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.