The McGill Law Journal is currently accepting English- and French-language submissions to be considered for publication. Submissions are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. The Journal is a generalist publication that welcomes submissions in all areas of Canadian or international law.

The submissions are subject to a rigorous review process, which includes peer review prior to acceptance. Submissions must respect the conditions outlined on this page to be considered.

Categories of Submissions

The McGill Law Journal encourages scholars and practitioners to submit manuscripts of various types. The most common categories of submissions are:

Articles: Strong preference will be given to articles between 10,000 and 15,000 words including footnotes. Where submissions considerably exceed this length, the Journal may require revision and resubmission before beginning the evaluation process. The Journal will not accept submissions that are unfinished theses, preliminary drafts, or book chapters. Articles must be accompanied by an abstract and a table of contents at the time of submission in order to be considered. The author must identify their institutional affiliations.

Essays and Responses: Essays should normally not exceed 10,000 words, including footnotes. The primary purpose of an essay is to advance a new idea, summarize a development, or initiate or engage in discussion. They may be narrower in scope than Articles, but the subject matter should be of general scholarly interest. Essays may experiment with style, tone, and voice. A strong Essay will start a new and interesting scholarly conversation.

Scholarly Responses to articles, essays and case comments should normally not exceed 7,000 words, including footnotes.

Essays and Responses must be accompanied by an abstract and a table of contents at the time of submission in order to be considered. The author must identify their institutional affiliations.

Case Comments: Case comments should not exceed 10,000 words including footnotes. Case comments must be accompanied by an abstract and a table of contents at the time of submission in order to be considered. The author must identify their institutional affiliations.

Book Reviews and Book Notes: The McGill Law Journal welcomes submissions of reviews and notes on books published within the 18 months preceding the submission. We maintain a list of specific books available for review (available upon request by email). Those interested in receiving a copy of a book should send us a short paragraph explaining how their background makes them well suited to review the proposed work, as well as a CV and list of publications. Please note that book reviews will be subject to the regular review process. The author must also identify their institutional affiliations.

Book reviews should not exceed 5,000 words including footnotes and must include a title. Book notes should not exceed 1,000 words including footnotes.

Submission Method

The Journal requires all submissions to be in Microsoft Word format and submitted through the Submission Form. The Journal does not accept manuscripts submitted via fax or standard mail. All submissions must be free of any references identifying the author.

Exclusivity Disclosure

The Journal does not accept submissions that are simultaneously under consideration by other publications. We ask that authors confirm their compliance with this policy when they complete the submission form; if we do not receive confirmation, we will ask an author to provide it, and we will only begin evaluating the submission upon receipt of this confirmation. Following the reception of the submission and the confirmation of exclusivity, the author will receive an acknowledgment of receipt in addition to an estimation of the time required for the Editorial Board to make a publication decision.

Citation Style

Please use footnotes rather than endnotes. Texts must use footnotes that adhere to the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th ed. The author must provide complete citations and ensure that pinpoints to specific pages or paragraphs are provided where required. Please cite only to proper sources (example: cite to the print version of a newspaper article or book instead of the online version), as citation accuracy is an important part of our selection process.

Copyright & Preprint Policy

Copyright for all manuscripts accepted for publication will remain with the author. However, the author must sign an agreement granting the Journal an exclusive license to publish the piece for the first time, in addition to a non-exclusive license to reproduce and distribute the text or extracts thereof. Any subsequent reproduction or republication of the text must bear the legend that it first appeared in this Journal. Furthermore, our agreement prohibits online posting of the published text until eight months after publication. Unedited manuscripts may be posted, but they must note that publication in the Journal is forthcoming and that texts may not be cited without permission.

Review Process

Once submitted, manuscripts are taken through a two-step formal evaluation process conducted by the Editorial Board and external reviewers. Only those articles that pass an internal evaluation by the Editorial Board will be sent out for external review.

The review process lasts between five (5) and fifteen (15) weeks. Please note that the review process may take up to four (4) weeks longer around the Faculty of Law’s examination periods (November–December and March–April). We consequently recommend that you submit your piece outside of these periods. Questions regarding the status of submissions may be sent to journal.law@mcgill.ca.

The following are some of the criteria used by the Editorial Board in assessing submissions:

  • Quality of scholarship: Quality and depth of research; originality of the author’s contribution, including presence of new and creative thought; plausibility of the author’s argument;
  • Literary quality: Writing style and organization of ideas, including language, syntax, and flow; and
  • Use of citations in footnotes: Over/under-referencing, accuracy of sources, relationship and relevance to the text.

Editorial Process

The editors of the Journal approach the task of editing with an ethic of respect for the style and ideas of the authors whose work we publish. All texts published in the Journal are edited so as to conform to the style rules contained in the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 9th ed. Where the Citation Guide is silent on technical issues of grammar or matters of style, the Journal edits in accordance with its internal style manual. For English texts, editing decisions are based on the most current editions of the Chicago Manual of Style and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, while French texts are edited in accordance with le Robert, le Grévisse and the Dictionnaire terminologique de l’office de la langue française. With respect to the addition, deletion, clarification, or reorganization of content, editorial decisions may be based on the comments of internal or external reviewers. Final decisions on such matters, however, are left to the author.

Authors are given appropriate opportunities to read and correct the proofs of the texts.

Every quotation and footnote published in the Journal is verified for both style and substantive content by an editorial team to ensure the accuracy and pertinence of the sources that are cited. This thorough editorial process is essential to the maintenance of the high academic standards of the Journal. If sources cited by an author cannot be obtained by the Journal, the author may be asked to provide the Journal with a copy of the source.

Further Questions

For further questions regarding submission requirements and the editorial process, please contact journal.law@mcgill.ca.

Submission Form

  • * Indicates required field

  • Author Information:

  • Submission Information:

  • (10,000 -15,000 preference for Articles (max. 20,000 incl. footnotes), 10,000 for Essays, 7,000 for Responses to Essays and Articles and Case Comments, 5,000 for Book Reviews)

The McGill Law Journal (the Journal) is committed to ensuring that all material published in the Journal is scrutinized according to the highest ethical standard. In pursuit of that standard, the Journal expects members of the Editorial Board, staff members, advisors, authors, and external reviewers to adhere to high ethical standards in their work.

The ethical standards and procedures outlined on this page are minimum expectations. The Journal also expects and ensures that all applicable copyright laws and policies are respected.

Ethical Expectations

Editors and Staff Members

Editors and all staff members engaged in the publication process at the Journal are expected to:

  • Take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of texts that include or are the product of research misconduct.
  • Make publication decisions based solely on the merit of the texts under consideration and their fit with the submission standards articulated by the Journal.
  • Take reasonable steps to ensure the integrity and accuracy of claims published in the Journal. Where necessary, this also implies that corrections, clarifications, and retractions should be published in a forthcoming and timely manner.
  • Ensure that the double-blind peer review process operates in a reasonably timely, confidential, impartial, and unbiased fashion.
  • Address ethical breaches, conflicts of interest, or possible infringements of intellectual property laws or policies in a timely and appropriate manner (see Procedures for Addressing Unethical Behaviour, below).
  • Ensure that all applicable copyright laws, rules, and procedures are followed.
  • Maintain accurate records.
  • Communicate with honesty and professionalism with authors, peer reviewers, advisors, and other individuals.

Authors

Authors of texts published in the Journal are expected to:

  • Declare any conflicts of interest.
  • Ensure that all research was conducted ethically. This implies that authors must ensure that their research adhered to the research ethics board guidelines for their institution, if relevant. If human subjects are involved in the research, this implies a high ethical duty.
  • Have contributed significantly to the research. This implies that “gift” or “guest” authorship is strictly prohibited.
  • List all individuals that have contributed significantly to the research as authors. This implies that “ghost authorship” is strictly prohibited.
  • Certify the exclusivity of their submission to the Journal.
  • Participate in the peer review process and address feedback from peer reviewers and the Editorial Board.
  • Ensure that no applicable copyright law or policy has been infringed in their text or in any images, graphics, or supplemental materials included with the text.
  • Cite all sources accurately and in accordance with the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation.
  • Immediately inform the Editorial Board of any errors, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations—whether inadvertent or not—discovered at any stage of the publication process. This implies a duty to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes even after a text has been published.

Peer Reviewers

External reviewers solicited by the Editorial Board to conduct a review of a text are expected to:

  • Disclose any conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest
  • Ensure confidentiality in the peer review process. Where reviewers are unable to ensure that the process is confidential, they are expected to withdraw from the assignment. This includes a duty to withdraw if the reviewer is reasonably certain of the identity of the author of the text that they have been asked to review.
  • Review texts in a timely, confidential, impartial, and unbiased fashion. Where reviewers are unable to do this, they must withdraw.
  • Advise the Editorial Board if they have any concerns regarding the originality of the text.
  • Not distribute the text they have been asked to review to any third party.

Procedures for Addressing Unethical Behaviour

Identifying Unethical Behaviour

Unethical behaviour by any actor involved in the publication process should be identified and disclosed to the Editorial Board. This includes any breach of the Ethical Expectations (above), any suspected infringement of applicable copyright law and policy, and any academic misconduct. For greater certainty, this implies that plagiarism, undeclared conflicts of interest, authorship falsification, and any other concern of this nature should be identified.

Where allegations are raised, the Editorial Board is expected to take them seriously and thoroughly investigate them (see below).

Investigating Unethical Behaviour

Where allegations of unethical behaviour are raised, the Editorial Board will gather evidence related to the allegations in a confidential manner. During the process of investigating the allegations, the Editorial Board will ensure that the allegations are not disseminated more widely than required to investigate thoroughly.

Any alleged misconduct that goes beyond the ability of the Editorial Board to investigate will be referred through appropriate channels to the author’s institution.

Consequences for Unethical Behaviour

If an ethical breach is confirmed by the Editorial Board, the consequence imposed will be one that is appropriate given the gravity of the ethical breach. In arriving at a response, the Editorial Board will consider whether the following sanctions (listed in ascending order of severity) are appropriate:

  1. Inform the individual who has committed the misconduct of the applicable ethical standards and the breach that has been noted.
  2. Warn the individual who has committed the misconduct that any further misconduct could result in more severe sanctions.
  3. Publish a statement from the Editorial Board outlining the ethical breach.
  4. Formally withdraw or retract the text and inform all relevant individuals and institutions of that withdrawal or retraction.
  5. Impose an embargo on any future submissions from the individual for a determinate period.
  6. Report the misconduct to the author’s academic institution, bar association, funding organization, or other regulatory association for review and action.