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Alternative Law Journal

Alternative Law Journal

Published in Association with Legal Service Bulletin Co-operative Ltd

eISSN: 23989084 | ISSN: 1037969X | Current volume: 49 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly
The Alternative Law Journal has been Australia's leading law reform journal for nearly 50 years. It is a peer reviewed quarterly journal, focusing on issues of social justice and human rights, critique of the legal system, developments in alternative practice and community legal education. Opinions, regular columns, art and cartoons are included in addition to articles. AltLJ is published on behalf of the Legal Service Bulletin Co-operative Ltd in Melbourne, Australia. For more information please visit the Alternative Law Journal website:

The Alternative Law Journal has been Australia's leading law reform journal for over 40 years. It is a peer reviewed quarterly journal, focusing on issues of social justice and human rights, critique of the legal system, developments in alternative practice and community legal education. Opinions, regular columns, art and cartoons are included in addition to articles. AltLJ is published on behalf of the Legal Service Bulletin Co-operative Ltd in Melbourne, Australia. For more information please visit the Alternative Law Journal website:
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

National Editor
Professor Melissa Castan Monash University, Australia
Emeritus Professor Bronwyn Naylor RMIT University, Australia
Consulting Editor
Deborah Candy Monash University, Australia
Editorial Board
Dr Allan Ardill Griffith University, Australia
Professor Lorana Bartels The Australian National University, Australia
Associate Professor Peter Burdon University of Adelaide, Australia
Rob Corr Mac.Robertson Girls' High School, Australia
Professor Melissa de Zwart University of Adelaide, Australia
Emeritus Professor Patricia Easteal University of Canberra, Australia
Liam Elphick University of Western Australia, Australia
Associate Professor Kate Galloway Bond University, Australia
Professor Jeff Giddings Monash University, Australia
Dr Stephen Gray Monash University, Australia
Adjunct Professor Rob Guthrie Curtin University, Australia
Associate Professor Harry Hobbs University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Professor Sarah Joseph Griffith University, Australia
Andreea Lachsz University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Phil Lynch International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Switzerland
Dr Anne Macduff ANU College of Law, Australia
Douglas McDonald-Norman University of New South Wales, Australia
Dr Paul McGorrery Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council, Australia
Dr Kcasey McLoughlin Newcastle Law School, Australia
Dr Elyse Methven University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Justin Pen Barrister admitted to practise in New South Wales, Australia
Professor Simon Rice University of Sydney, Australia
Dr Louis Schetzer University of New South Wales, Australia
Dr Bill Swannie Victoria University, Australia
Dr Kellie Toole University of Adelaide, Australia
Dr Anthea Vogl University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Dr Steven White Griffith University, Australia
Associate Professor Normann Witzleb Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC)
  • Clarivate Analytics: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • ProQuest
  • Scopus
  • This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Alternative Law Journal will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Alternative Law Journal may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Alternative Law Journal, please ensure you have read the Aims & scope.

    1.2 Article Types

     The Alternative Law Journal welcomes contributions for publication in four categories:

    • articles up to 3500 words;
    • briefs around 1000-1500 words;
    • columns (variable lengths);
    • law & culture reviews up to 800 words.

    Please find more detailed information below, but note that the above word counts are body text only, and do not include footnoting.

    Articles and Briefs are welcome on a wide range of Australian legal and social issues, for example, social justice, access to justice, the administration of justice, the environment, critical legal education, law reform, community lawyering, human rights, crime, family law, welfare law, freedom of information, refugee and immigration law, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination law, Indigenous rights, women's rights, disability rights, sexual identity and the law, the Asia/Pacific region, race and the law, children's rights, consumer rights, workers' rights, rural and regional issues, social security law and issues relating to marginalised or disadvantaged people or groups.

    The journal is national and while articles and briefs may cover an issue in one Australian state or territory, it is desirable that comparisons are drawn with other jurisdictions, particularly in articles. Articles should generally focus on, or have an Australasian or comparative context.

    It is preferred that articles and briefs take a critical perspective and are written in plain English. Heavy, scholarly or overly legalistic articles are not encouraged. Casenotes, if they are simply reportage are not encouraged, but articles and briefs which take a critical or analytical perspective on interesting cases are welcome.

    Our readership is not only lawyers but a broad range of professional, government, academic, legal education and student readers. We see our niche as being somewhere between law journals and the mainstream media. We particularly discourage excessive footnotes.

    Abstracts: Please supply an abstract with your article or brief. The abstract should be concise (three or four sentences) and should summarise the main arguments in the item. For example:

    Australian Workplace Agreements

    by James Judge

    This article describes the features of the new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs). The author discusses the role of the Employment Advocate and how it is applying the 'no disadvantage' test. In particular he examines the AIRC's interpretation of the test in a number of cases, and finds that the protection offered by the no-disadvantage rule is limited by the need to show that approval of the AWAs is 'contrary to the public interest'.

    Keywords: Please include 4-8 keywords (or phrases) with your submission, that will facilitate online searches.


    The following columns are published regularly:

    • Legal Studies: class exercises prepared for secondary school students by a secondary legal studies teacher;
    • Asia-Pacific: multidisciplinary insights, commentary, news from academics, government and the judiciary, representatives of local non-government organisations, community groups and international agencies involved with the Asia-Pacific region;
    • 'Sit Down Girlie': legal issues from a feminist perspective.

    Law & Culture reviews:

    If you are interested in reviewing books please contact our Law & Culture Editor, Harry Hobbs Reviews should list the following information: title, author, publisher, date, number of pages, hard or soft cover, and price, set out as shown below.


    George Williams; UNSW Press, 2004; 95 pages; $16.95 (softcover).

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    The Alternative Law Journal operates a conventional double-anonymize reviewing policy in which the reviewer’s name is always concealed from the submitting author, and the author’s name is concealed from the reviewers. Articles are refereed by at least two independent reviewers, as well as the Editor; briefs are refereed by an independent reviewer, as well as the Editor.

    The journal has an editorial board, and submissions are managed by a member of the Board (or their delegate). Articles may be rejected by an Editor without refereeing if the work fails to comply with the basic criteria, for example, length, style or topic. Articles may be returned to authors for revision before being accepted. The time taken to give a decision about acceptance is variable but we endeavour to keep it under six months.

    The Editor or members of the Editorial Board may occasionally submit their own manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternative members of the Board and the submitting Editor/Board member will have no involvement in the decision-making process.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Please supply any personal acknowledgments separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions
    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    •    Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input 
    •    Identify any entities that paid for this assistance 
    •    Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Alternative Law Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    2.4 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Alternative Law Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    2.5 Research Data

    The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.

    Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

    • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
    • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
    • cite this data in your research 

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Alternative Law Journal and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgment, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Alternative Law Journal offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    The Alternative Law Journal generally conforms to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition). Please refer to the Guide and to the Alternative Law Journal style guidance before submitting any manuscript for consideration.

    It remains the Author’s responsibility to provide citations that are compliant, and publication may be delayed until citations are accurate and correctly presented. For this reason we ask authors to present manuscripts with references substantially, if not completely, in order.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Alternative Law Journal is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year using Alternative Law Journal’s ScholarOne site it is likely that you will have had an account, however, if not you will need to create one.    For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne

    While the editors may commission articles on topical subjects, unsolicited general material will be considered at any time.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Consulting Editor: Deb Candy
    Alternative Law Journal, c/- Faculty of Law, Monash University, VICTORIA 3800, Australia
    Telephone: +61 3 9905 3362

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