Instructor(s): Audrey Macklin

2 credits (conditional enrol)

Schedule: see below.

Editors-in-Chief and Senior Editors are selected in the Spring of each year. Students must be in residence for the year in order to obtain credit for the journal.

Students who serve as the Editors-in-Chief, or Senior Editors of the Journal of International Law and International Relations (JILIR) may receive two ungraded credits. Graduate students are graded on the graduate grading scale. Eligible students must commit themselves to their JILIR responsibilities for the entire academic year to obtain credit. Students are required to allocate their credits as follows: one credit to each term. No credit will be shown on student's records until the program has been fully completed.

Introductory meetings with the Editorial board will be held in September to review the procedures at the Journal and introduce students to the work of editing. This will involve discussions about the qualities one should be looking for in a piece of publishable legal writing, guiding a cell group (if applicable) in the search for these qualities, the relationship between editor and author, and the task of providing substantive feedback on a paper. Meetings may also include discussion of the business of journal publication.

Students earning credit for this workshop must attend a mandatory workshop that will meet for ten to twelve hours, five to six hours in the Fall term and four hours in the Winter term. The workshop is scheduled at two times on Wednesdays each term, from 2:10-4:00 pm and 4:10-6:00 p.m.; students must attend at one of the two scheduled times. Topics to be covered include:

  • Brainstorming about the year’s objectives – developing ideas for content.

  • The key elements in good legal scholarship: distinguishing a topic from a research question; looking for an answer to the ‘so what’ question; situating a submission in the larger context of academic debate.
  • The importance of good organization and clarity: is the argument sound; is it significant?
  • How to conduct cell groups so that Associate Editors begin to learn some of the key lessons of manuscript assessment.
  • Preparing for Senior Board meetings: writing an abstract for a paper; assessing the adequacy of research in a submission; summarizing strengths and weaknesses to foster effective discussion.
  • Providing feedback to authors: interpreting Reviewers Reports; setting priorities, organizing substantive suggestions; how to present suggestions without stepping on toes.
  • Assessing the research behind a submission: with help from Library staff, determining how to tell whether a submission cites all the relevant material and uses it properly.
  • Substantive editing: putting general lessons to work based on working with an actual manuscript.

The faculty advisor will be available throughout this process to discuss students’ own assessment of the submission, their reaction to the reviewers’ assessments, and finally, the content of the final communication to the author.

All students who wish to receive academic credit for the JILIR must prepare detailed comments on each of the papers passed up to the Senior Board. These comments are expected to be incisive and detailed, covering both issues of style and substance. They should address the following elements: 1. Research: Editor(s) will first write up a memo on the adequacy of the research in the submission. The Editors will be responsible for writing up the report. The research librarians of the Bora Laskin Law Library will be involved to guide the students in this process. 2. Manuscript assessment: Editor(s) will write a memo analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the paper, with a view to incorporating this into the ultimate feedback sent to the author. As assessments from peer reviewers come in, the student(s) will refine their own analysis to take account of the feedback from the peer reviewers. Ultimately they will draft a letter to go to the author collecting all the feedback; the draft will be reviewed by the faculty advisor.

At a Glance

Both Terms


4 JD