: Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines


The Alternative Law Journal welcomes contributions for publication in five categories:

  • articles up to 3500 words
  • briefs around 1000-1500 words
  • columns (variable lengths)
  • law & culture reviews up to 800 words
  • mentions 100 - 150 words

Articles and Briefs are welcome on a wide range of legal and social issues, for example, social justice, access to justice, the administration of justice, the environment, critical legal education, law reform, community lawyering, human rights, crime, family law, welfare law, freedom of information, refugee and immigration law, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law, Indigenous rights, women's rights, disability rights, sexual identity and the law, the Asia/Pacific region, race and the law, children's rights, consumer rights, workers' rights, rural and regional issues, social security law and issues relating to marginalised or disadvantaged people or groups. The journal is national and while articles and briefs may cover an issue in one state, it is desirable that comparisons are drawn with other jurisdictions, particularly in articles. Articles should generally focus on, or have an Australasian or comparative context.

It is preferred that articles/Briefs take a critical perspective and are written in plain English. Heavy, scholarly or overly legalistic articles are not encouraged. Casenotes, if they are simply reportage are not encouraged, but articles/briefs which take a critical or analytical perspective on interesting cases are welcome. Our readership is not only lawyers but a broad range of professional, government, academic and student readers. We see our niche as being somewhere between law journals and the mainstream media. We particularly discourage excessive footnotes.

Refereeing: Articles and Briefs are refereed by at least two independent reviewer, as well as the Editor.

Abstracts: Please supply an abstract with your article/brief. This will be posted on our website. The abstract should be concise (three or four sentences) and should summarise the main arguments in the item. For example:


Australian Workplace Agreements
by James Judge

This article describes the features of the new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). The author discusses the role of the Employment Advocate and how it is applying the 'no disadvantage' test. In particular he examines the AIRC's interpretation of the test in a number of cases, and finds that the protection offered by the no-disadvantage rule is limited by the need to show that approval of the AWAs is 'contrary to the public interest'.


Columns: The following columns are published regularly:

Legal Studies: class exercises prepared for secondary school students by a secondary legal studies teacher

Asia-Pacific: multidisciplinary insights, commentary, news from academics, government and the judiciary, representatives of local non-government organisations, community groups and international agencies involved with the Asia-Pacific region

Asia-Pacific column Editors: Rachel Ball & Melanie Schleiger This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

'Sit Down Girlie': legal issues from a feminist perspective

Sport and the Law: progressive critique of the organisation and rules governing sport and broader, cultural reflections on the links between sport, society, nationalism, politics and law in Australia

Sport and the Law column Editor: Ben Schokman This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DownUnderAllOver: a round-up of legal news from both State and federal jurisdictions

Each column has a coordinating editor. If you are interested in writing for a column please contact the relevant column editor or the Managing Editor

Law & Culture reviews: If you are interested in reviewing books please contact our Law & Culture Editor, Kate Galloway This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Reviews should list the following information: title, author, publisher, date, hard or soft cover, number of pages and price, set out as shown below.



The Case for an Australian Bill of Rights
by George Williams; UNSW Press 2004; 95 pp; $16.95 softcover.



Mentions: this section provides the opportunity for community organisations to publicise their activities, publications, staffing needs, and other events free of charge.


In general, the Alternative Law Journal follows the conventions specified in the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3nd edn) — http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/files/dmfile/FinalOnlinePDF-2012Reprint.pdf

Subheadings and structure: We use two levels of subheadings: (1) bold caps and lower case, and (2) bold italic caps and lower case. No numbering of sections, parts or headings is used. The structure should be kept simple. Lists of points are most often introduced by bullets but can be in the form (a), (b), (c) if they need to be referred back to.

Quotations: Material quoted from other sources which is more than four lines in length should be indented throughout and not enclosed in quotation marks. Printed, these quotes will appear in a smaller type size.

Quotes of less than four lines should be run on in the text but enclosed in single quotation marks.

Emphasis or italics: Words which require emphasis or to be printed in italics should be printed in italics or underlined.

Abbreviations and contractions: Do not use full stops in abbreviations (LSB, ABC, NSW) or in contractions (edn, dept, paras, s ss pp Vic).

Write in full words like section (normally abbreviated to s or ss) where they begin a sentence.

Numbers: Numbers under ten are written out in words. Exceptions are in expressing times, weights, measures, money and percentages when figures should always be used.

In numbers with four digits, eg 3050, all digits are run together. With larger numbers, use a space to indicate thousands, eg 32 567.

Capitals: In general do not capitalise unless the word is a specific proper name.

Footnotes: In the interests of maintaining a flowing and easily readable text and with a view to avoiding overly 'academic' style, footnotes should be kept to a minimum.

Where footnoting is essential, these should be numbered endnotes (ie not indicated by asterisks or other symbols), and listed under the heading 'References'.

Sample footnotes (for more guidance refer to Quick Reference at end of AGLC):

Journal article: Michael Head, 'Detention without Trial' (2005) 30(2) Alternative Law Journal 63, 64-5.

Book: Keith D Suter, World Law and the Wilderness (Friends of the Earth, 2nd ed, 1980) 3.

Chapter in edited book: Stanley Kober, 'Setting Dangerous International Precedents' in Ted Carpenter (ed), NATO's Empty Victory: A Postmortem on the Balkan War (Cato Institute, 2000) 11.

Newspaper article: Ellen Connolly, 'Strapped for Cash: Man Gets $2.5m for a 1984 Caning', Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney), 15 February 2005, 1.

Conference paper: Justice Clare L'Heureux-Daubé, 'Relationship Recognition: The Search for Equality' (Paper presented at the Discussion Forum on Relationships and the Law, Sydney, 7 July 2000).

Internet materials: Oxfam International, Flooding in the Philippines highlights urgency of climate leadership (28 September 2009) <http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2009-09-28/flooding-philippines-urgency-climate-leadership>.

Legislation: Australian Constitution s 51(xxix).

Cases: Australian Broadcasting Corporation v Lenah Game Meats Pty Ltd [2001] HCA 63 (Unreported, Gleeson CJ, Gaudron, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne and Callinan JJ, 15 November 2001) [40] (Gleeson CJ).


Note: As is the practice in Australia, we will not assess submissions that are under consideration by other journals.

Please email your article to the Alternative Law Journal, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Any correspondence may alternately be forwarded to Deb Candy, Managing Editor, Alternative Law Journal, c/- Law Faculty, MONASH UNIVERSITY, VIC 3800.

Editors will commission articles on topical subjects but unsolicited general material will be considered at any time.


The journal has a rotating editor system with each issue being edited by different editors in different states or territories. Articles are refereed but may be rejected by an editor without refereeing if they fail to comply with the basic criteria, for example, length. Articles may be returned to authors for revision before being accepted. The time taken to give a decision about acceptance is variable but we endeavour to keep it under six months.


If an editor makes substantial changes to a manuscript they will consult with the author. We will send proofs to authors of articles, briefs and columns but not book reviews unless specifically requested. The Managing Editor will send proofs by email. All authors are required to sign an Author Licence Agreement before their work is considered for publication.


General unsolicited articles can be submitted at any time and will be forwarded to the Editor of the next available edition.

Frequency of publication: The Journal is published four times a year.

All material, except Law & Culture reviews, should be sent to: Deb Candy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Alternative Law Journal, c/- Faculty of Law, Monash University, VICTORIA 3800; telephone 03 9905 3362.

Law & Culture reviews (please also cc This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to: Kate Galloway This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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