Guidelines for Authors

Version 2.5 (28 January 2019)

Audience and Scope

The Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies is a biannual peer-reviewed journal published by Brill | Nijhoff. The objective of the Journal is to explore the application of international law to humanitarian crises and, more specifically, to examine the role that this legal framework plays in protecting human security during times of emergency. The Journal is aimed at scholars, public officials, military personnel, humanitarian workers, human rights advocates and students.

The scope of the Journal is broad and it publishes papers on international humanitarian legal issues including but not limited to: the law of international and non-international armed conflict; the protection of human rights during times of armed conflict; international refugee law; military law; disaster law; the law of post-conflict reconstruction; and international criminal law. The Journal seeks to deepen and broaden the understanding of these legal areas in their own right and in their interplay. The Journal encourages doctrinal, historical and theoretical scholarship, as well as policy-oriented perspectives.

The Journal welcomes contributions from academics and practitioners alike. It publishes two main categories of papers: articles (8,000–10,000 words) and notes (approximately 4,000 words). The Journal also publishes book reviews (500–1,500 words) and book review essays (2,000–4,000 words).

Ethical and Legal Conditions

Please note that submission of an article for publication in any of Brill’s journals implies that you have read and agreed to Brill’s Ethical and Legal Conditions.

The publication of a manuscript in a peer-reviewed work is expected to follow standards of ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: authors, editors, and reviewers. For more details, please refer to Brill’s Publication Ethics.

You are required to declare any competing interests, including any personal involvement or direct financial interest in a case or other matter being discussed. You are also required to disclose any financial support related to the manuscript.


The Journal will implement an online submission system in 2019. Meanwhile, please submit papers by emailing them to . Please read these guidelines before submitting a manuscript.

Please send all proposals to review books, and suggestions for books to review, to .

Peer Review and Editorial Policy

All papers published in the Journal, with the exception of book reviews, are subject to peer review. Papers that are outside the scope of the Journal, that do not comply with these guidelines or are otherwise judged to be unsuitable by the editors will be rejected without peer review. Appropriate papers are sent to at least two referees for evaluation. Referees advise on the originality and merit of the paper; the editors decide on publication.

The Journal is committed to processing submissions as quickly as possible. The editors will normally make a decision as to whether to send a paper to referees within two weeks. Referees will be asked to report within four weeks. However, the time before a final decision can be made will depend on the availability of referees and the nature of their feedback. The editors aim to give a final decision within two months and, whenever possible, to give reasons if they do not accept a paper.

Submission Requirements


To facilitate double-blind peer review, each submission should consist of two separate documents: a title page and an anonymised manuscript. Submit these documents in Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

The title page document should contain the following:

  • the title of the paper;
  • the names, affiliations, contact details and, where available, ORCID identifiers, of all authors;
  • any acknowledgements and/or disclaimers;
  • a declaration of any competing interests that are not apparent from affiliations or acknowledgments.

The anonymised manuscript document should contain the following:

  • the title of the paper;
  • an abstract of no more than 200 words;
  • between 5 and 10 keywords;
  • the manuscript text.

The anonymised manuscript document should not contain any of the authors’ names, affiliations, contact details or acknowledgements, or language that would clearly identify the authors (for example, ‘as I have argued elsewhere …’).


Manuscripts should be written in English. Spelling (American or British) should be consistent throughout. The Oxford English Dictionary, the New Oxford American Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary are acceptable sources for spelling.

Quotations may appear in a language other than English if there is no authentic text or official translation. Such quotations should be accompanied by a translation into English.

Gender-inclusive language should be used whenever possible. For example, use ‘person’ or ‘human’ rather than ‘man’ where appropriate. Use ‘he or she’ if needed, but consider plural where possible (for example,‘children receive their education’ instead of ‘a child receives his or her education’). Alternatively, the use of ‘they’ and ‘their’ as singular pronouns is acceptable (for example, ‘a child receives their education’).


The use of headings and subheadings is encouraged. Capitalise all significant words in headings. Distinguish headings clearly from the main text and number them as follows:

1    Top Level Heading
    First Level Subheading
1.1.1    Second Level Subheading

Do not number the introduction and conclusion.


For general matters of style, refer to New Hart’s Rules or the New Oxford Style Manual. Note in particular the following:

  • Use single, rather than double, inverted commas for short quotations in the main text. Use double inverted commas for quotations within quotations. Indent longer quotations without inverted commas. Place punctuation outside the closing quotation mark when the sentence is incomplete; otherwise, where the full stop belongs to the quotation, place it inside.
  • Introduce acronyms on first appearance – for example, International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (IMT). Do not use full stops in acronyms – UN, US, WHO, ECHR, OCHA, ILC.
  • Use italics for short foreign phrases or individual words (Cour de Cassation, lex specialis), names of cases (Nicaragua judgment, Prosecutor v Tadić), and the titles of books and periodicals (Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict, Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies). Do not italicise the titles of legal instruments.
  • Use italics for words or phrases that you wish to emphasise. When adding an emphasis in a quoted passage, indicate that in the corresponding footnote with (emphasis added).
  • Capitalise all significant words in titles of legal instruments, books and articles (Additional Protocol I, Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict), and when referring to specific rules, acts, organs and office-holders (Common Article 3, the Rome Statute, Security Council Resolution 1455, Appeals Chamber of the ICTY, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide). Capitalise the word ‘State’ when referring to a sovereign State.
  • Write dates as follows: 1 January 2011, 1992–1997, 1970s.


Provide all references in footnotes and format them according to the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA). Format any citation for a source not covered by OSCOLA as you see fit and highlight it for the benefit of the editors.


Use footnotes primarily for references; avoid discursive footnotes.



Upon acceptance, a PDF of the article proofs will be emailed to you. You are responsible for checking these proofs carefully for factual and typographic errors. You are strongly urged to make use of the Comment & Markup toolbar to note any corrections directly on the proofs. At this stage in the production process, only minor corrections are allowed. Alterations to the original manuscript at this stage will result in considerable delay in publication and, therefore, are not accepted. Please return proofs promptly.

Advance access

Articles are published online as soon as possible after they have been accepted for publication, in advance of their appearance in a printed issue of the Journal. Such Advance Access versions of articles can be cited by a unique Digital Object Identifier (DOI). When an article appears in an issue of the Journal, it is removed from the Advance Access page.


The publisher will provide you a PDF file of your article for your personal use. Brill is a RoMEO green publisher. You are allowed to post the PDF post-print version of your article on your own personal websites free of charge. This means you can show the article exactly as it appears in print. The institution that employs you may post the post-refereed, but pre-print version of your article free of charge on its repository. The post-refereed, pre-print version means the final accepted version of the manuscript before typesetting.

Consent to Publish

Transfer of Copyright

By submitting a manuscript, you agree that the copyright for the article is transferred to the publisher if and when the article is accepted for publication. For that purpose, you need to sign the Consent to Publish, which will be sent to you with the first proofs of the manuscript.

Open Access

Should you wish to publish the article in Open Access, you can choose the Brill Open option. This allows for non-exclusive Open Access publication under a Creative Commons license in exchange for an Article Publication Charge (APC), upon signing a special Brill Open Consent to Publish Form. More information on Brill Open, Brill’s Open Access Model and the Brill Open Consent to Publish Form can be found on