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Instructions for contributors

Asian Journal of International Law instructions for contributors Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (51 KB).

Asian Journal of International Law tips for first time authors Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (28 KB).

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Notes for Contributors and House Style

The Asian Journal of International Law is a publication of the Asian Society of International Law. It publishes peer-reviewed scholarly Articles (8,000 to 12,000 words excluding footnotes), shorter Notes & Comments (3,000 to 5,000 words, including footnotes), and Book Reviews (up to 1,000 words, including footnotes) on public and private international law. The regional focus of the Journal is broadly conceived. Some articles may focus specifically on Asian issues; others will bring one of the many Asian perspectives to bear on issues of global concern. Still others will be of more general interest to scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers located in or working on Asia.

The Journal is published in English as a matter of practical convenience rather than political endorsement. English-language reviews of books in other languages are particularly welcomed. Abstracts of selected articles in other Asian languages will be posted on the Journal’s website.

The Journal is produced for the Asian Society of International Law by the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and published by Cambridge University Press. For further information, visit


Articles, Notes & Comments, and Book Reviews should be submitted in Microsoft Word via the Journal’s ScholarOne website. Please read the guidelines below BEFORE submitting your work. Once your work is ready for publication, please click here to go to the submission site <>.

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors 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.

All articles are double-blind peer-reviewed. All submissions must be original and should not be under consideration for publication in any other forum.

Please visit for information on our open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.


2.1 Font

The abstract, indented quotations, and footnotes should be 10 point Times New Roman. All other text should be 12 point Times New Roman.

2.2 Titles

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

2.3 Abstract

All articles should be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 150 words in 10 point Times New Roman; not italicised; and indented both left and right by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.

2.4 Name and Autobiographical Notes

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. Where a name is indicated as the author of an article or view, or in a citation, the surname/family name shall appear in all capitals. For example: Alan TAN, OWADA Hisashi, XUE Hanqin, B.S. CHIMNI. It is not necessary to capitalize the family name when referring to an individual in the text.

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) (in parentheses) the institution(s) at which they were earned or jurisdictions in which they apply;

(iii) current title and institutional affiliation.

Acknowledgements (if any) may also be included.

Title of Article: Subtitle of Article

Given name SURNAME*

Institution, Country/Region

E-mail 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.

2.5 Headings

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

• First-level headings should be centred. Type in large capitals. Precede by capitalized roman numerals, e.g., 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, e.g., 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, e.g., 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, e.g., (a), (b), etc. End with a colon and run into text.

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

2.6 Quotations

Quotations should be clearly indicated and it is vital that they are accurate.

• Where letters or words are replaced or inserted within a quotation, the replacement or inserted letters or words should be indicated in square brackets "[ ]".

• Where words, phrases, or sentences are omitted within a quotation, the omission should be indicated by ellipses "…". No indication of punctuation before or after the ellipsis is necessary.

• Where the quotation will run to more than forty words it should be typed as a separate paragraph in 10 point Times New Roman, left-indented and right-indented by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.

• Double quotation marks should be inserted at the beginning and end of every quotation, but not when the entire quotation is indented.

• Single quotation marks should be used at the beginning and end of quotations within quotations enclosed by double quotation marks.

• Quotations of more than forty words within footnotes should be typed as a separate paragraph in 10 point Times New Roman, left-indented and right-indented by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.

2.7 Paragraphs

The first paragraph of new sections should be flush left. Subsequent paragraphs should be left-indented by 0.25" or 0.5 cm.

2.8 Numbering and/or Bullets

Numbered lists should be in 12 point Times New Roman, left-indented by 0.25" or 0.5 cm, and in the format that follows:

1. Point 1

2. Point 2

3. Point 3

Similarly, for bulleted lists:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

2.9 Use of Capital Letters

Where reference is made to a specific office, organization, or body then capital letters should be used. Where the reference is general or non-specific then lower-case letters should be used. For example: "A court must decide the case before it. The International Court of Justice is no exception. The Court cannot reinterpret…"

Titles of cited works will be capitalized in "title case". The following should therefore be capitalized: (i) the first word; (ii) if there is a subtitle, the first word of the subtitle; (iii) all other words in the title except articles ("the", "a", "an"), conjunctions ("and", "but", "or", etc.), and prepositions of fewer than five letters ("on", "with", but "Amongst", "Between").

Where a title includes hyphenated words, the first element is always capitalized. The second element is capitalized if it is a proper noun or adjective, or if the words have equal weight. Thus "Anti-American", "Multi-Polar", and "Down-Time", but "Re-imagining", "Follow-up", "Co-existence".

2.10 Abbreviations and Contractions

A period should be used in conjunction with all abbreviations and contractions except in the case of proper names. Please also note that there should not be a gap between the periods. For example, "Company" is abbreviated to "Co.", "exempli gratia" is abbreviated to "e.g.", "free trade agreements" is abbreviated to "F.T.A.s", and "Limited" is contracted to "Ltd.", whereas the "United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization" is abbreviated to "UNESCO", the "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" is abbreviated to

"ICCPR", and the "Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act" is abbreviated to "RECJA".

2.11 Spelling

British (as opposed to American) English will be used, with -ize rather than -ise. Thus "organization", "prioritize", etc. But note that some words must be spelled with -ise (advise, compromise, exercise, revise, supervise, etc.).

2.12 Foreign Words

Foreign words not currently absorbed into the English language should be italicized.

2.13 Lists

Lists of three or more items will use a comma before the last item. Thus "A, B, or C"; "D, E, and F" (not "A, B or C").

2.14 Numbers

Number ranges use the shortest pronounceable form. Thus 48–9, 523–34, 1023–123, 203–4, but 10–11, 112–13.

2.15 Diagrams

Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the Journal but it must be clear that colour is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

2.16 Notes & Comments

Notes & Comments are intended to discuss current developments in international law or offer a perspective on an issue of current concern. In some cases, Articles submitted to AsianJIL may be accepted as Notes & Comments with the requirement that they be edited down to meet the word limit of 3,000 to 5,000 words including footnotes.

2.17 Book Reviews

Book reviews have a 1000-word limit (including footnotes) and should be in 10 point Times New Roman. Footnotes should also be kept to a minimum. Reviewers should include all relevant information relating to the book reviewed. It should include the title of the book reviewed in italics, followed by the edition of the book being reviewed in parentheses "( )" if more than one edition has been published. This should be followed by the name(s) of the author(s)/editor(s) with surname/family name in all capitals.

The following publication information should also be included: place of publication, name of publisher, year of publication, total number of pages inclusive of the index (separate subtotals for preliminary matter, the tables and main text should be provided where they are separately numbered), the type of binding (softcover/hardcover), and the price of the book.

For example:

Reform and Development of Private International Law: Essays in Honour of Sir Peter North edited by James FAWCETT. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. xxxiii + 354 pp. Hardcover: £65.

Principles of Public International Law (6th ed.) by Ian BROWNLIE. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. xlii + 742 pp. Softcover: £36.99.

The byline should be flush right and the reviewer’s name be preceded by "reviewed by" in italics. The reviewer’s name should appear in the convention he/she prefers and the surname/family name typed in all capitals. For example: Alan TAN, OWADA Hisashi, XUE Hanqin, B.S. CHIMNI.

All book reviews should be submitted to the Book Review Editor, Prof Shirley Scott, and Associate Book Review Editor, Ms Lucia Oriana at

The Constitutionalization of International Law


Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. xx + 393 pp. Hardcover: £60; $120.

Text of book review

reviewed by TAN Hsien-Li


Citations should follow the examples of different materials below. The publishers are unable to check the accuracy of references and citations and it is the contributor’s responsibility to ensure that all references and citations are correct.

3.1 Secondary Materials

3.1.1 Books

John MO Shijian, International Commercial Law, 4th ed. (Chatswood, New South Wales: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2008) at 357.

M. SORNARAJAH, The International Law on Foreign Investment, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

XUE Hanqin, Transboundary Damage in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Subsequent citations to authors include only the family name and that is not capitalized—hence Sornarajah, supra note 12 at 34 (not SORNARAJAH, supra note…).

3.1.2 Edited Books

ODA Shigeru and OWADA Hisashi, eds., The Practice of Japan in International Law 1961–1970 (New York: Columbia University Press for University of Tokyo Press, 1982).

Béatrice POULIGNY, Simon CHESTERMAN, and Albrecht SCHNABEL, eds., After Mass Crime: Rebuilding States and Communities (Tokyo, New York: United Nations University Press, 2007).

Page 6 of 9 4th September 2014

Subsequent citations to editors include only the family name and that is not capitalized—hence Pouligny, Chesterman, and Schnabel, eds., supra note 12 at 34 (not POULIGNY, CHESTERMAN, and SCHNABEL, eds., supra note…).

3.1.3 Articles in Books

V.S. MANI, "The Friendly Relations Declaration and the International Court of Justice" in Antony ANGHIE and Garry STURGESS, eds., Legal Visions of the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of Judge Christopher Weeramantry (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 1998), 527.

Surya P. SUBEDI, "Regulation of Shared Water Resources in International Law: The Challenge of Balancing Competing Demands" in Surya P. SUBEDI, ed., International Watercourses Law for the 21st Century: The Case of the River Ganges Basin (Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2005), 7 at 11.

3.1.4 Journal Articles

ONUMA Yasuaki, "Towards an Intercivilizational Approach to Human Rights" (1997) 7 Asian Yearbook of International Law 21 at 34.

Shirley V. SCOTT, "Climate Change and Peak Oil as Threats to International Peace and Security: Is It Time for the Security Council to Legislate?" (2008) 9 Melbourne Journal of International Law 495.

3.1.5 Working Papers and Occasional Papers

Kanti BAJPAI, "Human Security: Concept and Measurement", Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Occasional Paper, 19 August 2000.

3.2 International Materials

3.2.1 Treaties

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 19 December 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, 6 I.L.M. 368 (entered into force 23 March 1976) [ICCPR].

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, 18 December 1979, GA Res. 34/180, UN Doc. A/34/46 (entered into force 3 September 1981) [CEDAW], art. 8.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 30 October 1947, 58 U.N.T.S. 187 (entered into force 1 January 1948) [GATT].

Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, 24 February 1976, online: ASEAN [Treaty of Amity and Cooperation].

Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 11 December 1997 (entered into force 16 February 2005), online: UNFCC [Kyoto Protocol].

3.2.2 UN Documents

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GA Res. 217 (III), UN Doc. A/810 (1948).

Fragmentation of International Law: Difficulties Arising from the Diversification and Expansion of International Law, Report of the Study Group of the International Law Commission (ILC), finalized by Martti KOSKENNIEMI, UN Doc.A/CN.4/L/682 (2006), at 104, para. 201 [ILC Study Group Report].

Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, World Conference on Human Rights, UN Doc. A/CONF.157/23 (1993), chapter I(5).

3.2.3 Judgments, Orders, and Advisory Opinions

Case concerning East Timor (Portugal v. Australia), [1995] I.C.J. Rep. 90 at 103.

Fisheries Jurisdiction Case (Spain v. Canada), Order of 8 May 1996, [1996] I.C.J. Rep. 58 at 59.

Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons Case, Advisory Opinion, [1996] I.C.J. Rep. 226 at 230.

Nuclear Tests Case (New Zealand v. France), Order of 22 September 1995, Dissenting Opinion of Judge Weeramantry, [1995] I.C.J. Rep. 288 at 341.

Case Concerning Land Reclamation by Singapore in and Around the Straits of Johor (Malaysia v. Singapore), Decision of 1 September 2005, [2007] XXVII Reports of International Arbitral Awards 133 at 133-45.

3.3 Electronic Resources (e.g. Institutional Reports, News Articles, etc.)

European Federation for Transport and Environment, "Bunker Fuels and the Kyoto Protocol: How ICAO and the IMO Failed the Climate Change Test" (June 2009), online: EFTE .

"Ships Hijacked by Rampant Somali Pirates Since Last Year" Xinhua (3 January 2010), online: Xinhua .

TAKANO Shingo, "Promoting EPAs Now Focus of Trade Efforts" Asahi Shimbun (1 January 2010), online: Asahi Shimbun .

"India Must Not Lag Behind in Climate Change Initiatives: PM" Times of India (3 January 2010), online: Times of India .

3.4 Repeat Citations

Subsequent citations should be in the form: Author, supra note 12 at 345.

For citations which repeat the citation in the immediate preceding footnote, please use ibid. For instance:

1 XUE Hanqin, Transboundary Damage in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid., at 21.

A checklist for publishing your first journal article: tips from the Asian Journal of International Law

The Asian Journal of International Law has put this short list of tips together to support first time authors. The journal is keen to attract scholarship from young and more junior scholars and in 2014 launched a young scholar’s prize for the best article published in the journal to encourage authorship from this group.

Note this is not specialist guidance to aid creation of the intellectual content of an article but more general advice on the mechanics of getting your article published.

Choose a journal appropriate to your article

When choosing where to publish your article it is important to check whether the content of your article fits with the scope of the journal. Most journals publish their scope in the first pages of the journal or on its webpages. The Asian Journal of International Law publishes content on all aspects of public and private international law. It is particularly interested in scholarship with an Asian dimension i.e. consideration of an Asian issue, bringing an Asian perspective to a wider global concern, or more general international legal issues of interest to scholars, practitioners, and policymakers located in or working on Asia. You should also consider your intended audience and whether a generalist or more specialist journal would be most appropriate for your purposes. As a young scholar it may also be worth looking for journals that have a clear track-record for publishing material from more junior scholars or that explicitlyencourage these kinds of submissions. Journals which offer prizes for articles written by young scholars (such as the Asian Journal of International Law’s prize) are one indicator of this.

Ensure your article is written in clear English

The Asian Journal of International Law only accepts articles written in English and this is the case with many journals seeking to attract a global audience. If you are not a native English speaker you should consider using a translator or asking a native to proof-read your article before submission. When checking your article think carefully about grammar. Make use of appropriate headings to give your piece structure and ensure your argument flows logically.

Attend suitable writing workshops

Make good use of the increasing number of sessions on offer at conferences and meetings on how to get published and how to write for journals.

Make an effort to follow the journal’s style

Consult the journal’s ‘Instructions for contributors’ which outlines the journal’s style in detail including citation and reference format. This will also give you important information about word count and how to submit. Most journals have a style sheet of this kind. A clearly written article conforming with the journal’s style guide will give a good first impression.

Read articles previously published in the journal

This will assist you in following the journal’s style as well as helping you to determine if your article is appropriate to the journal.

Ensure your article is complete

This includes all citations and references (check the journal’s ‘Instructions for Contributors’ for the level of detail needed). You should also realise that should your article be accepted the proofing stage is really just a chance to correct typos and you will not be given the chance to change your article substantially or add further text.

Ask colleagues for feedback on your article before submission

They may pick up on the kind of things that might give cause for an immediate reject or help you to ensure the article is in its best possible shape before submission. If you know anyone on the editorial board of the journal they may provide particularly helpful advice.

Follow the journal’s procedures for submission

These are normally found inside the print journal or on a journal’s webpages and might ask you to submit your piece directly to the Editor or in the Asian Journal of International Law’s case, to submit through its online submission system ScholarOne. It is important to follow these instructions or your piece may be lost.

Submit to one journal at a time

Unless expressly stated by a journal you should assume that a journal does not allow simultaneous submission and you should not submit to a second journal until your first journal has made its decision. The Asian Journal of International Law does not allow simultaneous submission.

Reacting to desk rejection

Some articles are rejected immediately without being sent out to peer reviewers. The most usual reasons for this are inappropriate topics for the journal and poor English. Should this happen to you think carefully about whether changes are needed before submitting to another journal and once more choose your journal carefully.

Treat peer feedback constructively

All articles progressing to peer-review will be double blind peer-reviewed; that is the anonymised article will be read by at least two reviewers who will remain anonymous to the author. Treat comments given to you by these reviewers with respect and react to them constructively. After all, these reviewers are trying to help you write the best article you can write.

Follow revision instructions carefully

Some articles may be accepted without revision but it is more likely that it will be accepted subject to some revisions or that you will be asked to revise and resubmit. In both cases respond to such direction promptly and be careful to respond to every revision you have been asked to make. If you have chosen not to follow a reviewer’s suggestion make sure you explain why you have made that choice clearly and persuasively. If you ignore these revision instructions your article could well be eventually rejected.

Check proofs and respond to queries promptly

Should your article be accepted, it will be copyedited and typeset before publication. You will receive a set of proofs and queries and you should check and respond to these quickly. It is in your interest for the article to publish promptly. As mentioned above, proofing is for correcting serious errors not for changing your text or adding additional material.

Complete any copyright documentation with care

All authors of the Asian Journal of International Law will be asked to transfer copyright to the journal. Please complete the form you will be given carefully. This is also a chance to ensure you have applied for any necessary permission for quotations from third sources; it is the author’s responsibility to seek permission to re-use such material not the journal. Note that the copyright form will also give you clear advice on how you can and cannot re-use your own article including posting on personal webpages, institutional repositories and SSRN.

If you are unsuccessful try again

In the case that your article is rejected please take on board any feedback given and try again. It is important to remember that many articles are being submitted to journals such as the Asian Journal of International Law and they have a high threshold for publication. It may be that you have one article that was not quite appropriate for this publication where another one might be just what we are looking for. Do also consider alternative types of submission such as writing a book review which can be a good way to show you are eager to write as well as get your name out there.

Finally, be confident

Remember, your article will be reviewed anonymously and so a high quality article written by a junior scholar has the same chance of being published as one written by a more senior academic.

For more advice on how to get published and more specific advice on determining the content of your article do take a look at the following useful webpages:

Asian Journal of International Law, July 2014