Prospective contributors to the Journal of Ethiopian Law should take note of the instructions for manuscript preparation and submission as outlined below.
- The Journal of Ethiopian Law publishes submissions that make significant contribution to or bring new insight as regards the understanding, development and implementation of the law applicable in Ethiopia. The Journal accepts scholarly works of any genre: doctrinal, empirical, interdisciplinary, critical, socio-legal, feminist, historical, or comparative scholarships pertaining to the broad spectrum of legal, economic, political, social and technological issues arising in relation to Ethiopian law and related international law. JEL encourages the submission of innovative and original contributions which illuminate these subject areas. Manuscripts based on legal materials from foreign jurisdictions will be considered for publication on a case-by-case basis, having regard to their potential contribution to the understating of Ethiopian law and/or informing its development and application. The Editorial Board of JEL determines whether a contribution meets this objective. Authors shall convincingly justify how their manuscript is relevant for the Ethiopian reader. Submissions which do no more than rehash familiar and well-known material should not be submitted.
- Submissions should be an original, unpublished, work of the author(s) not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. An author who submitted manuscript to JEL cannot submit his work to another journal until he has received a decision from JEL. If an author would like to submit to another journal, he must withdraw his article from consideration by JEL.
- Secondary publication: A manuscript published in a publication outside of Ethiopia will be considered for secondary publication in the Journal of Ethiopian Law when the following conditions are met:
- the manuscript raises issues that are of special contribution to the body of Ethiopian legal literature and it is found desirable to make it more accessible to readers in Ethiopia or it was originally published in a language little understood by readers in Ethiopia and it is later submitted as English or Amharic translation;
- the author has obtained express written permission to republish from the publisher of the publication that originally featured the manuscript; and,
- the manuscript submitted for secondary publication has incorporated, in a footnote using dagger typographical symbol, a clear statement that the article is a republication or translation, in whole or in part of an earlier publication, including full reference to the primary publication.
- Submissions should comply with JEL’s Style Guide specified below.
- JEL encourages that authors, particularly those whose first language is not English or Amharic for, respectively, manuscripts in English or Amharic, to have their manuscripts checked by an individual proficient in any the languages, as appropriate, before submission. If the content of a submission is found to be difficult to understand by the editor and reviewers, JEL will require the author to have his manuscript go through language editing by his own means.
- Author(s) should state their present academic or professional affiliation in their submission in a footnote using asterisk symbol attached to the name(s) of authors.
Manuscript types and requirements
The Journal of Ethiopian Law accepts the following forms of contributions for editorial consideration and publication: Feature Articles; Notes, Case Comments, Book Reviews, and Letters.
The Journal considers a manuscript as a feature/full-fledged research article if it is an original scholarly piece based on extensive review and analysis of primary data and/or the latest literature and up-to-date legal developments with balanced presentation of arguments pertaining to the issue under discussion.
A Note is a concise yet still original contribution in which the author reviews, elaborates, analyzes or comments on significant legal topics or latest developments in the law or legal literature or canvas his insightful and informed personal thoughts on legal and justice related issues of significance to the legal system. A comment on a piece of legislation or an aspect of a legislation come under this section of the Journal. When a note is a review of literature/research, it should provide a critical evaluation of existing literature on a theme with a view to comprehensively present the current thinking on the topic. It may also point out potential research areas to explore next and draw new conclusions based on the synthesis of the existing literature.
A Case Comment is a contribution in which an author comments on cases decided by courts at the federal and regional states, the House of Federation, administrative tribunals, arbitration centers, regional or international judicial or quasi-judicial organs and standout for their effect on jurisprudential development in the country.
A Book Review should provide readers an engaging, informative, and critical discussion of the book under review.
A Letter (letter to the editor) is an opinion/comment piece in response to articles, notes, case and legislation comments, and book reviews appearing in the Journal within the last year. Such opinions/comments should be brief (not more than 3, 000 words). Selected opinions/comments will be edited with the cooperation of the author and published.
Articles and notes should have the following structure: Introduction (briefly providing the subject matter of the manuscript, the background/context and issue to be investigated as well as brief indications of the objectives of the research); Methods and materials (clearly describing the research method used and the sources of information for the research); Body (containing discussions, analyses, arguments, etc. and may be divided, using an Arabic number-based system, into sections, subsections and sub-subsections, depending on the author’s approach to the subject matter); and Conclusion (reflecting the author’s informed synoptic opinion on the subject matter of the study, and may include suggestions, proposals, affirmation, recommendations, etc.).
A Case Comment should be structured as follows: Main subject heading (should be indicative of the main legal issue to be investigated in the case comment); Case name(s) (preceded with ‘Comment on’) and citation of the case(s) in footnote; The Body should have the following elements: (1) A short Introduction (to set out the context for the discussion by establishing what exactly will be focused in the commentary ) (2) The facts of the case(s) (brief digest of the facts of the case as described in the body of the court ruling); (3) A brief legal history of the case(s); (4) Main legal issues (outline of the main legal issues raised by the case(s)); (5) the decision/HELD part (report accurately the judgment in the case, including reasoning and dissenting opinion, if any; (6) the commentary on the case(s) (critically examine the reasoning of the court and implications of the decision); and (7) summary remark (conclusion and, as appropriate may include, suggestions, proposals, affirmations, recommendations).
A Book Review should have the following elements: Header; A summary of the intended audience and purpose of the book and how it contributes to the field of scholarship; A description of the way the author approaches his or her topic, the rigor of the research and scholarship, the logic of the argument, and the readability of the prose; A comparison with earlier or similar books (if any) in the field to place the book in the existing literature; An evaluation of the book's merits, usefulness, and special contributions, along with constructive comments on its limitations; and indication of who would find the book useful and its implication for research, policy, practice, or theory. The header of the review should include: (1) author(s)/editor(s) name, (2) title of book, (3) year of publication, (4) edition (if second or subsequent), (5) publisher and place of publication, (6) number of pages, (7) format (hardback, paperback, and if available in e-copy), (8) ISBN, and (9) price.
Manuscript Style and Format
File format: Submissions to JEL should be in Microsoft Word format (doc, docx, rtf). The word document file should not be locked or protected.
Manuscript length (excluding footnotes): Articles should be between 10,000 – 15, 000 words; Notes/Comments generally should not be more than 7,000 words; Case Comments should not be more than 6,000 words; Book Reviews and Letters to the Editor should not be more than 3,000 words.
Abstract: Articles and notes should include an abstract of no more than 250 words (providing a concise statement of the purpose of the manuscript, its arguments and broad indication of its findings or conclusions).
Key-terms: Articles and notes should include 3 – 8 key-terms (indicating the content of the manuscript but without merely replicating its title or textual sub-headings).
Language: Journal of Ethiopian Law publishes manuscripts submitted in English or Amharic. Articles and notes written in Amharic should be accompanied with English translation of their abstract and key-terms.
Layout and Spacing: Manuscripts should be prepared in A4 paper size, with 1.5 pts spacing and a margin of 2.5 cm on all sides. Use a standard font type and standard font size. The entire text should not be italicized or given other font effect.
Style Guide: Use the University of Oxford Style Guide as reference in preparing your manuscript for submission to JEL.
Reference Style: References should be provided in footnotes. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the manuscript and be in the style prescribed by The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) (4th ed., 2006). Footnoting should not be unnecessarily excessive.
Author(s) Biography: Authors should include in their manuscript a short biography, using a symbol-based footnote attached to their respective names. Author biography should include academic qualifications and institutional affiliation(s).
Ethical Responsibilities of Authors
See Ethical Responsibilities of Authors under Policies section
Copyright Policy of JEL
The School of Law-Addis Ababa University holds copyright over individual manuscripts appearing in the Journal as well as in the collective work. Authors should be aware that by submitting a manuscript for publication in JEL they are assigning their copyright to the School of Law in the event of the publication of the manuscript. However, authors have the right to reprint their manuscripts elsewhere with permission from the Journal. Authors are permitted to deposit publisher's version (PDF) of their work in an institutional repository, subject based repository, author's personal website (including social networking sites) at any time after publication. Full bibliographic information (authors, article title, journal title, volume, issue, pages) about the original publication must be provided and links must be made to the article's DOI and the license.
Manuscript Submission Checklist
Before submitting manuscript, authors should check off the submission's compliance with the following checklist for submissions. A submission may be returned to author(s) if it does not meet any of the items in this checklist.
- The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another publisher for consideration.
- The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
- Where available, URLs and DOIs for the references in footnotes have been provided.
- The submission is a new submission, not a revised version of a manuscript already under consideration by /review for JEL.
- All co-authors of manuscript, if any, 1) have all read and approved the version of the manuscript to be submitted, 2) are aware of and have consented to the submission of the manuscript for JEL and, 3) have agreed with all the terms and conditions of the JEL.
- The manuscript has been prepared according to the JEL’s authors guideline.
- The Ethical Guidelines for Authors are complied with by the author(s).
- The manuscript (Article or Note) written in Amharic includes English translation of the abstract and the key-terms.
- Any information identifying author(s) (name, institutional affiliation, etc.) have been removed from the manuscript (except the author(s)biography stated in footnote).
How to Submit Manuscript
Manuscript submission to the JEL should be done through the ‘Submit Manuscript’ function embedded in this website. Follow the link, fill out the required fields of the Form, attach the manuscript using the attach function in the Form and click ‘submit’. If your submission through the online system is successful, you will receive automatic response email in your email address.
In case of co-authored manuscripts, the submitting author will be regarded by the Journal as the corresponding author and is responsible for the manuscript during the submission and peer-review process.
After Submission: The Review Process and Editorial Decision
The Review Process
The Journal’s editorial team adheres to the principle of “first come first served” in undertaking screening of a submission or referring it to reviewers or submitting the same to the Editorial Board.
Upon receiving a manuscript, the Managing Editor will, within five days, send email message to the author(s) acknowledging receipt of the manuscript. As soon as a manuscript is received, the Managing Editor will do an initial screening for completeness. After initial screening, the manuscript will be forwarded to subject matter specialist editor who should check the manuscript’s potentially suitability for publication in JEL. In checking suitability for publication, the Editor will consider scholarly scope and basic quality as well as conformity with the style of the Journal. The assigned Editor is required to complete initial checking and report his assessment finding to the editorial team of the Journal within fifteen days. The Editor can recommend that the manuscript be referred for peer-review, reject the manuscript, or request revisions before peer-review. The Editor is supposed to clearly state his reason for his decision.
Submissions failing initial evaluation will be rejected immediately. Where the manuscript is rejected for non-conformity with the style of the Journal, the author(s) will be given the opportunity to improve the manuscript as to style and re-submit it.
Submissions passing the initial screening will undergo rigorous review. A double-blind peer-review process is applied, where authors' identities are not known to reviewers and reviewers are not known to the author(s). Feature articles will be referred to two external anonymous reviewers to be selected having regard to their expertise on the subject matter of the manuscript. Other types of contributions will be reviewed in-house, i.e., by the Editor with expertise in the subject matter of the manuscript; in the absence of a suitable internal assessor, the submission may be referred to an external assessor.
A reviewer assesses a manuscript’s suitability for publication based on the following criteria;
- Significance for realizing the objectives of the Journal;
- Logical rigor, critical insight, and soundness of judgment;
- Correctness of grammar and usage; and
- Conformity with scholarly conventions of presentation.
Reviewers are required to submit their well-considered views and comments in writing within three weeks of receiving the assignment.
Where both reviewers are of the opinion that the manuscript is not fit for publication in the Journal, the manuscript will be returned to the author(s) together with a summary of reviewers’ comments. The author may re-submit the manuscript after addressing all the comments and concerns of the reviewers. Such manuscript shall pass through a new review process.
If both reviewers reported that the manuscript is publishable as it is, the manuscript will be submitted to the Editorial Board for editorial decision.
Where one or both of the reviewers have forwarded feedback/comments, the same will be communicated to the author(s) using Feedback Tracking Table as soon as the review reports are received. Author(s) who received feedback are required to give the comments due consideration and submit their revised manuscript within three weeks. The revised manuscript should be accompanied by, using the Feedback Tracking Table, an explanation of how the author(s) have addressed reviewers’ comments and reasons for comments not accepted. Where found necessary the revised manuscript submitted by the author(s) may be sent to the reviewers who assessed it first for quick checking of whether comments have been properly addressed.
Editorial Consideration and Selection for Publication
A manuscript favorably assessed as publishable as it is or submitted by the author(s) after addressing comments will be submitted for the Editorial Board of the Journal for editorial deliberation and decision. The Editorial Board of the Journal of Ethiopian Law makes the final decision on the publishablity of a manuscript based on the expert feedback from the reviewers and its own assessment of the suitability of the manuscript for publication. All contributions published in Journal are thoroughly reviewed and assessed by the Journal’s independent Editorial Board. The Editorial Board makes editorial decisions based only on: suitability of selected reviewers; adequacy of reviewer comments and author response; and overall scientific quality of the manuscript. The Editorial Board considers the suitability of manuscripts for publication in its meetings. The Managing Editor shares the manuscript to Editorial Board members ahead of the meeting of the Board. An Editorial Board member or two in some cases, with expertise relevant to the subject matter of the manuscript will be assigned by the Editor-in-Chief to review the manuscript and brief the Editorial Board on whether comments from reviewers have been addressed by the author(s) and the general suitability and ripeness of the manuscript for publication.
The Editorial Board approves a manuscript for publication if it is satisfied, based on inputs from reviewers and designated editor(s), that it is ready for publication. If the Editorial Board finds that the manuscript needs improvement before it can be published, same will be communicated to the author(s) together with specific comments. The Board will reject a manuscript if it has serious flaws, and/or makes no original significant contribution.
The Managing Editor will inform the author(s) about the status of manuscript considered by Editorial Board within five days of decision.
Editorial Team Members as Authors
Editorial Board members will not be involved in processing their own submissions. Submissions authored by editorial team members will be assigned to at least two independent outside reviewers. Decisions will be made by other Editorial Board Members who do not have a conflict of interest with the author.
Complaints and Appeals by Authors
Authors may appeal a rejection by sending an e-mail to the Editorial Office of JEL. The appeal must provide a detailed justification, including point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Editor's comments. Appeals can only be submitted following a rejection decision and should be submitted within three weeks from the date of the communication of the decision. Failure to meet these criteria will result in the appeal not being considered further. The Managing Editor will forward the manuscript and related information (including reviewers’ assessment reports on the manuscript and the identities of the referees) to Editorial Board Members. An Editorial Board member or two will be designated to examine the matter in detail as to whether the reviews/editorial decisions were objective and meet scholarly standards and provide an advisory recommendation on the manuscript and may recommend acceptance, further peer-review, or uphold the original rejection decision. This decision will then be validated by the Editorial Board. A reject decision at this stage is final and cannot be reversed.
Publication Process After Acceptance
A manuscript accepted for publication by the Editorial Board will undergo copy-editing, language editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, pagination, and will be published, first in the Journal’s website (www.jel.aau.edu.et) and later as a hardcopy print. A manuscript accepted for publication will be published online immediately after undergoing editing and typesetting, without waiting for the full issue of the Journal to be ready. In this stage as well as throughout the submission, review and editorial process the author (or corresponding author) may be contacted repeatedly and timely response is very important to bring the contribution to the reader as early as possible.
The Editorial Process and Peer Review
Peer review is an essential feature of JEL’s publication process as it helps to ensure the quality of the papers JEL presents to its readers. All manuscripts submitted to JEL are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed by external or in-house experts.
Immediately after submission, JEL’s Managing Editor will perform an initial check of the manuscript. A suitable Editorial Board member will be assigned by the Editor-in-Chief to check the manuscript and recommend reviewers. The assigned Editor can recommend to proceed with the peer review process, reject a manuscript, or request revisions before peer-review. If the assigned Editor recommends that the manuscript enter peer-review process, JEL’s editorial office will liaise with suitable editors identified by the Editor or the Editor-in-Chief. For Feature Articles the editorial office will collect two reviews from anonymous and independent experts. Other types of contributions are peer-reviewed by one internal or external qualified reviewer. Based on reviewers’ feedback, JEL asks authors for sufficient revisions (with a second round of peer review, whenever necessary) before a final decision is made. The final decision to accept or reject a manuscript is made by the Editorial Board of JEL. Accepted manuscripts will undergo copy-editing, language editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, and pagination as a final stage preparation for publication.
Reviewer Profile and Responsibilities
Manuscript reviewers play vital role and bear great responsibility in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record and the quality of papers JEL presents to readers. JEL strives for a rigorous peer review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each manuscript. In consideration of this fundamental role of manuscript reviewers, reviewers for JEL are expected to: be experienced scholars in the field of the manuscript referred to them, as demonstrated by publication record, so that they can appropriately judge the scientific quality of the manuscript; provide quality review reports and remain responsive throughout the peer review process; and maintain standards of professionalism and ethics.
Instructions for Manuscript Reviewers
- To avoid delays in processing submissions to the Journal of Ethiopian Law, please tell us if you are not able to review the manuscript at all or by the deadline provided. If we do not hear from you, we assume that the report will be sent in time. When exceptional circumstances compel, you can ask extension of the deadline for submitting review report.
- Should you have circumstances (including conflict of interest) that prevent you from making an informed, objective and impartial review of the manuscript, please feel free to tell us.
- Suggestions for alternative reviewers are very welcome, but you should not approach directly alternative reviewer as manuscripts under review are confidential.
- JEL follows a double-blind peer review policy. Until the manuscript is published, reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript confidential. Reviewers should also be careful not to reveal their identity to the author(s), including in social conversation settings. The Editorial office of JEL will take responsibility to remove author or reviewer identifying information from comment and track changes mark ups or metadata of Microsoft Word or PDF files.
- Reviewers are expected to assess the manuscript’s interest to readers; strengths and weaknesses; originality; clarity of presentation; depth of scholarship and conciseness. Reviewers should use JEL’s Standard Reviewer Report Form. To report their assessment of manuscript based on these parameters. Use the following pointers as a general checklist in evaluating manuscript:
- Has the author identified a clear and tangible issue for investigation? Is a gap in knowledge identified? Does the manuscript add new knowledge to the field of investigation?
- Has the author employed a sound and appropriate methodology?
- Is the manuscript clear, comprehensive, relevant for the field and presented in a well-structured manner?
- Are the cited references mostly recent publications and relevant? Are any relevant citations omitted?
- Is the manuscript logically sound and follows coherent reasoning throughout?
- Is interpretation of information presented and legal authorities cited done appropriately and consistently throughout the manuscript?
- Does the manuscript meet JEL’s standards of publication ethics?
- Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented?
6. Ethical issues such as priori publication of the work; plagiarism; scholarly misconduct or fraud or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, if detected, should be immediately reported to the editorial office of JEL using its regular email address.