How to Write for the ELSA Malta Law Review

How to Write for the
ELSA Malta Law Review
About ELSA
About ELSA Malta Law Review
Why Write
Some Guidelines
Academic Articles
Case Comments
Book Reviews
Review Process
EMLR Quick Reference Guide
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
MHRA Quick Reference Guide
About the European Law Students’
ELSA (European Law Students' Association) is an
international, independent, non-political, non-profitmaking organisation run by and for students. It is
comprised of students and recent graduates who are
interested in academic and personal excellence in addition
to their studies at their universities.
ELSA offers law students the perfect platform to develop
their existing skills, acquire new skills and meet fellow
students and legal professionals throughout Europe. Five
law students from Austria, Hungary, Poland and West
Germany founded ELSA in 1981.
Today ELSA is the world's largest independent law
students' association and it is represented at nearly 200
faculties in 41 countries across Europe with membership
in excess of 30 000 students and young lawyers.
The Maltese chapter of ELSA, ELSA Malta, was founded in
1991 and is recognised as a student organisation by the
Senate of the University of Malta.
About the ELSA Malta Law Review
The ELSA Malta Law Review is a student-edited law review
published by the European Law Students' Association
Malta. It was founded in 2010. The Law Review is published annually and is independent from the University of
The Law Review enjoys the support of the Chamber of Advocates (the Bar Association of Malta).
The Law Review is also part of the Social Science Research
Network’s Partners in Publishing program.
about elsa
malta law
Why Write for the Law Review
The ELSA Malta Law Review gives you the possibility of
researching a topic of interest with the ultimate aim of
publication in mind.
Contributing to the Law Review enables you to enhance
and ameliorate your research and writing skills. These
skills are indispensible tools in both academia and practice .
Writing for the Law Review is a unique opportunity to gain
exposure and to contribute to the current legal debate.
why write
for the
Choosing your topic
We suggest that before you start writing you pick a
topic which genuinely interests you.
Apart from this, you should also make sure that the
topic chosen is relevant to the current legal debate
on that point.
While conducting your research, try to be as
thorough and comprehensive as possible.
Consult a variety of sources and resources,
particularly, websites, library resources, and journals.
We recommend you take a look at our online
resources page.
Some Guidelines
It is very important that you adopt a clear and
precise style of writing. Keep your arguments and explanation as concise as possible. Always get to the
heart of the argument without any unnecessary detours.
While an overview of the current legal debate is
generally necessary, avoid simply summarising the
law or existing literature on a particular topic. You
should add a new dimension to the current debate
and express your own conclusions and propositions.
However, when expressing personal views, you should
avoid absolute and categorical statements. Back up
your arguments and present an informed and reasoned opinion.
Also keep in mind
Editorial Policy. Please make sure you familiarise
yourself with our editorial policy. It will save you and
us time and energy during the editorial review
Some Guidelines
Also keep in mind …
Style and Referencing. Follow the Modern
Humanities Research Association (MHRA) style guide
when writing and the Oxford Standard for the Citation
of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) guide when
referencing. You must also follow the ELSA Malta Law
Review Style & Citation Guide (EMLR).
For ease of reference, we have compiled brief
summaries of these guides below. However, we
strongly advise you go through the full guides before
Minimum Word Count. Keep in mind that the
editorial policy requires a minimum of 3,500 words
for articles and legal updates; a minimum of 1,500
words for case comments and book reviews; and a
minimum of 500 words for book squibs.
Academic Articles
1. Title
Choose a specific title or question to write about.
2. Research
As suggested above, be as thorough
comprehensive as possible in your research.
Look up what has already been said about the particular
topic. This will support the arguments you will
introduce in the article.
3. Structure & Content
Make an outline of how your writing is going to
progress. Using headings and sub-headings may be
helpful in structuring your argument.
Keep your argumentation concise. This will help the
reader to actually follow your line of thought.
Academic Articles
4. Style and Referencing
As pointed out above, please constantly refer to the
EMLR, MHRA and OSCOLA guides with respect to style
and referencing, accordingly.
In addition, we encourage the use of simple and plain
English where the situation permits. Avoid the use of
legalese, unless necessary.
5. First Draft
After completing your first draft, edit and re-edit your
article. Look for: repetition, inconsistencies, and
unnecessary words/phrases/paragraphs.
Endeavour to submit a perfect piece of work.
Case Comments
A case comment is a critical analysis of the judgment in
a specific court case.
1. Facts
You should focus on the facts which are relevant to the
outcome of the judgment, but also facts which are
necessary to give the reader a good picture of the
2. Court Procedure
You should also briefly go through the proceedings.
Again, you should not enter into much procedural detail,
unless it is of great relevance to the outcome of the case.
3. Claims raised
You should also refer to the issues raised by each party
during the case.
4. Court’s Reasoning
You should delve into the reasons leading to the Court’s
It may refer to foreign case law and the opinions of
eminent jurists, among others.
Case Comments
5. Comment
Your case comment should:
focus on the importance of the judgment;
highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the
outline any legal points which have not been
satisfactorily addressed by the Court;
reactions, media coverage, and controversy linked
to the case in question may also be included in the
comment, as these put the judgment in context.
6. Style and Referencing
As pointed out above, please constantly refer to the
EMLR, MHRA and OSCOLA guides with respect to style
and referencing, accordingly.
In addition, we encourage the use of simple and plain
English where the situation permits. Avoid the use of
legalese, unless necessary.
Book Reviews
1. The author
You should provide information about the author/s or
even editor where applicable. This provides the reader
with an idea of what to expect from the contents of the
2. Review
You should discuss the main premise put forward or the
main area covered by the book in question. Explain any
ulterior points which the work does not cover.
Analyse the style of writing. The flow of ideas from one
argument to the next. Discuss the sources utilised.
Identify the target audience, and whether the book is
suitable for such an audience.
3. Style and Referencing
As pointed out above, please constantly refer to the
EMLR, MHRA and OSCOLA guides with respect to style
and referencing, accordingly.
In addition, we encourage the use of simple and plain
English where the situation permits. Avoid the use of
legalese, unless necessary.
Review Process
Submission process
Once the first draft of your article, case comment or
book review is ready, you may submit it to us for
review. This is done by means of a submission form
that is available on the Review’s website.
Editorial Review Process
Once your have submitted your draft, the Editor in
Chief will either review the article himself or herself
or assign it to another Editor.
After the initial review, the Editor in Chief shall then
correspond with you to address and amend any
deficiencies the contribution might have.
The Editorial Board may also send your work to an expert on the subject for his feedback. If this is the case,
the Editor in Chief will send you the peer reviewer's
comments and suggested amendments.
Your contribution will then be assigned to another
Editor for final review.
Your identity shall not be disclosed until the editorial
review process is over.
ELSA Malta Law Review Citation &
Style Guide
Language and Style
Your submission should be in British English.
Please use:
'among' and not 'amongst';
'while' and not 'whilst'; and
judgment' not 'judgement'
'For words ending in –ize or –ise, the –ise form is preferred
(e.g. recognise not recognize). Kindly note that the Editorial
Board for the ELSA Malta Law Review has specifically
departed from the MHRA guide in this respect.
Maltese Legislation
When citing Maltese legislation, first write the number of
the chapter of the law, followed by the title Act or
Regulation. Should you require to refer to a specific article,
include it at the end as “art x”, “x” being the number of the
Chapter 331 of the laws of Malta, Trusts and Trustees Act, art 9.
citation &
ELSA Malta Law Review Citation &
Style Guide
Maltese Jurisprudence
The components of a typical case citation are:
case name | [year] | court or tribunal | volume
reference OR writ number | specific page or paragraph
Use italics for the name of the case, with an unpunctuated
italic v to separate the names of adverse parties. Use roman
for the rest of the citation. After the name of the case,
include, in square brackets, the year in which the judgment
was delivered. Subsequently, the abbreviation for the respective court or tribunal should be included. Then one
should include either the Case Reports (Kollezzjoni tadDecizjonijiet tal-Qrati Superjuri ta’ Malta) reference for
that case or, when the former is not available, the Writ
Number assigned to the proceedings.
Mary Buhagiar v Director of the Public Registry [2011] CCFH
Francesco Tabone et v Paolo Testa et [1908] Comm.Court XX-iii66
citation &
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
Do not use full stops in abbreviations. Separate citations
with a semi-colon.
When referring to a footnote cited above, use “(n x)” at the
end of the footnote, “x” being the number of the footnote in
16 of the laws of Malta, Civil Code, art 1031.
1037, (n 1).
Quotations of up to three lines should be incorporated into
the text, within single quotation marks. Punctuation
follows the closing quotation mark, unless it is an essential
part of the quotation, as a question or exclamation mark
might be, or unless the whole sentence is a quotation.
The footnote marker comes last, after both the closing
quotation mark and the punctuation .
The Chief Justice explained that this power ‘is not limited to defence against aggression from a foreign nation’.61
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
Present quotations longer than three lines in an indented
paragraph, with no further indentation of the first line.
Leave a line space either side of the indented quotation.
Lord Hoffmann reasoned as follows:
It seems to me logical to found liability for damages upon
the intention of the parties (objectively ascertained)
because all contractual liability is voluntarily undertaken . It
must be in principle wrong to hold someone liable for risks
for which people entering into such a contract in their
particular market, would not reasonably be considered to
have undertake.
When a quotation begins in the middle of a sentence in the
text, the first letter of the quotation should be capitalised if
the quotation itself is a complete sentence, but not
otherwise . When a quotation begins at the start of a sentence in the text, the first letter should be capitalised, and
square brackets placed around it if it was not capitalised in
the original text.
Bix raises the question, ‘What is the point of a dissent, after all, at
least on the highest court of the jurisdiction, if the law simply is whatever the majority on that court says it is?’
When intervening text is missing from the quotation, or if
it ends mid-sentence in the original text, use an ellipsis (…)
to indicate that some of the original text is missing .
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
EU legislation and cases
Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union [2008] OJ
Council Regulation (EC) 139/2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (EC Merger Regulation) [2004] OJ
L24/1, art 5.
Case C–176/03 Commission v Council [2005] ECR I–7879, paras
Case C–556/07 Commission v France [2009] OJ C102/8.
European Court of Human Rights
Omojudi v UK (2010) 51 EHRR 10 Osman v UK ECHR 1998–VIII
Balogh v Hungary App no 47940/99 (ECHR, 20 July 2004).
Simpson v UK (1989) 64 DR 188.
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
Give the author’s name in the same form as in the
publication. Give relevant information about editions,
translators and so forth before the publisher, and give page
numbers at the end of the citation, after the brackets.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (first published 1651, Penguin
1985) 268.
Gareth Jones, Goff and Jones: The Law of Restitution (1st supp,
7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2009).
K Zweigert and H Kotz, An Introduction to Comparative Law
(Tony Weir tr, 3rd edn, OUP 1998).
Contributions to edited books
Francis Rose, ‘The Evolution of the Species’ in Andrew Burrows and Alan Rodger (eds), Mapping the Law: Essays in
Memory of Peter Birks (OUP 2006).
Journal articles
Paul Craig, ‘Theory, “Pure Theory” and Values in Public
Law’ [2005] PL 440
When pinpointing, put a comma between the first page of
the article and the page pinpoint.
JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64.
OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide
Online journals
Graham Greenleaf, ‘The Global Development of Free Access to
Legal Information’ (2010) 1(1) EJLT <
view/17> accessed 27 July 2010.
Command papers and Law Commission reports
Department for International Development, Eliminating World
Poverty: Building our Common Future (White Paper, Cm 7656,
2009) ch 5.
Law Commission, Reforming Bribery (Law Com No 313, 2008)
paras 3.12–3.17.
Websites and blogs
Sarah Cole, ‘Virtual Friend Fires Employee’ (Naked Law, 1 May
2009) <http://www.nakedlaw. com/2009/05/index.html> accessed 19 November 2009.
Newspaper articles
Jane Croft, ‘Supreme Court Warns on Quality’ Financial Times
(London, 1 July 2010) 3.
MHRA Quick Reference Guide
Spelling and Usage
Commonwealth spelling (as given in the Oxford English
Dictionary and its derivatives) is preferred (e.g. honour,
defence, centre, travelling etc.).
Use the native form of the place-name, except in some
cases where there is an English form for the foreign name
(e.g. Prague, Cologne, Munich, Florence, Moscow).
Should be used with caution. Avoid as far as possible in
order not to disrupt continuous prose.
Avoid starting a sentence/footnote with an abbreviation
that is normally printed in lower-case characters (‘e.g.’, ‘i.e.’,
‘pp.’). If this cannot be avoided, note that ‘c.’, ‘e.g.’, ‘i.e.’, ‘l.’, ‘ll.’,
‘p.’, ‘pp.’, remain entirely in lower case. Other abbreviations,
such as ‘Cf.’, ‘Ibid.’, or ‘Id.’, take a capital initial.
Do not use full-stops after Mr, St, Dr, USA, UK, ad, vols, fols,
nos, eds, edn, pls.
Do not use full-stops in abbreviated standard reference
works, journals, or series: OED, MLR, EETS.
Do use full-stops with e.g., i.e., vol., fol., no., ed., pl., p., repr.,
ps., vol., pp., trans., viz. and so on.
MHRA Quick Reference Guide
Do use full-stops with e.g., i.e., vol., fol., no., ed., pl., p., repr.,
ps., vol., pp., trans., viz. and so on.
Commas should appear before the final ‘and’ / ‘or’ in a list
of three or more items (e.g. truth, grace, and beauty).
Place ellipses within square brackets when they indicate
omitted text from a quotation (e.g. [...]). If the beginning of
the sentence is omitted following the ellipses, begin with a
capital letter. Do not use ellipses at the beginning of a
quotation or at the end, unless there is a specific reason.
Adjectives deriving from nouns taking initial capitals are in
many cases not capitalised (e.g. Bible, biblical; Satan,
Places, persons, days, and months take capitals;
nationalities and nouns deriving from people or languages
are capitalised (e.g. Latinate, the Lombards).
Unique events and periods take capitals (e.g. the Last
Judgement, the Middle Ages).
Capitals should be retained after the prefix in hyphenated
compound forms such as: anti-Semitism
Capitalise references to particular parts of a book (e.g.
Chapter 1; Appendix 2; Part ii, Figure 8).
MHRA Quick Reference Guide
Single words or short phrases in a foreign language in
italics; direct quotations or more substantial quotations in
Foreign words and phrases that have passed into regular
English usage should not be italicised. The following are
examples of words that are no longer italicised: ennui,
genre, milieu, resume, status quo, vice versa.
Use italics for titles of books, journals; but do not use for
dissertations or journal / book series.
Use italics for: sic, c.
Do not use italics for cf., e.g., et al., etc., passim, viz.
Dates, Numbers, Currency, Weights & Measures
Dates should be given in the form ‘23 April 1564’ (i.e. NOT
No internal punctuation should be used except when a day
of the week is mentioned, e.g. ‘Friday, 12 October 2001’.
When referring to a period of time, use the form ‘from
1826 to 1850’ (not ‘from 1826–50’), ‘from January to
March 1970’ (not ‘from January–March 1970’).
In references to decades, an s without an apostrophe
should be used: the 1920s (not the 1920’s).
In references to centuries the ordinal should be spelled
out: the sixteenth century (not the 16th century).
MHRA Quick Reference Guide
In giving approximate dates circa should be abbreviated as
c. followed by a space: c. 1490, c. 300 BC
Numbers up to and including one hundred, including
ordinals, should be written in words when the context is
not statistical.
Numbers at the beginning of sentences and approximate
numbers should be expressed in words, as should
‘hundred’, ‘thousand’, ‘million’, ‘billion’, etc., if they appear
as whole numbers.
Words should be preferred to figures where inelegance
would otherwise result.
Quotations and Quotation Marks
Quotations in languages other than English are treated in
the same way as those in English. Unless there are special
reasons to the contrary, the forms of quotation marks in
foreign languages (« » „ “ etc.) should be normalised to
English usage.
Use single quotation marks; double quotation marks only
used when there is a quotation within a quotation: Mrs
Grose replies that ‘Master Miles only said “We must do
nothing but what she likes!” ’.
Long quotations should be broken off by an increased
space from the preceding and following lines of typescript.