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Instructions for contributors

Download the Business and Human Rights Journal Style and Citation Guide here Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (239 KB).

Download the Guidelines for Developments in the Field submissions here Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (102 KB).

Download BHRJ's Tips for Early Career Authors here Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (642 KB).

All submissions to BHRJ should be made via ScholarOne

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Business and Human Rights Journal

The Business and Human Rights Journal (BHRJ) accepts submissions throughout the year on a rolling basis. The Editors welcome submissions on any business and human rights-related topic from scholars, judges, practitioners and civil society actors representing all parts of the world and working in any relevant field.

BHRJ publishes scholarly articles, short ‘Developments in the Field’ (DiF) pieces, and book reviews. The recommended length (including footnotes) is 9,000–12,000 words for articles, 1,500–2,500 words for DiF pieces, and 1,000–1,500 words for book reviews.

All articles should examine an issue concerning the intersection of business and human rights from a theoretical, empirical or policy/reform-oriented perspective and make an original contribution to scholarship. For DiF pieces, please also refer to BHRJ’s additional guidelines.

All manuscripts to BHRJ must be submitted via ScholarOne, and follow the guidance about 'style' and 'citation' laid out here.

style Guide

Abbreviations: All abbreviations (including common acronyms such as the UN and NGOs) should be spelt out in full on first use with the abbreviation in parentheses with no full points or quotation marks.

Abstract: All articles should be accompanied by an abstract of maximum 150 words outlining the central argument(s). The abstract should be italicised. DiF pieces should not have an abstract.

Anonymity: To facilitate the blind review process, authors should not mention any identifiable information anywhere but on the cover page of the manuscript.

Bullet Symbol: If necessary, please use this ‘•’ bullet symbol.

Capitalization: Capital letters should be used sparingly, for acronyms (BBC, OECD, UN, USA, WTO) and offices (Prime Minister, President, Secretary General), but not for government and state. Unless you are referring to a specific court, please do not use a capital ‘C’ for court(s).

Colour: Colour should only be used in figures, tables and graphs if essential to add clarity. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the Journal but a charge applies to print. At the time of submission, authors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour online only or also in print. For colour in print, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges.

Contributions: Please refer to scholarly papers as ‘articles’ and DiF papers as ‘pieces’.

Copyediting: All manuscripts will undergo a rigorous copyediting process. Authors will be sent a copyedited version for review and necessary revisions.

Copyright: All authors whose papers are accepted for publication will sign a copyright agreement with Cambridge University Press. Any material subject to copyright restrictions other than those owned or controlled by the contributor must be accompanied by appropriate permissions from the relevant copyright holder(s).

Cover Page: In order to facilitate double blind review process, authors must mention names, contact details and professional affiliations only on the cover page of the manuscript.

Currency: Use currency symbols before the amount in Arabic numbers, e.g., US$5 billion; UK£7 million; ¥20 billion.

Dates: Write dates as 1970s; 10 December 1948; twenty-first century.

Ellipses: Ellipses should be used with one space before and after: " … ".

Exclusive Submission: BHRJ has an exclusive submission policy. Only manuscripts which are not being considered for publication elsewhere or have not been previously published will be considered for publication.

Figures, Tables and Graphs: If figures, tables and graphs are used, these should be referenced in the main text such as ‘Table 1’ or ‘Figure 2’. Each figure, table and graph should have a title, which should be centre-aligned. Figures, tables and graphs should be placed at the end of the manuscript, but their approximate location should be clearly indicated within the text. On acceptance of your manuscript, all images should be sent as separate files, in our preferred file formats. Full information on how to prepare and supply your figures can be found at:

Font Size/Style and Line Spacing: All manuscripts should use Times New Roman 12 point for the main text and 10 point for footnotes. One-and half (1.5) line spacing is recommended for the main text.

Headings: The first letter of all important words in headings (except articles, prepositions and conjunctions) should be capitalised, e.g., ‘What is the Extent of Corporate Moral Rights and Duties?’. The following styles should be adopted for different layers of headings in articles and DiF pieces where appropriate:

I. FIRST LEVEL HEADING [14 pts, small caps, centre];
A. Second Level Heading [12 pts, bold, centre];
1. Third Level Heading [12 pts, italics, left-aligned].

Hyphens: Hyphens should be used consistently and only when necessary. Use, e.g., ‘long-term’, ‘first-order, but ‘cooperative' rather than co-operative, and 'coordinate' rather than co-ordinate.

Italics: Italicised text should be used for case names, Latin and other foreign language words, and to add emphasis. The title of national statutes and regional/international instruments in the main text or in footnotes should not be italicised.

Keywords: Authors should list up to five keywords on the cover page, in alphabetical order, in plain text, separated with commas. The term ‘business and human rights’ should not be used since this is the name of the journal and is redundant.

Language: BHRJ encourages authors to use gender neutral language.

Lists: Numbered/lettered lists should be separated using semi-colons.

Numbers: Numerals up to and including ten should be spelt out. Commas should be used in numbers with four or more figures, e.g., 14,000.

Offprint: Authors will be provided with an electronic PDF file of their published article for their personal use subject to the conditions of the Copyright Assignment Form.

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

Page Number Ranges: Use shortest possible figure that makes sense, e.g., 1–6; 12–14; 33–8; 135–42. Page numbers should be separated with an ‘en’ dash: –.

Percentage sign: The percentage sign (‘%’) should be used only in tables and figures. Otherwise please use ‘per cent’ in the text.

Proofs: Final page proofs will be sent to authors for review and correcting minor typographical errors or factual mistakes.

Quotations and Quotation Marks: Quotations over 50 words should be indented. No quotation marks should be used for indented quotations. Otherwise, single quotation marks should be used consistently, with double quotation marks for quotes within a quotation.

References: All references should be cited in footnotes (rather than endnotes) numbered consecutively through the article and in accordance with the Citation Guide at the end of this document.

Review Process: All papers will be desk-reviewed initially by the Editors-in-Chief and then suitable papers will be sent out for double blind review. Although an attempt will be made to communicate a decision to authors about the publication of their paper as soon as possible, the process is expected to take about two to three months from the date of submission.

Spelling: Apart from quoted text, British spelling following the Oxford English Dictionary or the Concise Oxford Dictionary should be used. Use ‘z’ rather than ‘s’ in words such as ‘organize’, where there is a choice.

Title: The title of the paper should be precise but at the same time indicative of its content.

Use of ‘e.g.’ and ‘i.e.’: Insert a comma both before and after these abbreviations – , e.g., / , i.e.,.

Use of ‘Cf’, ‘Ibid’, ‘et al’, ‘para’, ‘art’, ‘sec’: Please do not insert a full point after these unless used at the end of a sentence – e.g., ibid, note 7; Cooper et al; para 23; art 5(c); sec 42.

Citation Guide

Specific Rules


Denis G Arnold, ‘Global Justice and International Business’ (2013) 23 Business Ethics Quarterly 125, 127.

Daniel WL Wang, ‘Right to Health Litigation in Brazil: The Problem and the Institutional Responses’ (2015) 15:4 Human Rights Law Review 617.


Henry Shue, Basic Rights: Subsistence, Affluence, and US Foreign Policy, 2nd edn. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996) 51.

Philip Alston (ed.), Non-State Actors and Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Book chapters

Simon Chesterman, ‘Laws, Standards or Voluntary Guidelines?’ in Gro Nystuen, Andreas Follesdal and Ola Mestad (eds.), Human Rights, Corporate Complicity and Disinvestment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) 183, 187.

Court cases

Esther Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum 133 S Ct 1659 (2013); Chandler v Cape plc [2012] EWCA (Civ) 525. The ‘v’ of versus should be in Italics and without a full point.

International instruments

International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, UN Doc 973 UNTS 4 (adopted on 29 November 1969, entered into force on 19 June 1975), art 5.

Internet sources

Internet sources must include the last date on which the URL was accessed and follow the following style:

Pratap Chatterjee, ‘Four Blackwater Guards Found Guilty in 2007 Baghdad Killings’, CorpWatch Blog (25 October 2014), (accessed 31 July 2015).

UN Global Compact, ‘The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact’, (accessed 31 July 2015).

Newspapers and magazines

Jennifer Ngo, ‘Contracts Deprive Cleaners of Benefits’, South China Morning Post (21 September 2014) 3.

‘Just Good Busines’, The Economist (17 January 2008), (accessed 31 July 2015).


Alien Tort Statute 1789 (US); Companies Act 2006 (UK), sec 217; Constitution of India 1950, art 21.

Tables and figures

All tables and figures should be numbered consecutively and have a centre-aligned heading, e.g., ‘Table 1: Number of companies with a human rights policy’.

Unpublished conference papers

Chris Jochnick, ‘Shifting Power on Business and Human Rights’, paper presented at the conference on ‘Implementing the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: A South-Initiated North-South Dialogue’, organized by the Watson Institute and Dejusticia on 20–22 February 2014.

UN/ILO/OECD reports

Human Rights Council, ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework’, A/HRC/17/31 (21 March 2011).

International Labour Organization, World Social Protection Report 2014-15: Building Economic Recovery, Inclusive Development and Social Justice (Geneva: ILO, 2014).

Working papers

Susan Marks, ‘Four Human Rights Myths’, LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Papers 10/2012, (accessed 31 July 2015).

Elaine Sternberg, ‘The Stakeholder Concept: A Mistaken Doctrine’, Foundation for Business Responsibilities, Issue Paper No. 4 (November 1999), (accessed 31 July 2015).

General Rules

Cross references

Use ‘Ibid’ when referring to a source cited in the footnote immediately above. In other cases, use the following format: Author’s last name, note x, page number. If referring to a footnote that has two sources from the same author, add year of publication after the author’s name: i.e., Author’s last name (year), note xii, page number. Please do not use ‘supra’ or ‘infra’.

Multiple authors

If there are more than three authors, use ‘et al’ after mentioning the first author’s name.

Multiple Sources

Multiple sources cited in a footnote should be separated with a full point or semi-colons as appropriate.


Unless it is necessary to refer to specific page numbers of an article or book chapter, it is sufficient to mention the first page number of the article or book chapter. If a book is cited only as a general supporting authority, it may not be necessary give a specific page number. Please do not use ‘ff’ or ‘p / pp’.

Pinpoint citation

When the author is directly quoting from another source or is referring to a specific proposition within a source, the exact page number of a source should be given to provide a pinpoint citation, e.g., Chandler v Cape plc [2012] EWCA (Civ) 525, 529.

Use of ‘see’ etc.

If a cited source is a direct authority for a particular proposition or claim, please do not use ‘see’ before the source as a matter of routine. Other terms such as ‘see also’, ‘see generally’, ‘but see’, and ‘see, e.g.,’ should be used keeping in mind the given context. For example, if a source contradicts or presents an opposing view of the author’s statement, use of ‘but see’ is appropriate.

Last updated 21 February 2017

Guidelines for Developments in the Field submissions

The Business and Human Rights Journal (BHRJ) welcomes submissions for the Developments in the Field (DiF) section from a wide variety of contributors including scholars, human rights advocates, government officials, civil society actors and business representatives. DiF submissions should be short pieces of approximately 1,500-2,500 words (including footnotes), focused on timely and current milestones, innovations or other developments in the field of business and human rights and related areas.

DiF submissions differ from scholarly articles that offer original and in-depth academic research on the intersection of business and human rights. DiF pieces should offer concise and timely description and evaluation of emerging trends and notable activities or events relating to business and human rights. Ideally, the focus should be on capturing a concrete and specific development or series of developments. A piece might, for example, focus on legislation that has been enacted. A discussion of draft legislation may also be appropriate, but only if it is illustrative of an evolving trend in state practice or civil society activism.

DiF pieces should extend beyond a short blog post or newsletter summary of a recent development. They should typically do more than merely summarise a single judicial decision or piece of legislation. Rather, they should explore trends, themes, or provide analysis of a specific case study in further detail. A piece analysing several key judicial decisions may also be suitable for a DiF submission.

The term ‘field’ indicates that the editors seek pieces that capture developments in diverse settings and from diverse geographies. These would include contributions from or about communities impacted by corporate activity, social activists working on the ground to enhance business respect for human rights, teachers innovating in classrooms, corporate executives devising and implementing responsible business practices, legislators and policy makers deliberating on legal reforms, and courts as well as national human rights institutions developing tools or strategies to strengthen access to justice for victims.

Examples of relevant subject areas for DiF submissions include but are not limited to:

 Case studies demonstrating human rights internalisation, compliance and innovation by companies;

 Teaching innovations in the area of business and human rights;

 The state duty to protect and how governments are developing and implementing national action plans;

 Trends in access to remedy – judicial (national courts, regional courts) or non-judicial;

 Developments in how various business sectors are addressing human rights;

 Assessment of new tools and benchmarking efforts to assess how companies respect human rights;

 Regional developments in business and human rights; and

 Significant innovations in the interactions of NGOs, business, and citizen groups on human rights protection.

Contributors should refer to the general instructions for contributors for style and citation requirements.

DiF submissions will not ordinarily be subject to the double blind peer review process used for longer scholarly articles. DiF submissions may, however, be sent for blind peer review to the BHRJ’s DiF Panel members for feedback on the significance and timeliness of a piece.

Potential DiF contributors, should feel free to get in touch with any of the Editors-in-Chief or via the general email We prefer to review succinct 200 word proposals which describe the topic on which authors propose to write and provide biographical notes about the authors describing their relevant expertise. If we accepta submission for a DiF piece the authors will be assigned to an Editor who will guide the completion of the article. We will also consider unsolicited submissions sent to the journal and submitted via Scholar One:

Last updated 24th August 2015