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Author Guidelines

Amsterdam Law Forum is the online journal from the faculty of law of VU University. It serves as a platform for academic work, opinions and has a literary review. The Editorial Board, which is fully comprised of international and Dutch law students, is responsible for the journal to be published four times a year. We are delighted that you chose to write for our journal. For submission you have to follow these simple steps:

Please use Firefox or Chrome as your browser, as some IE versions experience problems when logging in.

1. Go to
2. Fill out the form. Please give a short but comprehensive biographical information on the space established for that purpose.
3. Make sure you check the box Author: Able to submit items to the journal.
a. If you would like to be a reviewer as well, make sure to check the box Reviewer: Willing to conduct peer review of submissions to the journal. Identify reviewing interests (substantive areas and research methods), and fill out your areas of interest.
4. You will be sent an e-mail containing your login and your password
5. With this information you can log back in to the website.
Once you log in, you will be directed to the User Home
6. From there, click on author
7. Under the heading start a new submission you will be able to begin the submission process
8. Step 1: starting the submission
a. Follow the instructions on the checklist, make sure your contribution complies with the requirements established.
b. If you have any comments, please use the box provided.
c. Press save and continue
9. If the article is written by multiple authors, please fill in the format for each author, including contact information.
10.Please add as many keywords as you deem appropriate so search engines can index your article more efficiently.
11.If you have any attachments or other files such as databases please include them under step 4. Uploading supplementary files. If this is not the case, press save and continue.
12. Once you have uploaded all the requested files, and the required information, finish submission. You will then receive an e-mail acknowledging your submission. Editing Guidelines for authors

If you encounter any problems, please send an e-mail to, and we will answer your question as soon as possible.

Style sheet

1. Lay-out

You are kindly requested to format your article according to the following rules of style.


  1. The article should start with the title you have selected with all letters in bold capitals (left indented).
  2. Below the title, insert your name as you would like it to appear. Your name should be left indented and italicised.
  3. At the end of your name insert the first footnote of your article using the symbol asterisk (*) and include in this footnote a brief account of your academic biography, also in italics.
  4. If you are writing a scientific contribution, please include a short abstract of around 100 words at the beginning of the article. For opinion articles, an abstract should not be included.
  5. Articles should be submitted in a Word Document format (.doc).
  6. The text for the articles should be in Baskerville 12 point single-spaced font and the footnotes and quotations should be in Baskerville 11 point single-spaced font.
  7. The whole of the article should be justified, single-spaced and without indented lines at the beginning of each new paragraph. Please do not include page numbers.
  8. Please include all references in the form of footnotes. Please, use normal numbering, beginning with 1 and do not use italics except as required by the referencing system. Footnote numbers should be inserted after punctuation.
  9. For each heading/section, use Roman numbers in front of the heading (I, II, IV etc).
  10. The headings should be bold. Subheadings should be preceded by I.1, I.2, etc. and should also be bold.
  11. Headings and subheadings should be in sentence case, that is, the first letter of every word that is not an article or preposition is capitalised.
  12. For every new section leave an extra space between the lines, but do not indent the first line. A line should be left after each heading before the text begins
  13. Adjectives, verbs and substantive nouns in the headings and subheadings are capitalised.
  14. If you include quotes of more than 4 lines, they should be font 11 and indented on both sides (margin 1,5). This is not a strict rule however, so if you have got two quotations with one comprising of 5 lines and one comprising of 4 lines, obviously you need not apply a different lay-out for the different quotations.


2. Abstract


If you are writing a scientific contribution, please make sure that the abstract is formatted according to the following rules.

The word 'Abstract' should be placed above the abstract, centered, neither in bold nor italics.

  1. Font Baskerville, size 11.
  2. The abstract should be indented with margins of 1,5 on both sides.



3. Specific points of style



  1. Capitalise the first word in a footnote and end with a period.
  2. Italicise non-English words, including Latin.
  3. For internal cross-reference in footnotes, one should start with the name of the author (without initials) followed by the year of publication and the word supra. 
    E.g. Jones 2004, supra note 65, p. 12.
  4. Use ibid in footnotes to indicate an identical reference previously made.
  5. Use idem in footnotes cite the immediately preceding authority, but a different page or paragraph. E.g. Idem, p. 12.
  6. Use an ampersand to separate two authors in a reference. They should appear in the order in which they are listed on the publication.
    E.g. F. James & G.C. Hazard, Civil Procedure, London: Penguin Books 1971, p. 12.
  7. Use para. for a single paragraph and paras. for the plural. For the page number, please use p. or pp. if you refer to more than one page.
  8. If using quotation marks for an actual quotation, use 'single' quotation marks. If using quotation marks for emphasis or any other reason, use "double" quotation marks.
  9. UK English spelling is preferred
  10. S-spelling is preferred. (e.g. organise).



4. Abbreviations


Abbreviations that are in common use (UN, EC, EU, US, NATO) need not be given in full on first use. Other abbreviations should be spelled out on first use with the abbreviation given immediately following in parentheses, e.g. World Health Organization (WHO). However, do not use an abbreviation if the name in question is only mentioned a few times – always give it in full.


Acronyms and lettered abbreviations will be rendered with no stops.


Terms such as ‘article’, ‘resolution’, ‘paragraph’, and ‘declaration’ should not be abbreviated (unless they are given in footnotes, see below). Paragraph numbers of articles should be given in parentheses, e.g. ‘Article 5(6b)’; ‘Article XII(1)’.


5. Bullets and Numbering


All bullets should be black dots. For indented bullets, use horizontal dashes.

  • Like this

 -    and this

Use common Arab numbers, and no roman numbers. For indented numbers, use Latin letters

  1. Like this
     a.And this

6. Numbers and Dates


Numerals will be written out up to and including ten; 11 and above will be given in figures.


Number spans are elided to the shortest pronounceable form, so 375–6, not 375–76 or 375–376 (but 317–18).

Use the form day–month–year, e.g. 2 November 2002.


Decades: always use ‘1960s’, not ‘sixties’ or ‘60s’. Centuries are spelt out.


7. Capitalisation


Avoid capitalisation as much as possible – when they are used generically do not capitalize such words or phrases as ‘state’, ‘state parties’, ‘members’, ‘contracting parties’, ‘treaty’, and so on.

Courts, tribunal chambers and personnel: capitalise specific chambers, such as ‘Appeals Chamber’, ‘Trial Chamber I’, a generic term such as ‘trial chamber’ should not be capitalized. Where the formal functions of the Office of the Prosecutor are being discussed, then ‘Prosecutor’ should be capitalised, but it should not be when the term is used generically. Similarly, ‘defence’, ‘defendant’, ‘accused’, ‘applicant’, ‘respondent’, ‘judge’, and so on should not be capitalised. When a reference is made to the contracting parties of GATT as a body, leave capitalisation the way the author has indicated.


Spelling, miscellaneous

Please note that the following should be used:

‐ First World War, Second World War, not World War I, World War II

‐ ‘jus’, not ‘ius’ (except where the latter is given in a quotation)

‐ ‐ise endings

- 'our' spelling, e.g. 'neighbour'

‐ third world (noun), third‐world (adjective) G7, etc.

‐ fora

‐ co‐operation, co‐ordination etc.

‐ 2 bis, ter etc.


8. Citations


Citations should always be in the form of footnotes. Never use in text references. A bibliography at the end of the text is not required.


After the first reference, use short citations for the same source.


8.1 Books


Initials and last name of author, Title of book (italicised), if necessary subtitle, place of publication: publisher year of publication, page number.



D.J. Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law, London: Sweet & Maxwell 2004, p. 1089.


8.2 Articles


Initials and last name of author, ‘Title of article’, Title of journal (italicised) year of publication-issue, span of specific pages cited.



T. Koopmans, ‘Intellectual property, economy and politics', Journal on International Law 1994-1, pp. 107-108.


8.3 Cases


Please use the following styles for cases.


1. International Court of Justice

Full case name (Party v. Party), Phase, Kind of Decision, date, [year] publication, first page, at page of quote, paragraph.


  • Maritime Delimitation and Territorial Questions Between Qatar and Bahrain (Qatar v. Bahrain), Jurisdiction and Admissibility, Judgment of 15 February 1995, [1995] ICJ Rep. 6, at 8, para. 4.
  • Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States), Jurisdiction and Admissibility, Judgment of 26 November 1984, [1984] ICJ Rep. 500, at 562 (Judge Schwebel, Dissenting Opinion).
  • Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States), Jurisdiction and Admissibility, Judgment of 26 November 1984 (not yet published).

Declaration, Separate Opinions: Cite the name of the judge(s) in brackets.

Publication: if the case has not yet been published, cite full name followed by ‘(not yet published)’.


2. Permanent Court of International Justice

Full case name (Party v. Party), Phase, Kind of Decision, date, Publication Series No, at page.


SS Lotus case (France v. Turkey), PCIJ Rep Series A No 10, at 28


Series: The Series in which the case was published is given between brackets, followed by the number.


Page: the page number is preceded by ‘at’, in view of possible confusion with the publication number.


3. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Full case name, Kind of Decision, Case number, chamber, date.


  • Prosecutor v. Tadic, Decision on the Prosecutor’s Motion Requesting Protective Measures for Victims and Witnesses, Case No. IT‐94‐1‐T, T.Ch. II, 10 August 1995.
  • Prosecutor v. Erdemovic, Dissenting Judgment, Case No. IT‐96‐22T, T.Ch. I., 29 November 1996.



4. Court of Justice of the European Communities

Case Number, Name, [year] ECR number, at page.


Case 26/62, Van Gend en Loos, [1963] ECR 1, at 28.


5. European Court of Human Rights

Party v. Party, Type of Decision, date of decision, Volume publication (Series), at para.



Kostovski v. The Netherlands, Decision of 23 May 1989, [1990] ECHR (Ser. A.), at 221.


Volume number: the year of publication is used as volume number.


6. GATT & WTO Panel Reports


Panel Report country – name (parties), adopted date, publication section/page.


Panel Report United States – Measures Affecting Alcoholic and Malt Beverages, adopted 19 June 1992, BISD 39S/206.



Panel Report country – name (parties), adopted date, Number, Document, at page.


Appellate Report United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, adopted 20 May 1996, AB‐1996‐1, WT/DS2/9, at 29.


7. Arbitral Awards, etc.

For arbitral awards, follow the official style, as indicated by the reporter. If published in periodicals use the style as indicated at Articles (see 3.2), but do not italicize the title of the case.


Air Service Agreement of 27 March 1946 (United States of America v. France), 54 ILR 304 (1979).


8. National Courts

Follow the official national style as much as possible. If the result would be unclear, use the following basic rule.

Party v. Party, [year] or (year) (where volumes are numbered independently of year) report page (court date).

General example:

Argyll v. Argyll [1967] 1 Ch 302 at 324, 332.


US example:

Smith v. Jones, 32 JNI 369 (Sup.Ct. 1867). i.e. Party v. Party, report page (court date).


Case name: use the case name as it appears at the beginning of the decision in the official reporter. If no name is given, use a popular name or cite as: Judgment of day‐month‐year (full date).

Court: use the abbreviated name of the court only if it is well known. If not, cite the full name of the court. Include, if possible, the exact date of the decision: at least the year of the judgment should be mentioned.


9. International Criminal Court

Full case name, Kind of Decision, Case number, chamber, date.



Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, Judgment on the Appeal of Mr Germain Katanga against the Oral Decision of Trial Chamber II of 12 June 2009 on the Admissibility of the Case, ICC‐01/04‐01/07‐OA8, A.Ch., 25 September 2009.


8.4. Treaties


Year, full title, reference (year of publication of reference, if available)


1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, 24 ILM 1529 (1985).

1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 596 UNTS 261


8.5. Internet Sources


Referring to an online source is similar to citing a book or periodical. Please include the URL and date of access.



R. Saikumar, ‘Indian Corporate Law’, at: (accessed on 26 October 2010).


8.6. Newspapers


Author (if known), 'title', source date, page/section.



Hechinger, Fred U. 'Schools vs. Riots.' New York Times, 30 July 1967, sec 4:7.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  2. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  3. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  4. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  5. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review) have been followed.

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The principles of Open Access are stated in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities


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