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Public Law
Public Law
Practice Area: Administrative Law
ISSN: 0033-3565
Published by: Sweet & Maxwell
Last Release: Jul 2018 / Next Release: Oct 2018
Subscription Information: Any Time Start
Format: Journal
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Since its creation in 1956 Public Law has been, and continues to be, the leading forum for information and debate in the constantly evolving area of law and government.

Digests and commentary on cases and legislation ensure the reader is fully up-to-date with recent developments, while scholarly articles explore leading issues in depth. It is indispensable for both practitioners and those involved with the study of constitutional and administrative law in the UK and abroad.
  • Topical commentary on recent developments
  • Digests of decisions and legislation
  • Authoritative articles by leading scholars and practitioners
  • Reviews and listings of articles and publications of interest

Public Law is peer-reviewed and seeks to publish research-based work of the highest quality. The journal publishes work across the whole range of scholarship in constitutional and administrative law, including doctrinal analysis, empirical and other socio-legal work, history, comparative studies and legal theory.

Public Law is published four times a year: in January (Spring issue), April (Summer issue), July (Autumn issue) and October (Winter issue). Its readership includes academics, practitioners and policy-makers in the UK, Europe and in common law jurisdictions around the world. Submissions are invited for two sections of the journal: the Analysis section contains shorter items, while the Articles section contains more in-depth contributions.

It is recommended to all contributors that they contact the Editor before making a formal submission in order to receive guidance about timing and to be warned of any overlap with work of other authors that may already be in the pipeline.

Articles are generally no more than 9,500 words. Pieces in the Analysis section are normally up to 4,000 words in length (plus a modest number of footnotes). Both these wordcounts are inclusive of footnotes. Careful attention should be paid to the preferred word lengths for the Analysis and Articles sections.

Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and numbered consecutively throughout the text with superscript Arabic numerals. Wherever relevant and appropriate, reference should be made in footnotes to previous articles that have appeared in Public Law.
In preparing typescripts, authors should conform to the journal's House Style. Please follow the format used in a recent issue of Public Law; a style sheet is available on request from the Editor.
Authors should provide their biographical information in the form in which they wish it to appear in Public Law. Submission of Articles or other contributions will be held to imply that they contain original, unpublished work and are not being submitted for publication elsewhere. No liability is accepted for loss or damage to material submitted.
The Editor requests that formal submissions be made via email to publiclaw@essex.ac.uk. Please include the words "Submission to Public Law" in the subject line. Contributions should be in Word format and supplied electronically.

Review process:
An initial assessment is carried out by the Editor, usually within two weeks of receipt of a submission. At this stage some submissions are rejected because of overlap with other submissions in the pipeline, or because the subject matter falls outside the scope of the journal, or the Editor feels that the submission clearly falls below the quality threshold for publication.

Potentially publishable submissions are subject to anonymous review by members of the Editorial Committee or other experts in the field. The review process is designed to be a positive experience for authors. Whether or not a submission is accepted for publication, it is the aim of the reviewers to give helpful guidance on how the presentation or content of a submission could be developed. The reviewers do their best to reach a conclusion within six weeks of submissions although, in some cases, the process may take longer. Reviewers will look in particular at three aspects – they will consider: i) the quality and originality of the piece; ii) whether the piece will be of interest to readers of Public law; and iii) the overall importance of the piece. 

Proofs will be sent to authors as a PDF file by email and corrections must be returned without delay.

Whilst the publisher and Editors will never knowingly publish any material they consider to be libelous or potentially libelous, they shall not be responsible for advising the authors of any potentially libelous content. By accepting an offer to publish in Public Law authors shall agree to indemnify the publisher and the editors against any claim for libel or similar made against them.

Complimentary copies and off-prints:
Complimentary copies: Two complimentary copies of the issue in which his/her article appears will be provided to each contributor
Off-prints: Information on offprints will be made available to authors on acceptance of their contributions

Upcoming issues of Public Law will contain papers of interest to a very wide range of readers, as well as a range of analysis pieces. Notable among forthcoming papers are:

  • Professor Chris Himsworth on the Review of Acts of the Scottish Parliament by the UK Supreme Court
  • Lord Pannick QC on reform of the House of Lords
  • Lord Irvine of Lairg on how British judges should interpret the European Convention on Human Rights and the relative power of domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights
  • The above also includes an article by Sir Philip Sales, a High Court judge,  responding to Lord Irvine
  • The Charities Act 2009 and the future of Human Rights Organisations in Ireland
  • Assessing the Upper Tribunal’s Potential to Deliver Administrative Justice
  • The Polycentricity of Political Financing
    • The Editor of PUBLIC LAW welcomes enquiries from intending contributors about items that may be suitable for publication, whether as Articles (generally no more than 9,500 words), or as Analysis Pieces (normally up to 4,000 words in length) - word count includes footnotes.
    • Submission of Articles or other contributions will be held to imply that they contain original unpublished work and are not being submitted for publication elsewhere. No liability is accepted for loss or damage to material submitted.
    • The Editor requests that submissions be made via email. A style sheet is available on request.
    • Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and numbered consecutively throughout the text with superscript arabic numerals. Wherever relevant and appropriate, reference should be made in footnotes to previous articles that have appeared in PUBLIC LAW.
    • Authors should provide the biographical information in the form in which they wish it to appear in PUBLIC LAW.
    • Proofs will be sent to authors who undertake to check them and return them without delay.
    • Copyright in all pieces accepted for publication remains with the contributors, and the publishers acquire publication rights. If all or any part of an Analysis Piece or Article is reproduced elsewhere, the author should acknowledge PUBLIC LAW as the original place of publication.

    Maurice Sunkin
    Of the Middle Temple, Professor of Public Law and Socio Legal Studies, University of Essex.

    Book Review Editor   
    Jo Eric Khushal Murkens
    Senior Lecturer, London School of Economics and Political Science.

    Current Survey Editor   
    David Mead
    Professor of UK Human Rights Law, University of East Anglia.

    International Survey Editor  
    Richard Cornes
    Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Essex, Associate Member, Landmark Chambers, London.

    Editorial Assistant    
    Chris McCartney

    Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, Q.C.
    Of the Middle Temple.

    Paul Craig, Q.C.
    Professor of Law in the University of Oxford and Fellow of St John’s College.

    Terence Daintith
    Of Lincoln’s Inn, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of London.

    Gavin Drewry
    Emeritus Professor of Public Administration, University of London.

    Andrew Le Sueur
    Of the Middle Temple, Professor of Constitutional Justice at the University of Essex.

    Lord Lester of Herne Hill, Q.C.
    Of Lincoln’s Inn.

    The Honourable Mr Justice Lewis,
    Justice of the High Court of England and Wales assigned to the Queen’s Bench Division

    Aileen McColgan
    Of Lincoln’s Inn, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London.

    Gillian S. Morris
    Of the Inner Temple, Honorary Professor, Faculty of Laws, University College London.

    Colin Munro
    Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law,University of Edinburgh.

    Danny Nicol
    Professor of Public Law,University of Westminster.

    Adam Tomkins
    John Millar Professor of Public Law,University of Glasgow.

    Dr Jeff King
    Senior Lecturer in Law, UCL

    Helen Mountfied, QC
    Matrix Chambers

    Richard Clayton, QC
    4-5 Gray's Inn Square




    The Public Law Journal is included in the following indexing and abstracting services:
    • Legal Journals Index on Westlaw UK
    • Articles Index from Lawtel
    Recommend this Journal to your library using our Library Requisition Form.

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    Public Law is published by Thomson Reuters (Legal) Limited (Registered in England & Wales, Company No 1679046.
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    Editorial correspondence:
    Maurice Sunkin
    University of Essex
    Wivenhoe Park,
    Tel.: 01206 872 560
    Fax.: 01206 873 428
    Book Review Editor:
    Dr Jo Eric Khushal Murkens
    London School of Economics and Political Science
    Houghton Street, London
    WC2A 2AE
    Tel: 020 7955 6675
    Correspondence to the publisher:
    Publishing Editor:
    Greg Smith
    Thomson Reuters
    Legal UK & Ireland
    Friars House
    160 Blackfriars Road
    SE1 8EZ
    House Editor:
    Jane Hyatt
    Sweet & Maxwell
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