The Plymouth Law and Criminal Justice Review
Posted on: November 3, 2014 by: Kim Stevenson
The Plymouth Law and Criminal Justice Review is an internally peer reviewed, free, open access online journal that publishes undergraduate student work and activities as well as providing a forum for staff and postgraduates to test out their research and ideas. A key aim is to encourage and provide the opportunity for staff and students in the Plymouth Law School to work together in partnership. The journal was created in 2008 to showcase the best undergraduate dissertations and incentivize students to publish their work alongside the Annual Pilgrim Father’s lecture organized by the Plymouth Law Society and hosted at the University. The lecture is delivered by eminent judges recently including Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, past and present Lord Chief Justices Sir Igor Judge and Sir John Thomas, Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division of the High Court and Dame Heather Hallett. The Review has attracted unsolicited invitations for distribution rights from two major US educational publishers: GaleCengage as part of their objective to host the ‘top 1,500 law journals in the world’, and EBESCO.
The award of a first class mark for a student dissertation does not guarantee automatic inclusion in the journal. To maintain high quality standards and ensure fairness, external examiners are asked to comment upon and confirm the suitability of the top ranked dissertations for publication. Typically the best 4 or 5 dissertations from law and the same number from criminology are published. The subject matter is diverse and topical with articles analysing such themes as digital piracy, environmental law policy, executions in the United States, childrens’ rights, people trafficking, the removal of foreign criminals, the treatment of pregnant prisoners and the legal use of drones. Dissertation supervisors help students edit their theses into publishable articles, giving both editing experience and collaborative contact post-graduation. One former student commented: “I personally found it a really useful process not only in terms of CV building but also in relation to gaining experience of editing an article for the purpose of publication. Also I think that the fact that the content of this journal is comprised of both staff and student articles makes it more reputable” (Samantha Walker, vol.4). Our student articles have been cited by students at other Universities in their assessments particularly in areas where the literature is limited or because the research is up to date and immediate.
In addition to academic articles from current staff and students the journal also publishes material from former students related to their post-University research and professional experience generating links with alumni. Plymouth Law School also has a number of very active student societies engaged with offering legal advice and working with charitable organisations and their annual reports and reviews are another important feature of the Review.
The journal is published annually in December and is managed by an Editorial Board. It is produced within the School with input from staff and students but is publicly available to everyone at http://www.pbs.plymouth.ac.uk/plr/
For further information or to discuss the possibility of submitting work to the journal contact the Editor-in-Chief Professor Kim Stevenson, Plymouth Law School Kim.firstname.lastname@example.org