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Instructions for authors

During the Covid-19 crisis we understand that some authors may not have access to equipment to enable electronic return of a scanned, signed Author Publishing Agreement. If this applies to you, please see these FAQs. If you are able, please return the full Author Publishing Agreement as normal.

Download the Ecclesiastical Law Journal instructions for authors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (62.013 KB)

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The Ecclesiastical Law Journal is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Law Society. Launched in 1987 the Journal exists to foster and promote the study of all aspects of ecclesiastical law. With a primary focus on the study of the law of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion the content is now broader, encompassing the growing academic study of law and religion and human rights from ecumenical, international, social, historical and comparative perspectives. Articles and comment pieces relating to these areas of study are welcomed for consideration.

The Journal also carries news of relevant UK legislation and of the business of the governing bodies of certain British and Irish Churches. Case notes cover notable cases in the Consistory Courts of the Church of England and other forums where cases of interest are decided. Books for review are welcomed in relevant areas of study.

More information about the Ecclesiastical Law Society can be found at


Thank you for considering submitting your paper to us. Please read these instructions carefully and follow them as closely as possible, as doing so will ensure your submission matches the Journal’s requirements and, hopefully, will then go on to move through peer review to production and publication smoothly.

Articles or comments for publication should be sent by e-mail as a Word document (.doc or .docx) in the first instance to the Editor, Mr Benjamin Harrison, at

Proposals for book reviews should be sent to the Rev’d Russell Dewhurst at

Matters relating to case notes should be sent to Mr David Willink at

Matters relating to synod reports and parliamentary activities should be sent to Mr Frank Cranmer at

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 submitted article. Upon acceptance of a paper the author(s) will be asked to assign copyright to the Ecclesiastical Law Society.

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


The Journal is peer reviewed and operates (for submissions which have not been formally commissioned) a double anonymous refereeing process using members of the editorial board together with others expert in the particular field concerned.

All submissions are considered by the editor to ensure that the submission (1) meets the basic criteria set out in these instructions and (2) falls within the subject matter covered by the Journal. Submissions that do not meet these criteria will be rejected, and will not be sent for peer review.


Articles should be written in English. Submitted articles that require major editing to improve the standard of English are unlikely to be accepted. 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 Core published journal.


Articles should be in the region of 7,000 – 10,000 words. Shorter pieces for the Comment section of the journal should be in the region of 3,000 words and should not normally exceed 6,000 words.


All submitted work should be set in Times New Roman font 12 point, with the exception of the title (14 point) and footnotes (10 point). The body of the text should be 1.5 line spaced.

The abstract and footnotes should be single line spaced.

Footnote references should appear as consecutive superscript numbers in the text.

The title and the author’s name and post-nominals should be in capitals. The author’s institutional affiliation should appear on a separate line, thus:


Chancellor of the Dioceses of Chichester, Leeds, and Europe

The derivation of any paper or any acknowledgments should be stated at the end of the article, not as a footnote e.g.:

Acknowledgments: I am grateful to Mr Smith for his comments on an earlier draft of this article. All errors remain my own.


Primary sub-headings should be in Roman style, flush to the left-hand margin, in lower case (except for the initial letter) and in bold.

Secondary headings should be flush to the left-hand margin and in lower case (except for the initial letter) italicised and in bold.

Tertiary headings should be flush to the left-hand margin in lower case (except for the initial letter) and italicised.


The body of the text should be aligned left, with an indentation at the beginning of each paragraph and no line break between paragraphs.


A lengthy quotation (more than about 40 words) should be in a single block of indented text without inverted commas, preceded and followed by a single blank line. Italics used for emphasis should be noted in the footnotes (not in the text) with the words ‘emphasis in original’ or ‘emphasis added’.

Shorter quotations should come within the text within single inverted commas. Double inverted commas should only be used for a quotation within a quotation.


Lists should appear as follows:

i. First tier lists should be numbered in roman numerals, aligned with the left hand margin;

ii. Points should follow sequentially with each point beginning with a capital letter and ending in a semi colon;

iii. If there are to be sub-lists within a list they should appear as follows:

a. lower case letters are to be used;

b. otherwise the style is as above.

iv. The last point in a list ends in a full stop.


i. Full stops should be followed by a single space;

ii. Footnotes should appear outside (and not within) punctuation markings;

iii. Spellings should follow British English usage, except for quoted matter. ‘ise’ and ‘yse’ endings should be used;

iv. The serial or ‘Oxford’ comma (ie the one after ‘white’ in ‘red, white, and blue’) is used;

v. Possessive apostrophes should not be followed by ‘s’ after names ending in ‘s’ unless the names are of one syllable (eg Jesus’, Finnis’, Rawls’s);

vi. Excessive use of capitals should be avoided – thus ‘holy orders’ and ‘chancellor’, ‘the Archbishop of Canterbury’ but ‘the role of an archbishop’;

vii. Capital letters should be used for divine pronouns;

viii. ‘Church’ takes a capital letter when referring to the universal Church or the title of a particular Church, but lower case when referring to a church building;

ix. Dates are to be given as 12 February 2011;

x. Spans of years and numbers should be given in full without elision (eg 1914–1918), separated by an en-rule and not a hyphen;

xi. Numbers are generally written out in full up to ten, and then in figures thereafter. Discussions including numbers below and above ten should all be in figures. Numbers above 1,000 should have appropriate commas (eg 12,000, 1,000,000);

xii. Page numbers should read 12 or 17-23 and not be preceded by ‘p’;

xiii. Abbreviations may be used for brevity, but sparingly. They should be introduced in brackets at first mention (eg ‘the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)’);

xiv. Names should be rendered Mr Benjamin Harrison or Professor Mark Hill KC or the Rev'd Dr Will Adam but titles and post-nominal letters should only be used where necessary (e.g. KC, SC or for religious orders (OP, OSB etc) or honours (MBE, AM)).

xv. Abbreviations such as ibid and para are not followed by full stops, neither are they italicised; ‘e.g.’ and ‘i.e.’ should, however, use full stops);

xvi. Italics should be used for foreign language phrases where they do not occur regularly in common parlance (thus mutatis mutandis and inter alia are italicised, but not prima facie);

xvii. Accents should only be used sparingly and where necessary (e.g. Ladislas Örsy, Michał Rynkowski);

xviii. References to web urls should be written out in full between <> brackets and with a date of access inserted. eg <>, accessed24 September 2011.


References are very important to identify the source material underpinning an argument or identifying sources for further study. It is vital that they are both accurate and rendered exactly in house style. The primary function of references is to allow readers to find further information. The process of correcting references can lead to delays in publication. Citations should accord with the following examples, and follow the principles in OSCOLA (which can be accessed here:


Single- and multi-author books should be rendered

W Adam, Legal Flexibility and the Mission of the Church: dispensation and economy in ecclesiastical law (Farnham, 2011), 35.

P Rodopoulos, An Overview of Orthodox Canon Law (Rollinsford NH, 2007), 109-10.

Please note:

i. The author’s first initial only is given (no middle initials and first names) and there is no full-stop after initials;

ii. The publisher’s name is not used;

iii. Standard US State abbreviations are used for US places of publication;

iv. Subsequent references should cross refer to the first footnote which referred to the work e.g. Adam (note 23), 35; Rodopoulos (note 15), 109-110).

Chapters and journals

Chapters in edited volumes and articles in journals should be rendered:

R Ombres, ‘Ecclesiology, ecumenism and canon law’ in N Doe,M Hill and R Ombres (eds), English Canon Law (Cardiff, 1998), 48- 59, at 51.

R Trigg, ‘Religion in the public forum’, (2011) 13 Ecc LJ 274-286, at 284.

N Doe, ‘The positivist thesis in fifteenth-century legal theory and practice’ (1990) Journal of Legal History, 11:1, 29-39.

The titles of journals, unless very well known, should be written out in full for the sake of clarity. Abbreviations of well known journals should be set in Roman rather than italic type (eg CLJ, Crim LR, and Ecc LJ).

Case law

References to case law should be in the following form:

UK cases

O’Reilly v Mackman [1983] 2 AC 237 at 278D.

Re St John, Clayton [2021] ECC Lee 5, (2022) 24 Ecc LJ 265 at 266.

Aston Cantlow v Wallbank [2003] UKHL 37, [2004] 1 AC 546 at 582E-G.

References to the neutral citations (e.g. EWHC, EWCA, UKSC) should be included where possible, followed by the most authoritative Law Report available, as per the above examples.

Paragraph references should be indicated with ‘para’ rather than with square brackets.

European Cases

European cases should be cited according to the following examples:

Balogh v Hungary App no 47940/99 (ECtHR, 20 July 2004); or, for older cases, Johnston v Ireland (1986) Series A no 122.

Paragraph numbers should be cited using ‘para’.

Cases in the European Court of Justice and decisions of the European Commission should use the relevant neutral citation.

Older Cases

Cases from before 1865 should be cited using conventions found in OSCOLA using both nominal and English Reports citations where available and, for earlier cases, yearbook references. e.g.: Procurator General v Stone (1808) 1 Hagg Con 424, 161 ER 604.

Statutes, Measures and Statutory Instruments

References to legislation in the body of an article should be rendered in full, e.g.: ‘section 22 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018’ and ‘rule 5.2 of the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015’.

References to legislation in footnotes should be in the following form:

Human Rights Act 1998, s 5(1);

Churchwardens Measure 2001;

The Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) Order 1991, SI 1991/1743

Clergy Discipline Rules 2005, r 31(1)(a).

References to canons for the Church of England are rendered: Canon A 3 para 2; Canon B 43 para (1)(b).

For the Roman and Eastern Catholic Churches, use italics and indicate which code is being referred to e.g.: Code of Canon Law 1983, Canon 87; Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Canon 681 §1. Abbreviations (e.g. CIC, CCEO) may be used if there are frequent references. They should be introduced in brackets at first mention.

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

Parliamentary debates should be rendered in the following form:

HC Deb [or HL Deb] date, volume, column. So, e.g.,

HC Deb 4 July 1996, vol 280, col 505W.

HL Deb 12 November 2009, vol 714, col 893.

Websites and other online material

References to websites should follow this form:

‘Registration of civil partnerships, same sex marriage and related issues’, available at, accessed 29 April 2012.

N Schneider, ‘Searching for the legitimate secular: Löwith, Blumenberg Asad’,December 2006, 5, accessed 31 May 2012.


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.

Last revised January 2024