Tag: Legal Journals and Law Reviews

Too many guides, not enough style

New Zealand style guide cover, via the NZ Law Foundation websiteMy previous post on the advent of the Irish Law Journal led to some quite interesting discussion about the nature of citation styles and how crowded the market for legal journals in Ireland is.

By way of supplement, I see that 15 Lambton Quay records the final publication of New Zealand’s uniform style guide. I blogged about it at the proposal stage here. Up until now, Law schools, law firms, publishers and courts have been using their own idiosyncratic and confusing styles when referring to legal material. Now, New Zealand’s six law schools, three main legal publishers, major law reviews, and a number of courts, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, have adopted the guide this year. From the 15 Lambton Quay website [with added links]:

The Guide was launched by Justice John McGrath. A uniform guide has been a long time coming! .. The new guide is the result of the combined efforts of many across the profession. Justice Chambers of the Court of Appeal spearheaded the project … The guide was only made possible through generous funding from the New Zealand Law Foundation. …

A web-based version of the guide has been made available on the New Zealand law Foundation’s website. In my earlier post, by reference to the New Zealand rugby team, I proposed, not quite tongue in cheek, that since the dominant US style is the Bluebook, perhaps we should call the New Zealand style guide the All Black Book. This is even more likely now that it has been published with an All Black cover, above left.

As for the the Bluebook, its 19th edition has recently been published, along with the 7th edition of the McGill Guide, and the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. In my view, there now are far too many style guides world-wide, and some consolidation would be very beneficial.

A new development in Irish legal journal publishing

Irish Law Journal logoIn the US, most law journals are run and edited by law students; every law school publishes its flagship law review; and many publish specialist journals as well. Outside the US, most law journals are run and edited by law faculty, and published by legal publishers. Moreover, outside the US, whilst student-edited journals publishing articles written by students are not uncommon, student-edited journals in the US sense, publishing articles written by academics, have been slow to take hold.

Hence, in Ireland, there are many traditional journals; and the student law reviews include the Cork Online Law Review, the Galway Student Law Review, the Irish Student Law Review, the Trinity College Law Review, and the UCD Law Review. Now, hot on the heels of the publication of the first volume of the Irish Journal of Legal Studies, I learn of the appearance of the Irish Law Journal, edited, run and published by students in the Department of Law at NUI Maynooth.

They aim to constitute a valuable academic resource providing a platform for discussion and debate by publishing novel scholarship that will have an immediate and lasting impact on the legal community in Ireland and abroad. They invite articles from academics, professionals and students of law or related disciplines; and they stress that, while each issue might have articles focused on Irish law, the journal’s remit is international, and submissions are welcome on all areas of the law irrespective of national boundaries.

They say that submissions should conform to the benighted Bluebook style. This is a very great mistake. Whilst almost (but not quite) ubiquitous in the US, it has gained little traction elsewhere, simply because it is ugly and unwieldy. There are many better alternatives, such as the Oxford Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). Indeed, at the Fourth Legal Education Symposium, Larry Donnelly and Rónán Kennedy of NUI Galway talked about the development of an Irish legal style guide as part of the Legal Writing project they are developing with Elaine Fahey (DIT) and Jennifer Schweppe (UL); and the Irish Law Journal might even break new ground by adopting that guide (unless it is too like the Bluebook, in which case my reservations about that apply!).

That caveat aside, this is an excellent venture that deserves to prosper. I look forward to the first volume and to a thriving future.

Fáilte, IJLS!

UCC Crest, via IJLS websiteAs prefigured here a little while ago, there is a new peer-reviewed Irish legal journal, the Irish Journal of Legal Studies. The publication of Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010 has just been announced on the journal’s homepage, and the contents of the first issue are as follows:

Sexual Violence: Witnesses and Suspects, a Debating Document by Mr Justice Peter Charleton and Stephen Byrne. From the abstract:

This article explores the rules of evidence and criminal procedure as they apply in sexual offence cases, in the context of recent empirical accounts of attrition rates in sexual offences, and having regard to the rights of the accused and the need to maintain a fair balance that limits the potential for injustice.

The Constitution and the Protestant Schools cuts Controversy: Seeing the Wood for the Trees by Eoin Daly. From the abstract:

This article argues that special financial arrangements for Protestant secondary schools, recently controversially withdrawan, constituted a species of constitutionally permissible, if not constitutionally required, accommodation of religion. This controversy also serves as a prism through which to view the broader limitations of the constitutional framework for the guarantee of religious freedom in the education context.

Managerialism in Irish Universities by Professor Steve Hedley. From the abstract:

This article considers the controversial concept of “managerialism” in modern Irish university law and practice.


Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes: Human Rights and the Elderly by Dr Frances Matthews. From the abstract:

This paper describes challenging behaviour in older adults; possible responses to that behaviour, including medication; the nature and use of antipsychotics; the rights threatened by the administration of such drugs; and possible solutions.

Book Review: Alison Mawhinney Freedom of Religion and Schools: The Case of Ireland (Saarbrücken, VDM Verlag, 2009 | Amazon) reviewed by Dr Conor O’Mahony. From the pdf:

The curious nature of the Irish primary school system, where schools are titled “National Schools” and funded by the State, but are exclusively owned and managed by private bodies, has been the object of some comment and litigation over the years. Dr Mawhinney’s work has made the picture a little clearer for all concerned.

NAIRTL logo, via IJLS websiteThe Irish Journal of Legal Studies is run by members of the Law Faculty, University College Cork, and is generously supported by a grant from the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning. This is a superb development. Well done to all concerned!

Congratulations, and welcome. Comhghairdeachas, agus fáilte.

Canadian style

Canadian flag, via official websiteNo, this isn’t a post about the Canadian blog and magazine Precedent: The new rules of law and style. Instead – following on from my posts about OSCOLA (here), the infamous Bluebook (here), minimalist styles for online journals (here), and an emerging Kiwi style (here) – this is a rather belated comment on a post by Simon Fodden on Slaw:

University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation Online

The newest version of the University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation, known as the Maroonbook, is available online in PDF. This brief — 77 page — competitor to the Bluebook is not directly applicable to us here in Canada, of course, but may assist with material filed in the United States. And it serves to remind us that we, too, ought to have available to us a free, online manual.

We’ve mooted this on Slaw a number of times, and, if some irons I’ve got in the fire at the moment get hot in the next few weeks, I’ll have more to say on a possible Slaw project to create such a manual.

Of interest, perhaps, is the fact that the Maroonbook advises us to “[o]mit periods and apostrophes whenever possible.” Slawyer Gary P. Rodrigues addressed the pesky point in The full stop in legal citation – has its time finally come?

There are two interesting nuggets of information here. First, the second edition of legal version of the Chicago Manual of Style is now fully available online. And second, there may soon be a Slaw project to create a similar manual for Canada. Is this a development too far. There are already many many style-sheets out there (some are even Canadian) – do we really need another one? Properly house-styled answers on a post-card please …

Announcing the Irish Law Quarterly

Image from Boole Library website, UCCIt is exciting news that there is to be a new online peer-reviewed Irish law journal, the Irish Law Quarterly. (Don’t be cynical: it is exciting news; and the world – or at least Ireland – really does need another one). According to the home page:

The ILQ is an innovative journal which aims at broad coverage of legal issues, national and international, both purely doctrinal and interdisciplinary. We aim at a diversity of high quality discussion of the law from any angle. Both commentary on current matters and more considered pieces are invited.

The ILQ is run by members of the Faculty of Law, UCC; and it is supported by a grant from the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL – I have a similar list in the comments to this post). Contributions are encouraged and readers are needed. Both will benefit: the ILQ will consist of the full mix of articles, review articles, book reviews, notes and comments, and in doing so it will provide another outlet for academic scholarship and considered debate about important legal topics.

Publication will be online (and, as a bonus, the website has a wonderful collection of links to other similar online journals). This is undoubtedly a good thing. But although I fully support this kind of open online publication, I have one quibble; it seems that publication is only to be in pdf format – now, pdf is a good thing if you want to print it out, and it is often a good thing if you want to read onscreen. However, in my view, it is not so good if you want to navigate on screen. For that, a html version is much better. In a perfect world, the ILQ would come in both flavours; but this is a very minor quibble about what is otherwise a very exciting development.

Read the website, email the journal, write something for it, and read it when it’s published. Long may it prosper!

Towards an All Black Book?

All Blacks' Silver Fern, via WikipediaBy way of update to my post on Legal Citation, I note that Geoff McLay on 15 Lambton Quay (the Faculty Blog for the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law) writes:

The proposed uniform legal style guide for New Zealand

A group of academics, editors and publishers led by myself and Justice Chambers has been developing a uniform New Zealand legal style guide. We hope that the guide will adopted by all New Zealand publishers, law schools and courts. We have released a consultation version. Any comments would be gratefully received and may be sent to Geoff McLay. The project has been supported by the New Zealand Law Foundation.

Will there be lots of full stops? Given that the dominant US style is the Blue Book, perhaps we should call any New Zealand style guide the All Black Book?

Bonus link: Gary Slapper has an entertaining Summer Quiz in today’s Times.

FoE in the EHRLR

EHRLR cover, via ECHR BlogThe current issue of the European Human Rights Law Review ([2009] 3 EHRLR | table of contents (pdf) | hat tip ECHR blog) contains a wonderful piece by my colleague Dr Ewa Komorek entitled “Is Media Pluralism a Human Right? The European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe and the Issue of Media Pluralism” [2009] 3 EHRLR 395.

Here is the abstract (with added links):

The need for pluralist media stopped being purely a national concern a long time ago and thus it has for decades been subject to scrutiny by the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. Media pluralism has always come to their agenda as a prerequisite for freedom of expression guarded by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. It is important to distinguish the two ‘faces’ of media pluralism: internal (which may also be called content pluralism or diversity) and external (or structural). This article focuses on television broadcasting and argues that while the Court of Human Rights has essentially been successful in safeguarding internal pluralism, the protection of structural pluralism proved more difficult to achieve by means of the Court’s case law. This prompted the Council of Europe to step in and attempt to fill the gap with regulatory proposals. The conclusion is that although there is still a need for a binding ex ante action at the European level aimed at safeguarding pluralism in this ever concentrating sector, the efforts of the Council of Europe and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights are vital for awareness raising and stimulating debate.

In Ewa’s view, therefore, media pluralism should be given a far stronger voice in European debates than it currently enjoys, and one way to achieve this would be to strength its status as a right not only in the Council of Europe but also in the EU. For example, Article 11(2) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights provides that “the freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected”, and Ewa’s compelling analysis of the cognate Article 10 can go a long way towards giving full effect to this provision. But this is not the only interesting piece in the journal. Indeed, this issue is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of fascinating articles: (more…)