About the Journal

The Journal of Law in the Middle East is the only academic journal dedicated to discussing the multitude of legal systems present in the Middle East, including Islamic Law, Common Law, and Civil Law. This open-access and peer-review Journal is broad in scope, thereby creating a venue for scholarly analysis from a multitude of esteemed researchers in the legal academic community. The Journal will be indispensable not only for Middle Eastern law scholars, but also for those working in the fields of comparative law, religious law, and constitutional law. With rigorous submission standards, the Journal will cover a diversity of publications, including comparative works involving states within the Middle East, works focused on law in a specific jurisdiction, and works describing the implementation of multiple legal traditions.

Published pieces in the Journal will consist of Articles, Essays and Case Notes. Please refer to our Submissions page for more information on submission types.

Editorial and Style Guidelines


The official citation style of the Journal of Law in the Middle East by LexisNexis is the 21st Edition of the Bluebook Citation Style Guide (the Bluebook), which should be your ultimate editorial and style reference. These Editorial and Style Guidelines should be followed as a matter of course to provide clarity on certain editorial standards. It is intended to provide an overall guide to writing and editing content for the Journal of Law in the Middle East by LexisNexis that should apply to all submission types. When in doubt, the Bluebook will take precedence.

General style

  • Use plain and concise language
  • As far as possible, your writing should be modern in style. It should be clear and concise: avoid using 20 words when ten will do.
  • Avoid overly-long paragraphs and sentences that will be cumbersome for the reader to digest.
  • Use the active, rather than passive voice.
  • Use bold or italics when appropriate, but do not underline words.
  • Our editorial policy is UK English, not US English. For words where the American spelling takes a z, e.g., recognized, replace the z with an s (recognised).

Gender neutral language

  • It is best practice to use neutral pronouns (they/them) wherever possible. Avoid using “he/she” except when not doing so would render a sentence confusing or inaccurate.

Capital letters

  • Avoid excessive capitalisation. Do not use for emphasis.
  • Aside from grammatically correct use, initial capital letters should also be used when the lower-case version of a word would carry a different meaning, e.g., “the Minister”, “the Cabinet” and “a minister”, “a cabinet decision”.
  • Government - Capitalise when referring to a specific government (e.g., the Government of the State of Qatar. Use all lower-case when referring to government generally (e.g., the situation requires government action).
  • Emirates – Capitalise when referring to a specific Emirate (e.g., the Emirate of Dubai). Use all lower-case when referring to emirates generally (e.g., the UAE has seven emirates).
  • Courts in the Gulf States should be assigned initial capital letters in the following cases: Court of First Instance
  • State Security Court Commercial Court Criminal Court Lower Criminal Court
  • Higher Criminal Court Civil Court Administrative Court Labour Court
  • Court of Appeal Court of Cassation
  • Federal Court of First Instance Federal Supreme Court Supreme Court of Appeal
  • Constitutional Court
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market Court (or ADGM Court) DIFC Court
  • Qatar International Court
  • Where text refers to “the court”, even if it refers to one of the cases with capitalisation above (e.g., the Court of Appeal), it should be all lower case, e.g., “The court does not as a matter of practice hear oral arguments from the parties.”
  • Use sentence case for headings, e.g., initial capital letters only at the beginning of the first word and any proper nouns, legislation or decrees, etc.


  • Avoid using italics to lend emphasis unless absolutely necessary. Your first thought should be to rewrite the text so that its content already contains that emphasis.
  • You should use italics for:
  • unusual or longer Latin phrases, e.g., “dum bene se gesserit”; or
  • any word or phrase that is not in English (with the exception of the short Latin terms cited below).
  • Do not use italics for: a fortiori, à prendre, ad hoc, ante, bona fide, certiorari, cy-près, de facto, de jure, e.g., etc., ferae naturae, fieri facias, i.e., inter alia, inter alios, intra vires, ipso facto, mandamus, nisi, obiter, per, per se, post, prima facie, pro rata, sc, subpoena, ultra vires, vice versa, viz.
  • Do not put quotations in italics.



Make sure they are useful for your readers. Avoid naming them solely after legislation or cases: on their own, they are meaningless to the reader. You can, however, include them if you also include a description of what the section covers (e.g., Saudi law vis-à-vis the New York Convention), though this should only be done if absolutely necessary.

Different heading levels should be clearly identified with consistently numbered list formats.


  • Use numbers, roman numerals, or letters to identify lists.
  • Ensure that each item in a list is either a complete sentence, or ends with a comma or semi colon. A comma or semi colon (depending on the list type) should always be included before any “and” or “or”, with no additional punctuation after that.
  • Which every style you use, make sure the last item in the list has a full stop.
  • For lists containing a long sentence or several sentences per bullet point, capitalise the first letter of each bullet point and put a full stop at the end of each bullet point (and at the end of each sentence, as needed).

Abbreviations and acronyms

  • All abbreviations and acronyms must be properly defined in the footnotes, with the exception of the following:
  • “i.e.” and “e.g.” should have a full stop following each letter followed by a comma: “i.e.,” “e.g.,”. Neither should be italicised.
  • “No.” (Number) should have a full stop, and the N should be capitalised if it is being used in the name of a law, decree, regulation, or decision. Leave a space between “No.” and the number.
  • “vol.” (volume) should have a full stop and be lower-case. “etc.” should have a full stop.
  • “p.” (page number) and “pp.” (page numbers) should have a full stop.
  • Do not use full stops in acronyms that are written in all-capitals. For example, write US rather than U.S., UK rather than U.K., EU rather than E.U., UAE rather than U.A.E., DIFC rather than D.I.F.C., and QICDRC rather than QICDRC.
  • Do not replace “and” or “or” with a slash (/).


Quotations of 50 or more words

  • The quotation should be indented on the left and right without quotation marks, and quotation marks within a block quotation should appear as they do in the original.
  • The footnote number or citation should follow immediately after the closing quotation mark unless it is more accurate to place it elsewhere shortly before or after the quotation.

Quotations of 49 or fewer words

  • The quotation should be enclosed in quotation marks but not otherwise set off from the rest of the text. Quotation marks around material quoted inside another quote should appear as single marks within the quotation in keeping with the standard convention.
  • The footnote number or citation should follow immediately after the closing quotation mark unless it is more accurate to place it elsewhere shortly before or after the quotation.
  • Always place commas and periods inside the quotation marks; place other punctuation marks inside the quotation marks only if they are part of the original text.

Citations - The Bluebook Citation Style Guide

Basic rules

The citation style of the Journal is the Bluebook, which is an American style guide. Therefore, Rule 20 and 21 (which relate to foreign and international material) should be thoroughly consulted to ensure appropriate citation of Middle Eastern laws, cases and materials.

The following tips may be useful for those unfamiliar with the rules of the Bluebook, particularly when citing secondary sources:

  • Begin by using The Bluebook Quick Style Guide to help you identify the appropriate rule for the type of authority cited. However, always be sure to subsequently review the relevant rules in their entirety.
  • Use the index at the back of the Bluebook when you begin to search for applicable rules. The Index provides useful cross-references and will help you learn the categories of citation.
  • Verify that the proper typeface, abbreviations, capitalisation, and short citation forms (if applicable) have been used for each type of authority. The Bluebook index often isolates short form and long form citations.
  • Verify that id., supra, infra and hereinafter are used correctly.
  • Include pinpoint citations, like page numbers or legislation sections, to the exact location within the authority that relates to the proposition made in the text of the law journal note or article.

Citation examples

Laws and decrees

Extradition Law, 5714–1954, 8 LSI 144 (1953–1954) (Isr.).

CODE CIVIL [C. CIV.] [CIVIL CODE] art. 1112 (Fr.).


Mah. kamat al-Tamyīz [Tamyīz] [Court of Cassation] [Cassation], decision No. 1428 of March 6, 1974, Al-Nashrah al-Qadā’īyah [Judicial Report], vol. 1, year 5, p. 161 (Iraq).

al-Mah. kamah al-Id. ārīyah al-‘Ulyā [Supreme Administrative Court], session of 21 Dec. 1987, year 22, p. 852 (Egypt).



AIDS AND THE LAW (Harlon L. Dalton & Scott Burris eds., 1987).

Journals and periodicals

Bradford R. Clark, Note, Judicial Review of Congressional Section Five Action: The Fallacy of Reverse Incorporation, 84 COLUM. L. REV. 1969, 1986 (1984).

Elizabeth F. Emens, Integrating Accommodation, 156 U. PA. L. REV. 839, 894 (2008).

Internet sources

Conference Report, German Soc’y for Contemporary Theatre and Drama in English, Mediated Drama/Dramatised Media: From Boards to Screens to Cyberspace (June 17–20, 1999), http://www.philhist.uni-augsburg.de/cde/conf/1999.

Kenneth W. Simons, Retributivists Need Not and Should Not Endorse the Subjectivist Account of Punishment, 109 COLUM. L. REV. SIDEBAR 1, 3 (2009), http://columbialawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/1_Simons.pdf.

Citations - Deviations from the Bluebook

For primary sources, such as legislation, as stated in Rule 20 of the Bluebook, you may ‘follow the respective country’s own citation rules for the sources as modified by these general rules.’ When choosing to deviate from the rules of the Bluebook when citing Middle Eastern material, please consider the following points.

Laws and decrees

  • You may choose to use the Lexis®Middle East Law citation format when referring to the name of a law or decree for the first time, as follows:
  • Jurisdiction + Type of Legislation + No. + #/Year
  • The citation may be followed by a description of the legislated topic. If the article has repeated references to the law or decree, put an abbreviated form of the law or decree in parentheses and bold (without quotation marks) after the description.
  • Do not abbreviate references to laws in the manner of “the Law” or “the 1976 Law”. Avoid such usage at all if possible, unless not using it would look clumsy, e.g., where there are multiple citations of the same law or decree within a paragraph. If a law or decree is only mentioned once in a document, you don’t need to supply the acronym or other abbreviation, as it won’t be used elsewhere.


  • You may choose to use the Lexis®Middle East Law citation format when referring to a case for the first time. Cases are generally cited in the following format:
  • Freezones: Case name + Court reference #
  • National jurisdictions: Case number/ Year + Court reference #
  • Case names should not be in bold, underlined, or italicised.
  • When a case is subject to a discussion requiring repetitions of its name, its full title should be used initially, but subsequent references in the body text may be abbreviated.