Please use (ed.) but (eds)
    4. Dates: Use the following style: 1 February 1989.
    5. Numerals: Numerals below 100 should be spelt out, except for ages, which should always been given in digits. Please note: 10,000, not 10.000. Percentages should always be given in figures (e.g. 7%).
    6. Italics: Case names and Latin expressions and abbreviations should be italicized (habeas corpus, mens rea, prima facie, ultra vires, de facto, ibid.).
    7. Tables, graphs, and maps: should all have a brief descriptive title and a source.
    8. Translations and emphasis: Please indicate in a footnote, between brackets, when the translation is yours “(our translation)” or when you add an emphasis in a citation “(emphasis added)”.
    9. Internet references:
        For references available on the internet please indicate “available at:” followed by the full website link. The first internet reference should indicate the date of the last visit for all subsequent references.
        Example: …, available at: (all internet references were accessed in March 2014).

    VI. Footnotes and referencing


    Books with one or multiple authors

    1. Names and surnames of all authors (use et al. only if there are more than three authors).
    2. Title in italics, using headline case (initial caps) on all significant words. The subtitle should be separated from the title by a colon.
    3. Edition, Volume number (if applicable)
    4. Publisher, city, year
    5. Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable): use “p.” or “pp.” for page(s) and “para.” or “paras” for paragraph(s).
      1. Page ranges should be indicated as follows: pp. 34–35
      2. Separate page citations within the same work: pp. 4 and 86.
      3. Please use ff. instead of et seq.. (pp. 5 ff.)


    1. Priscilla Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Confronting State Terror and Atrocity, Routledge, London, 2001, p. 100.
    2. Marco Sassòli, Antoine A. Bouvier and Anne Quintin, How Does Law Protect in War?, 3rd ed., Vol. 1, ICRC, Geneva, 2011, p. 343.

    Journal articles:

    1. Names and surnames of all authors of the article
    2. Title between double inverted commas
    3. Name of the journal in italics
    4. Volume number, issue number, date, relevant page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)
    5. When making a general citation to a whole essay or article rather than to any specific page, there is no need to include any page numbers in the citation; please do not include the full page range (ie. the first and last page numbers) of the essay, or the first page number only.


    1. Tristan Ferraro, “Determining the Beginning and End of an Occupation Under International Humanitarian Law”, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 94, No. 885, 2012, p. 133.
    2. Raoul Alfonsin, “‘Never Again’ in Argentina”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2011.

    Blog posts

    • Names and surnames of all authors of the blog post
    • Title between double inverted commas
    • Name of the blog in italics
    • Date of the blog post
    • “available at:”
    • Full website link


    NGO and Think-Tank reports:

    If the document cannot be attributed to a specific author:

    1. Name of the NGO
    2. Title of the report in italics
    3. Publisher (unless it is the same as the author) and city (if applicable)
    4. Date
    5. Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


    • Human Rights Watch, Keeping the Momentum: One Year in the Life of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, 22 September 2011.

    If the document can be attributed to a specific author:

    1. Names and surnames of all authors
    2. Title of the report in italics
    3. Type of document, publisher and city (if applicable)
    4. Date
    5. Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


    • Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer and Victoria DiDomenico, Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: 2009 Update. Trends in Violence Against Aid Workers and the Operational Response: Why Violent Attacks on Aid Workers Are on the Increase, Humanitarian Policy Group Policy Brief No. 34, Overseas Development Institute, London, April 2009.


    • Names and surnames of all authors
    • Title between double inverted commas
    • Name of the newspaper in italics
    • Date of the article
    • Page number (if applicable)


    • Henri E. Cauvin, “Angolan Rebels in Disarray without Leader”, New York Times, 27 February 2002, p. 3.

    Personally conducted interviews

    • Interview with Peter Maurer, ICRC President, Geneva, March 2013 (on file with author).
    • Anonymous interview with government official, Colombia, September 2013 (on file with author).

    Case law

    International case law

    • Jurisdiction
    • Full name of the case in italics
    • Case number
    • Stage of procedure
    • ICJ Reports if applicable
    • Date
    • Page and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


    • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, The Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-I, Judgment (Appeals Chamber), 1 June 2001, paras. 37–45.
    • International Court of Justice, Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment, ICJ Reports 1986, paras. 172–179.

    National case law

    Please follow as far as possible the format of the national tribunal in accordance with the following examples:

    • Israel
      HCJ, 769/02, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment v. Israel and Others, ILDC 597 (IL 2006), para. 40.
    • Germany
      BGH (Federal Court of Justice), NJW 1992, p. 1672.

    International Treaties

    International Conventions, Protocols:

    • Protocol Additional (I) to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1125 UNTS 3, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978), Art. 35(1).
    • Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (entered into force 21 October 1950), Art. 47.
      • “Article” in sentences but “Art.” or “Arts” in references.
      • “Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions” (subsequent references in the same text: “common Article 3”) in the body of the text; “common Art. 3 to the GC” in references.


    • Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, 17 July 1998 (entered into force 1 July 2002)


    UN or regional body Documents:

    • Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2005/7, 22 December 2004, para. 45.
      • UN Resolution:

        • UNGA Res. 2857 (XXVI), 20 December 1971
        • UNSC Res. 181, 7 August 1963


        • Jean Pictet (ed.), Commentary on the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, Vol. 3: Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, ICRC, Geneva, 1960, p. 542.
        • Yves Sandoz, Christophe Swinarski and Bruno Zimmermann (eds), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, p. 16

        ICRC Customary Law Study:

        • Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck (eds), Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol. 1: Rules, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005 (ICRC Customary Law Study).

        Cross References

        Where there are subsequent references to the same work, use the initial of the name of the author, followed by his/her surname and by “above note 1, p. 4” and not “supra note 1, p.4”.


        • T. Meron, above note 1, p. 4

        If more than one work of the same author have previously been cited in the same note, use a short form of the title work to indicate which one it is.


        • T. Meron, “The Humanization of International Law”, above note 3, p. 4.

        “Ibid.” is used where there are two or more consecutive references to the same work.

        Publishing your article as Gold Open Access

        You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.

        Last updated 21st January 2020.