Submission Guidelines for Case Briefs – From the Courtroom

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General Guidelines

As Libertatem Magazine is a monthly magazine, the list of cases to be analyzed and briefed changes every month. The manuscript should not be less than 500 words and more than 700 words and should be written in any uniform formatting. The manuscript should only be in a word file. All the submission done by author shall be his/her original work and would be subjected to our Copyright Guidelines.

Footnoting Referencing Style

Magazines, in general, do not require any specific footnoting owing to the fact that it is not an academic research. The articles are people’s opinion and their views on any particular incident. We too do not expect any footnoting in the articles, rather, you must acknowledge the source using the inline or in-text method and a hyperlink to the source webpage [if any]. Illustration can be found below.

“The Government, finally, keeping in mind such bottlenecks, approved the Spectrum Sharing and Trading Policy [Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Approval to guidelines on spectrum sharing, 12th August, 2015]. The Cabinet likewise chose that both licensees sharing the spectrum should mutually give a prior intimation for sharing the right to utilize the spectrum in no less than 45 days before the proposed effective date of the sharing.”

As illustrated above, rather than adding footnotes, authors should mandatorily acknowledge the source inside the text. If you are referring to an online document, please do put it as Hyperlink in the reference as illustrated above or rather provide us with the link.

Structure & Flow of the Case Briefs

The Case Brief must adhere to the following structure and flow:-

  1. A short title [E.g. – Government to enact laws prohibiting cow slaughter and its trade]
  2. Case Title [Petitioner v. Respondent]
  3. Citation of the Case [AIR, SCC, SCCOnline, etc.]
  4. Decided on date
  5. Brief Facts
  6. Issues before the court
  7. Held
  8. Learning Outcome

Word Counts

The word limit would be as follows:-

  1. Short Title [Approx. 10-12 words]
  2. Case Title [N/A]
  3. Citation [N/A]
  4. Decided on date [N/A]
  5. Brief Facts [100-150 words]
  6. Issues before the Court [N/A, can differ from case to case]
  7. Held [250-300 words]
  8. Learning Outcome [100 words]

Formatting of Manuscript (Mandatory)

Clear Paragraph – Make sure to write clear paragraphs. We publish your writeups on the website as well and for that purpose, we would advise you to always start your paragraph with the most important sentence. Then explain or elaborate on that sentence.

This way, a reader will be able to grasp the most relevant content from your writeup, just by reading the first sentences of your paragraphs. Make sure paragraphs aren’t too long (8 or 10 sentences is quite long already).

Short Sentences – Try to write short sentences. Short sentences are easier to read and understand than long sentences. Above that, you will be less likely to make mistakes in grammar as your sentences are rather short. We consider sentences containing more than 20 words as lengthy. Try to limit these lengthy sentences. Make sure you only have a few sentences in a manuscript that count more than 20 words. Also, make sure a paragraph doesn’t contain more than one long sentence.

Limit difficult words – Limit the use of words that are difficult to read. Remember that reading from a screen is harder for everyone. Words that contain four or more syllables are considered difficult to read. Make sure to limit the use of such difficult words.

Mixing Words – For a text to be attractive to a reader, it should be very varied. This means that you should try to mix it up a little! Alternate longer paragraphs and sentences with short ones and attempt to use synonyms if you tend to use a word very often. Some people use the word ‘and’ or ‘too’ very often. Mixing it up with ‘also’ or ‘moreover’ could make a text more attractive and much more readable too.

Use transition words (mandatory) – A text can be made much more readable with the use of proper transition words (or signal words, same thing). Transition words are words like ‘most important’, ‘because’, ‘thus’, or ‘besides that’. They give direction to your readers. These words give a signal that something is coming up: if you’re summarizing, you’ll use first, second, third etc. If you want to contrast you’ll write same, less, rather, while or either. If you want to conclude, you’ll use hence, consequently or therefore.

Using transition words will be like putting cement between your sentences. The relation between two sentences becomes apparent by the use of transition words. Readers will understand your content much better if you make proper use of these kinds of words.

Distribution of manuscript into subheadings – Your case briefs must be divided into several subheadings in order to optimize the writeup for better readership.

Passive Voice should be avoidedIf you want to write anything which is nice and easy to read, you should try to avoid passive voice. In sentences with passive voice, it remains unclear who or what is acting. This results in very distant writing. Texts using a lot of passive voice tend to be hard and unattractive to read. Avoid using (as much as you can) the passive voice altogether.

Headings and HeadersHeadings are important for Search Engine Optimization purposes. Google uses your headings to determine the topic of the content on our website. Your headings, thus, should be used to optimize your post. However, headings are of great importance for your readers as well. Headers allow your readers to quickly scan through your text and to decide whether or not (or which parts) they would like to read your writeup.

Headings thus should be simple and should explain in itself the content of the writeup. It should not contain any fancy words, rather, it should contain words which are more likely to be used by a common person while searching for your article. 

You can put a header above each paragraph, or above a number of paragraphs which contain similar topics. The headers should reflect the structure of your text. We would advise you to put a header above every long paragraph (or above a few short paragraphs which are thematically similar).

Tags & Keywords

It is mandatory for you to include atleast 10 keywords at the end of your case briefs. These keywords are feeded into our system which then forwards it to the Google Keyword Research Manager. Use of keywords helps your article to rank higher in the Google Search.

E.g.- If your writeup is on Supreme Court’s decision stating that people should stand up while National Anthem is playing, then, the keywords would be Supreme Court, National Anthem, Apex Court, Theaters, Cinema Halls, Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, etc. The combination of these words would lead your article to a good rank in Search Engines and hence they are extremely important.

Focus Keyword

It is mandatory for you to provide 1 Focus Keyword for your article apart from the tags & keywords. The criteria of Focus Keyword is as follows –

  1. The focus keyword should appear in the first paragraph of the manuscript.
  2. The focus keyword should be mentioned in the title of the manuscript.

Below is the screenshot of a good Focus Keyword

Plagiarism

We have a Zero Tolerance Policy against plagiarism. All writeups submitted undergoes a plagiarism check and if we find any sort of content that is plagiarized, we may reject the writeup subject to the editorial team’s discretion.

Note- Quotes and cited sentences would not be counted in plagiarism.

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