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Instructions for contributors

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Asian Journal of Comparative Law

The Asian Journal of Comparative Law (AsJCL) is the leading forum for research and discussion of the law and legal systems of Asia. It embraces work that is theoretical, empirical, socio-legal, doctrinal, or comparative that relates to one or more Asian legal systems, as well as work that compares one or more Asian legal systems with non-Asian systems. The AsJCL seeks articles which display an intimate knowledge of Asian legal systems, and thus provide a window into the way they work in practice. The AsJCL is an initiative of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI), an association established by 13 leading law schools in Asia and with a rapidly expanding membership base across Asia and in other regions around the world.

The AsJCL is dedicated to publishing manuscripts that provide innovative, high quality, authentic, and impactful research. The Journal takes pride in having an unparalleled team of editors based primarily in Asia who are leaders domestically and internationally in a wide variety of domains and jurisdictions. The combination of our exceptional editorial team, high quality peer-review system, reputation as the leading forum for Asian legal studies, and recent move to Cambridge University Press have resulted in a significant increase in quality submissions. As a result, the Journal now publishes less than one out of every ten submissions it receives. While this makes the job of our editors challenging, it also ensures that the Journal publishes only the highest quality research about the law and legal systems of Asia.


This document provides authors with details on policy, copyediting, formatting, and layout requirements for final manuscript submission to the AsJCL. All submissions must conform to the submission guidelines outlined below. Failure to do so may result in the submission being rejected.

The entire manuscript submission and review process is handled through an online workflow management system named ScholarOne. All manuscripts should be submitted using ScholarOne through the Journal’s website at:


Unpublished material: Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described is not copyrighted, published, or submitted elsewhere, except in abstract form. The corresponding author must ensure that all authors approve the manuscript before its submission.

Ethical conduct of research: The authors must describe and confirm safeguards to meet ethical standards.

Conflict of interest: When authors submit a manuscript, they are responsible for recognizing and disclosing financial and/or other conflicts of interest that might bias their work and/or could inappropriately influence his/her judgment. If no specified acknowledgement is given, the Publishers assume that no conflict of interest exists.

Declaration of funding: A declaration of sources of funding must be provided (if applicable). Authors must state the full official name of the funding body and grant numbers specified.

Copyright: Contributors of articles or reviews accepted for publication will be asked to assign copyright, on certain conditions, to the National University of Singapore. Cambridge University Press will provide a form for this purpose.


The ScholarOne system has been designed to improve the scholarly publication process for authors. Among the many improvements we offer over traditional journals, the most significant is that we have dramatically shortened the period between the initial submission and the final publication of a peer-reviewed article. Much of this time savings is due to the innovative use of electronic publication. These innovations, however, require certain changes in the way authors need to prepare accepted manuscripts for electronic publication.

All manuscripts must be written in clear and concise English. Spelling should be in British English instead of American English, and should use -ize instead of -ise (eg ‘emphasize’ instead of ‘emphasise’) and serial commas (ie ‘a, b, and c’ instead of ‘a, b and c’). Please note that while the AsJCL and Cambridge do provide a light copyedit of manuscripts for this journal, authors remain responsible for being their own copyeditors.


If you have reasons to doubt your English language proficiency then you may wish to employ—at your expense—the services of a professional language editor. There are a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation listed on the Cambridge Journals Online website which authors may contact as appropriate:

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.


  • Manuscripts should be submitted as Word, docx, or rtf.
  • If your manuscript contains special characters, equations, etc, please make sure to also supply a PDF version as a reference file. This will be used to ensure any formatting issues introduced during the submission process can be corrected accurately.
  • Please use the following document structure: (1) Introduction (see Section E below); (2) the Main Body, including References (see Section G below) and Tables, Figures, and Graphs (see Section H below); (3) Conclusion; and (4) Appendices (if any).
  • Please supply figures embedded in the text where relevant, as well as in separate files (see Section H below).



The AsJCL publishes peer-reviewed scholarly articles of around 10,000-15,000 words in length, including footnotes, and book reviews between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. The Journal does not publish case notes or shorter comments.


Contributions should have a title which is both concise and descriptive. Titles to articles should be centred in bold, italicized, and have title capitals.


All articles should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words in 10 point Times New Roman, not italicized, and indented both left and right by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.


Contributors are requested to supply their full name in whatever convention they personally prefer, not necessarily adopting the first name followed by last name convention (eg John Gillespie, Kon Sik Kim, Xue Hanqin, BS Chimni).

Autobiographical details should appear as the first footnote of each contribution [as an asterisk (*)], and include as separate sentences: (i) the contributor’s professional qualification(s); (ii) current title and institutional affiliation; and (iii) (in parentheses) the institution(s) at which they were earned or jurisdictions in which they apply. Acknowledgements (if any) may also be included.

Title of Article: Subtitle of Article

Given name Surname*

Institution, Country/Region

Email address

Abstract goes here


*Advocate & Solicitor (Singapore). Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. I wish to thank A, B, and C for comments on an earlier draft.


The number of levels of headings should not normally exceed four.

First-level headings should be centred. Type in all capitals. Precede by capitalized roman numerals (eg I., II., etc). Please note that it is the Journal’s style not to have the heading of "Introduction".


Second-level headings should be centred. Type with initial capitals for main words only and italicize. Preceded by capital letters (eg A., B., etc).

A. Second-Level Heading in Italics

Third-level headings should be flush left. Type with title capitals for the first word and proper names only and italicize. Precede by Arabic numbering (eg 1., 2., etc).

1. Third-level heading in italics

Fourth-level headings should be flush left. Type with title capitals for the first word and proper names only and italicize. Precede by lower-case letters in parentheses (eg (a), (b), etc). End with a colon and run into text.

(a) Fourth-level headings in italics: [Run into text…]


The use of abbreviations and acronyms is permitted provided they are defined the first time they are used (eg the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (AsJCL) or the Asian Law Institute (ASLI)). Full stops should not be used in abbreviations.

It is permissible to use a short author method of citation, for instance: As noted by Smith,1… with the accompanying footnote reference.

Quotations of up to three lines of text should be incorporated into the body of the text and enclosed in single quotation marks. Quotations within short quotations take double quotation marks.

Quotations longer than three lines in the body of the text should be set off as block quotations. Block quotations should be in 10 point font, not italicized, and indented both left and right by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.

Foreign words and phrases should be italicized in the text (but not within quotations) and a translation should be provided immediately afterwards in brackets or in a footnote, if required.

Case titles, any non-English text, and titles of books or movies should be set in italics.

Titles of articles should be set within single quotation marks.

To indicate text you wish to emphasize, use italics (rather than bold text or underlining).


The AsJCL adopts the legal citation formats set out in the Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA), the sole exception being that the name of scholarly journals and publishers should be spelled out in full in full citations. If in doubt, authors should consult OSCOLA (4th edition 2012, Hart Publishers). Some guidance is provided below and a quick reference guide is also available here:

Citations, references, and sources should be fully set out in footnotes to the text (not as endnotes or in-text citations). Some examples are provided below.

Citations of cases should give the name of the case, the neutral citation (if appropriate), the volume and first page of the relevant law report, and where necessary the court. If the name of the case is given in the text, it is not necessary to repeat it in the footnote:

R (Roberts) v Parole Board [2004] EWCA Civ 1031, [2005] QB 410

When citing legislation, a footnote is not required if all of the information the reader needs about the source is provided in the text. Where the text does not include the name of the Act or the relevant section, this should be provided in a footnote:

Human Rights Act 1998, s 2

References to books should be in the format:

John Owen Haley, Authority Without Power: Law and the Japanese Paradox (Oxford University Press 1992)

References to chapters in edited volumes should be in the format:

Kevin YL Tan, ‘As Efficient as the Best Businesses: Singapore’s Judicial System’ in Jiunn-rong Yeh and Wen-Chen Chang (eds), Asian Courts in Context (Cambridge University Press 2014)

References to journal articles should be in the format:

Bryan Mercurio and Daria Kim, ‘Foreign Direct Investment in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Why Singapore and not Hong Kong’ (2015) 10 Asian Journal of Comparative Law 235

References to newspapers and other news sources should be in the format:

Caroline Davies, ‘War Crimes Suspect "Has Fled to Britain"’ The Daily Telegraph (London, 28 December 1999) 5

References to internet sources should be in the format:

Caroline Davies, ‘War Crimes Suspect "Has Fled to Britain"’ (The Daily Telegraph, 28 December 1999) accessed 28 January 2014

Footnotes must appear at the bottom of the page on which they are referenced rather than at the end of the paper. Excessively long footnotes are better handled in an appendix.


General requirements

All illustrations must be of reproduction-ready quality and in EPS, TIF, or JPG format. They will be reduced in size to fit, whenever possible, the width of a single column.

Lettering of all figures within the article should be uniform in style (preferably a sans serif typeface like Helvetica) and of sufficient size (ca 8 pt). Uppercase letters A, B, C, etc should be used to identify parts of multi-part figures. Cite all figures in the text in numerical order.

Indicate the approximate placement of each figure. If figures are embedded within the text body of the manuscript, please submit these figures in separate files as well. Any figures which are not embedded in the text should be referenced in the text and submitted in separate files.

Only figures (graphs, line drawings, photographs, etc) should be labelled as ‘figures,’ not tables or equations.

Halftone figures

Figures (both grayscale and colour) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and be of good contrast. Authors are welcome to submit colour illustrations; online publication of colour figures is free of charge.

Line drawings

Line drawings must be of reproduction-ready quality. Please note that faint shading may be lost upon reproduction. When drawing bar graphs, use patterning instead of grey scales. Lettering of all figures should be uniform in style. A resolution of 1200 dpi is recommended.

Figure legends

Provide a short descriptive title and a legend to make each figure self-explanatory on separate pages. Explain all symbols used in the figures. Remember to use the same abbreviations as in the text body.


It is the authors’ responsibility to obtain permission to reproduce original or modified material that has been previously published. Any permissions fees are the responsibility of the author(s).


Number tables consecutively using Arabic numerals.

Tables should appear in the document near where they are referenced in the text. Provide a short descriptive title, column headings, and (if necessary) footnotes to make each table self-explanatory. Refer to tables in the text as Table 1, 2 etc. Use Table 1, etc in the table legends.

Tables must not be displayed as images.


Roman letters used in mathematical expressions as variables must be italicized. Roman letters used as part of multi-letter function names should not be italicized. Subscripts and superscripts must be a smaller font size than the main text.

Type short mathematical expressions inline. Longer expressions must appear as display math, as must expressions using many different levels (eg, such as fractions).

Ensure that Equations are typed or created with a plug-in, such as Word Formula Editor or MathType. Mathematical expressions must not be displayed as images.

Important definitions or concepts can also be set off as display math.

Number your equations sequentially and insert a blank line before and after each equation.

Equation numbers may be on the right or left, however, make sure to be consistent in this.

When proofing your document, pay particular attention to the rendering of the mathematics, especially symbols and notation drawn from other-than-standard fonts.


Book reviews must start with the citation of the book at the top of the first page in the format: Title of book, Author(s)/editor(s) (Place of publication: Publisher, year of publication) [no of pages. Hardcover/softcover: price].

All enquiries about placing a book review or having a book reviewed in the Journal should be directed to Ms Khairiyah binte Abu (Khai) at Asian Data Privacy Laws: Trade and Human Rights Perspectives

by Graham Greenleaf.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. xlii + 579 pp. Hardcover: £115.00.

Text of book review

reviewed by Simon Chesterman

National University of Singapore


Proofs will be sent to the corresponding author as a PDF via email for final proof reading. The proofs should be checked and any corrections returned by the date given. Authors should avoid making excessive corrections of non-typographical errors; the publisher reserves the right to charge the authors in such cases.

Authors will receive a PDF of the published paper free of charge which will be sent to the corresponding author. Paper offprints can be ordered in addition; an offprint order form will accompany the page proofs and should be completed and returned with the corrected proofs immediately.

Last updated 9 June 2016