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Instructions for contributors

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International Review of the Red Cross

The International Review of the Red Cross invites the submission of articles on subjects relating to international humanitarian law, humanitarian policy, or humanitarian action, provided the article has not been published, submitted, or accepted elsewhere.

Important note: All manuscripts are submitted to an anonymous peer review process. The editorial team can therefore not guarantee publication of any submissions, be they solicited or spontaneous. Once the editorial team conducts its evaluation of a manuscript and takes into account the comments of the peer reviews, a notification of the acceptance, rejection or need for revision of the manuscript is given.

I. Preparation of Manuscripts

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.

Manuscripts should be submitted in Word format in 12 pt Times New Roman font with 1.5 line spacing (including for the footnotes).

Length: Manuscripts submitted to the Review should be approximately 10,000 words, footnotes included.

Abtract: All manuscripts should be accompanied by a short abstract (less than 100 words) summarizing the main content/argument of the article.

Keywords: A few keywords should be identified for easy web search and referencing

CV: All manuscripts should be accompanied by a short biography (one or two sentences per author) describing the current function/affiliation of the author. You may want to add your email contact if you wish it to appear in the Review. This information will appear following the affiliation of the author, below the title of the article in the Review.

Highlighting: No highlighting (bold, italics, underlined) should be used within the text body, except for italics for foreign language terms: e.g. a limine. Foreign organisations should not be set in italics.

Headings: Please do not use more than 3 different levels of headings

Title Level 1

Title Level 2

Title Level 3

II. Style

Please use British English spelling (labour, not labor; - judgement, not judgment (except in the case of legal judgments); but note -ize, not -ise).

Please use the spellings found at (use the main spelling rather than any spelling listed as ‘alternative’).


Punctuation points should be followed by a single space.

Double inverted commas should be used throughout. Single inverted commas should be reserved for quotations within quotations.

If the quotation forms a full sentence, the closing full stop should be inside the quotation mark.

Quoted passages of more than about forty words should be indented, without quotation marks.

Ellipses "…" should be used to indicate an omission of words within a quotation.

The first word after a colon should always be lower case, except for subtitles in references.

Centuries should be referred to as follows: twentieth century. When used adjectivally they should be hyphenated (e.g. twentieth-century phenomenon).

Please do not use Oxford commas, unless it actually helps clarify the list of items.

Capitals: Capitals should be used when

A specific reference is intended (e.g. the Parliament)

There is an abbreviation of a longer title/name, (e.g. the International Criminal Court (ICC))

Acronyms are used (ECHR)

Please note:

- "States" is always written with a capital S.

- "States party to + name of the treaty", but "States Parties".

- Occupying Power, Detaining Power, Protecting Power

- Capitals for official titles when followed with the person’s name (e.g.: "Minister of Health Joe Bloggs") but otherwise lower case (e.g. "The ICRC president met with the minister of health"). But Ministry of Health with capitals.


Abbreviations should be used as rarely as possible in the article, and only when indispensable (e.g. too frequent occurrence of otherwise complex expressions)

Abbreviations are generally followed by a full stop (Doc., Vol., No., Q.C.), except in the cases of acronyms (EU, USA, ECHR, UN) and after functions or titles (Mr and Dr, not Mr. and Dr.)

Abbreviations within footnotes and parentheses are permissible (e.g., etc., i.e., ibid.). Abbreviations of the Geneva Conventions and Protocols are also permissible after having spelt them out on first use (GC I/ GC II/etc./ AP I …).

Please use (ed.) but (eds)

Dates: Use the following style: 1 February 1989.

Numerals: Numerals below 100 should be spelt out, except for ages, which should always been given in digits. Please note: 10,000, not 10.000. Percentages should always be given in figures (e.g. 7%).

Italics: Case names and Latin expressions and abbreviations should be italicized (habeas corpus, mens rea, prima facie, ultra vires, de facto, ibid.).

Tables, graphs, and maps: should all have a brief descriptive title and a source.

Translations and emphasis: Please indicate in a footnote, between brackets, when the translation is yours "(our translation)" or when you add an emphasis in a citation "(emphasis added)".

Internet References:

For references available on the internet please indicate "available at:" followed by the full website link.

The first internet reference should indicate the date of the last visit for all subsequent references.

Example: …, available at: (all internet references were accessed in March 2014).

III. Footnotes and Bibliographical References

1. Doctrine

Books with one or multiple authors:

Names and surnames of all authors (use et al. only if there are more than three authors).

Title in italics, using headline case (initial caps) on all significant words. The subtitle should be separated from the title by a colon.

Volume, edition (if applicable)

Publisher, City, Year

Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable): use "p." or "pp." for page(s) and "para." or "paras" for paragraph(s).

Page ranges should be indicated as follows: pp. 34–35

Separate page citations within the same work: pp. 4 and 86.

Please use ff. instead of et seq.. (pp. 5 ff.)


- Priscilla Hayner, Unspeakable Truths: Confronting State Terror and Atrocity, Routledge, London, 2001, p. 100.

- Marco Sassòli, Antoine A. Bouvier and Anne Quintin, How Does Law Protect in War?, Vol. 1, 3rd ed., ICRC, Geneva, 2011, p. 343

Book chapters:

Names and surnames of all authors of the chapter

Title between double inverted commas


Names and surnames of all authors of the collective book, followed by (ed.)/(eds)

Title of the collective book in italics

Volume, edition (if applicable)

Publisher, City (and initials of the US State if applicable), Year

Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable): Please indicate only the relevant page(s), or the first page of the chapter if you want to refer to the whole chapter.


- Priscilla Hayner, "Fifteen Truth Commissions – 1974 to 1994: A Comparative Study", in Neil J. Kritz (ed.), Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes, Vol. 1, United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington DC, 1995, p. 229.

Journal Articles:

Names and surnames of all authors of the article

Title between double inverted commas

Name of the Journal in italics

Volume, edition, date, page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


- Tristan Ferraro, "Determining the Beginning and End of an Occupation Under International Humanitarian Law", International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 94, No. 885, Spring 2012, p. 133.

- Raoul Alfonsin, "‘Never Again’ in Argentina", Journal of Democracy, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2011, p. 19.

Blog posts:

Names and surnames of all authors of the blog post

Title between double inverted commas

Name of the blog

Date of the blog post

"available at:"

Full website link


Ian Scobbie, "Operationalising the Law of Armed Conflict for Dissident Forces in Libya", EJIL: Talk! Blog of the European Journal of International Law, 31 August 2011, available at:

NGO and Think-Tank Reports:

If the document cannot be attributed to a specific author:

Name of the NGO

Title of the Report in italics

Publisher and City (if applicable)


Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


- Human Rights Watch, Keeping the Momentum: One Year in the Life of the UN Human Rights Council, 22 September 2011.

If the document can be attributed to a specific author:

Names and surnames of all authors

Title of the report in italics

Type of document, Publisher and City (if applicable)


Page number and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


- Abby Stoddard, Adele Harmer and Victoria DiDomenico, Providing Aid in Insecure Environments: 2009 Update. Trends in Violence Against Aid Workers and the Operational Response: Why Violent Attacks on Aid Workers Are on the Increase, Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) Policy Brief No. 34, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, April 2009.


Names and surnames of all authors of the article

Title between double inverted commas

Name of the newspaper in italics

Date of the article

Page number (if applicable)


- Henri E. Cauvin, "Angolan Rebels in Disarray without Leader", New York Times, 27 February 2002, p. 3.

Personally conducted interviews:

- Personal interview with Peter Maurer, ICRC President, Geneva, March 2013.

- Anonymous interview with government official, Colombia, September 2013.

2. Case law

International case law:

Jurisdiction: please write the full name of the jurisdiction for its first mention, with an abbreviation between brackets.

Full name of the case in italics

Case number

Stage of procedure

ICJ Reports if applicable


Page and/or paragraph number (if applicable)


- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), The Prosecutor v. Jean-Paul Akayesu, Case No. ICTR-96-4-I, Judgment (Appeals Chamber), 1 June 2001, paras. 37–45.

- International Court of Justice (ICJ), Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment, ICJ Reports 1986, paras. 172–179.

National case law:

Please follow as far as possible the format of the national tribunal in accordance with the following examples:

- Israel

HCJ, 769/02, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment v. Israel and Others, ILDC 597 (IL 2006), para. 40.

- Germany

BGH (Federal Court of Justice), NJW 1992, p. 1672.


International Conventions, Protocols:-Protocol Additional tothe Geneva Conventions of 12 August1949,and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977, 1125 UNTS 3 (entered into force 7December 1978), Art.35(1).

"Article" in sentencesbut "Art." or "Arts" in references.

"Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions"(subsequent references in the same text: "common Article 3")in the body of the text; "common Art. 3 to the GC" in references.

Statutes:-Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 1998(entered intoforce 1 July 2002), UN Doc.A/CONF.183/9


UN or regional bodyDocuments:-Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary orArbitrary Executions, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2005/7, 22 December 2004,para. 45.

UN Resolutions:-UN GA Res.2857 (XXVI), 20 December 1971-UN SC Res. 181,7 August 1963

Commentaries:-Jean Pictet (ed.),Commentary on the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949,Vol.3:Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment ofPrisonersof War, ICRC, Geneva, 1960,p.542.-Yves Sandoz, Christophe Swinarski and Bruno Zimmermann (eds),Commentary on the Additional Protocols,ICRC, Geneva,1987, p.16

ICRC CustomaryLaw Study:-Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck (eds),CustomaryInternational Humanitarian Law, Vol. 1: Rules, Cambridge UniversityPress, Cambridge, 2005 (ICRC Customary Law Study).

Cross References:

Where there are subsequent references to the same work, use the initial of the name of the author,followed by his/her surname and by "above note 1, p.4" and not "supra note 1,p.4".


-T. Meron,above note1, p. 4

If more than one work of the same author have previously been cited in the same note, use a short form of the title work to indicate which one it is.


- T. Meron, "The Humanization of International Law", above note 3, p. 4.

"Ibid." is used where there are two or more consecutive references to the same work.

IV. How to treat editorial comments

Important note: Once the author receives his or her draft article from the Review team with editing notes and comments, it is important that the author goes through these edits and comments as soon as practicable to send the revised draft back to the Review staff, ideally within 2 to 3 weeks.

Changes: It is important that all changes to the draft be implemented using the "track changes" function, to enable the Review staff working on the article to easily identify the differences from the previous version.

Areas of disagreement: Should the author disagree with an edit or a comment and he or she does not wish to implement the change in the revised draft, the author should include a comment bubble giving, in one or two sentences, a brief reason for this disagreement and lack of implementation.

V. Open Access Policies

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

Last updated 21st April 2017