Westminster Law Review Style Guidelines

The Editorial Board welcome articles from any individual or group engaged in some form of original research, whether at undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral level or recently graduated. For the purposes of fairness we operate a blind peer review process. Therefore, all articles will be submitted to our Executive Director who will remove any identifying marks. You may submit your paper directly by completing the form on the right hand side or either email [email protected]. Please ensure you provide an abstract, a completed article with footnotes, and a full bibliography.

Please be aware that if you choose to submit either via our online facility or directly by emailing us the following terms apply:
1. You agree not to publish this piece elsewhere following receipt of feedback from the Westminster Law Review.
2. You confirm, with the exception of appropriately referenced material, that this piece is entirely your own original work.
3. You confirm that you have not submitted nor shall you submit, in part or in whole, this piece for publication elsewhere whilst it is under review or following acceptance.

Our Submission Deadline and Publication dates are as follows:

Submission Deadline Publication Date
Volume 4 Issue 1 30 November 2014 30 May 2015
Volume 5 Issue 1 30 May 2015 30 November 2015

For the purposes of a consistency throughout the journal authors must adhere to the style guidelines below Submissions not adhering to these guidelines will be returned for the necessary changes to be made prior to review.

Before you submit your article, please proofread for spelling, punctuation and grammar. If a submission has major errors in these areas, we will consider it unpublishable and return for changes to be made.

Word Count
All articles must be between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including footnotes. Articles between 4,500 and 5,000 may be publishable, but this depends on the quality of your article.

All comment pieces must be around 2,500 words, including footnotes, and book reviews must be between 700 and 1000 words, without footnotes.

All footnotes must be in written in style of OSCOLA, which you download from here.

Articles must be written in Calibri style, size 11, with multiple line spacing of 1.15.

We encourage sub-headings to break up the text for the purpose of readability. However, please do not use more than one level of sub-heading i.e. a main title (in bold and centred) at the top of the article and one level of subheading (in bold and left-justified, but without numbering).

Tables and graphics
Tables with data and graphics are acceptable if they illustrate a specific point in the text and not simply for aesthetic value. There must be a clear caption as to what is being shown, so that it is obvious why it has been included.

Please note that you must have the permission of the copyright holder to use any graphics. If you own the copyright, please write “© your name year” after the caption. We would recommend that you use pictures available under a Creative Commons License Agreement such as those on Wikimedia or those made available for press purposes.

Writing style
The Westminster Law Review is an academic journal and articles should be written accordingly. As there is often a difference between journal articles and academic dissertations, for the sake of clarity, an article being submitted should be in the following format:

The Introduction sets the scene, states the problem and summarises the overall argument of the article (e.g. ‘the article argues…’ or ‘this article will argue that…’). The Body of the article comprises a presentation of the “evidence” (whatever it is) and an analysis of it in order to “prove” your overall argument previously stated. As a rule of thumb, in each paragraph, you should state the point or overall argument of the paragraph, show the evidence for that argument, analyse the evidence and state the implications. Each sentence and paragraph should flow logically from the preceding one. The Conclusion is an overall summary of the Body and reflections. As a rule of thumb, each paragraph in the Conclusion is a summary of each section in the Body. There should be no new evidence presented in the Conclusion.

Whilst it is not essential, the academic editors have often found it useful to write the Body of the article first, followed by the Conclusion, with the Introduction written last in order to ensure a consistent and logical flow.

Book Reviews
A book review should be a fair and balanced assessment of the book in question, which should be of interest in some way to law students and academics. It should include:

  • The title should comprise the author or editor, title, publisher, place and year of publishing;
  • A summary of the key argument of the book and the evidence used to support this;
  • A discussion of the author’s methodological framework and how this relates to the work of other scholars working in the same field;
  • The identification of any gaps, omissions or problematic areas in the gathering of data and subsequent analysis and how it might have been possible to interpret this information differently;
  • How the book fits in with other research in the same field;
  • How the book will be of use or interest to law students or academics.

Comments are significantly shorter than articles and generally focus on a recent legal article, piece of legislation, legal decision or law-related book. They should express the author's opinion on one of these in an academic format e.g. a comment on a High Court decision.

Submissions should be written in the English language, with reference to English language sources in the footnotes. If the original document or text is in a language other than English, please cite the translated version, if it is publicly available. If however you have had to rely on a source in a language other than English and have translated it yourself or had someone translate it especially, please state the original document and the name of the translation, the year of translation and, if unpublished, a copy of the translated document (for us to make available on our website) or a link to the translated document.

Book reviews should be of books written in or translated into English.

Abbreviations and Colloquial Expressions
A phrase should be stated in full the first time it is used, for example ‘European Union’, ‘United Kingdom’ or ‘United Nations’, followed by its abbreviation in brackets, e.g. (E.U., U.K., U.N.). You can then refer to the abbreviation throughout the rest of the article.

If an abbreviation is usually pronounced like a word, then the full stops may be omitted, e.g. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Waste Resources Action Programme (Wrap), Liberal Democratic Party (Libdems).

Abbreviations which are accepted as words in their own right do not need to be spelled out, e.g. dongle. For the sake of clarity, if you are writing about mobile phone communications, please use ‘SMS messages’ rather than ‘text’.

Please only use colloquial expressions or slang if you have to make a particular, relevant point, and place it in double inverted commas (“…”) with a comment in the footnote for explanation.

A legal decision of a court is ‘judgment’ not ‘judgement’.

Every assertion you make must be backed by a particular source. If it is an assertion about the law or government policy, you should cite the relevant legislation, case law, policy document, press release, etc. It should be made clear when you are providing your own analysis of the evidence, with words like ‘Therefore’, ‘As a result’, etc.

Submit Online

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I agree not to publish this piece elsewhere following receipt of feedback from the Westminster Law Review.

I confirm, with the exception of appropriately referenced material, that this piece is entirely my own original work.

I confirm that I have not submitted nor shall I submit, in part or in whole, this piece for publication elsewhere whilst it is under review or following acceptance.