EHRR Style Sheet

Points of Style

The EHRR Style Sheet can also be downloaded here.
Please ensure that you also read the EHRR guidelines for submission of articles.


The key factors in formatting citations to authority are: (a) clarity, and (b) consistency. The EHRR uses footnotes instead of a bibliography. Abbreviations should be avoided wherever possible for accessibility reasons.


T. Acton, Gypsy Politics and Social Change (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974), at 102.

Use p. for single pages and pp. for multiple pages. Always write out the full numbers of the page range (i.e. not 12-4 but 12-14).

Gudmundur Aldredsson, et al., International Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 2001), p.1, 7, 12, 20-22.

For presses in the USA, there must be a comma after the name of the city and the state abbreviation (without periods between letters). For instance, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Contributions to Books

J. Okely, 'Cultural ingenuity and travelling autonomy: not copying, just choosing' in T. Acton and G. Mundy (eds.), Romani Culture and Gypsy Identity (Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, 1997), 188-203 at 198.

Note that the initial letter of every word in the main title (apart from small words) should be capitalised, with the exception of the initial word (which should always be capitalised). Only the first word of the second title (the part after the colon) should be capitalised, with the exception of proper nouns.

Note that edited by should always be represented by ed. (never by eds.) even for multiple editors.

Do not give the page ranges for chapters (or academic articles): only give the pages cited.

Academic Articles

Note that journal titles should not be abbreviated. Also note that when commas are used to separate elements within a reference, they NEVER go within the closing quotation mark at the end of the title of the article. This applies to newspaper articles and other similar references.

Karl Loewenstein, 'Militant Democracy and Fundamental Rights' (1937) 31 American Political Science Review, 417 at 638.

Above, 31 refers to the volume number.

Oona Hathaway, 'Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference?', (2002) Yale Law Journal 111, p.1935.

Jakkie Cilliers, 'NEPAD's Peer Review Mechanism', Institute for Security Studies Paper No 64 (2002). Available at Last accessed 1 March 2009.

Note in the above example for working papers, that it is necessary to refer to the number of the paper, as above No 00. As this is different from journal articles, it is also necessary to put in No before the relevant number. Note that No, the abbreviation for number, has no period after the o.

Newspaper Articles and Non-Academic Periodicals

'The Big Picture', The Times, 3 May 2006.

Include the name of the journalist (if known).

Documents, Treaties, Declarations, etc.

Note that document titles should not usually be italicised, nor should they be placed within quotation marks.

Note that Article should always be capitalised and written out in full. Paragraph should be abbreviated to para. and should always be followed by a space (unlike p./pp.). Subparagraphs should be in parenthesis; there should be no space between the main and sub-elements of an article or paragraph, e.g. Article 1(i-iii), Article 2(a)(i), para. 3(e).

The first time a convention or treaty is mentioned, its full title must be given. However, only the initial letters of words that make up the acronym or conventional abbreviation should be capitalised. For instance, Committee for the Prevention of Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT), Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT). Note that in UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT), by convention against is not capitalised. This also applies to the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). This rule applies to most conventions and similar with the word against in their titles. Session numbers should not usually be given. Note that document references should usually be pre-fixed by UN Doc., CPT Doc., etc.

Although it may seem as if some abbreviations are so well-known that it is unnecessary to spell them out (e.g. OED, EU), all abbreviations should be written out in full in the first instance, both in the main text of the article and in footnotes. However, do use your judgement with abbreviations that could not be misunderstand even by non-native speakers. CoE (Council of Europe) might not be understood by non-native speakers, but everyone knows what is meant by USA and UN.

Paris Principles relating to the Status and functioning of National Institutions for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights (the Paris Principles), General Assembly, Resolution 134, UN Doc. A/RES/48/134, 20 December 1993.

European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ETS no 126, Strasbourg, 26.XI.1987, Article 1. Available at Last accessed 6 December 2009.

OPCAT, adopted by the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/RES/57/199, 18 December 2002, entered into force 22 June 2006, Article 28(1).


Note that report titles are not usually italicised or enclosed within quotation marks.

SPT, First Annual Report, UN Doc. CAT/C/40/2, 25 April 2008. Available at Last accessed 19 December 2009.

CPT, 17th General Report, CPT Doc. CPT/Inf (2007) 39, 'Preface'. Available at Last accessed 10 May 2009.

CPT, Report to the Government of Greece on the visit to Greece carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 20 to 27 February 2007, CPT Doc. CPT/Inf (2008) 3, para 32.

General Assembly Resolution 57/228, 'Khmer Rouge Trials', Annex: Draft Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia concerning the Prosecution under Cambodia Law of crimes committed during the period of Democratic Kampuchea, UN Doc. A/RES/57/228 B.

Legal cases

Note that you should follow the convention used in the original case, unless unknown, in deciding whether to use v., vs. or versus.

The name of the court should be included. It should only be abbreviated when the abbreviation has been given in the main text.

H.L. v. the United Kingdom, application no 45508/99, (2004) European Court of Human Rights 471.

Storck v. Germany, application no. 61603/00, (2005) European Court of Human Rights 406.

Caballero Delgado and Santana v. Columbia (Merits), Inter-Amican Court of Human Rights, Series C No 22 (1995).

Internet references

Internet addresses should not be underlined. The text should be in black. Available at should not be followed by a colon.

African Commission on Human Rights. Available at Last access 8 March 2009. Inter-American Court on Human Rights, available at Last access 2 May 2009.

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, available at Last accessed 10 December 2009.

It is essential that the date on which the webpage was last accessed is given.

Conferences and Conference Papers

Emily O'Reilly, 'Human Rights and the Ombudsman', Biennial Conference, British and Irish Ombudsman Association, University of Warwick, Coventry, 27 April 2007, p.2. Available at

Filip Glotzmann and Petra Zdrazilova, 'National Preventive Mechanism: Czech Republic', OPCAT in the OSCE region: What it means and how to make it work?, Prague, Czech Republic, 25-26 November 2008.

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Formatting Footnotes

The first footnote in each article may be asterisked; such footnotes do not count in the footnote numbering. This first footnote is reserved for a short statement about the author, including the author's title and position, and a brief acknowledgment of any assistance provided to the author during the research underpinning the article or in the writing of the article. Dedications should not be included.

Footnote numbers fall outside punctuation marks: judgment,³ not judgment³.

Full details of a reference need only be given only in the first citation. Afterwards, give a shortened citation followed by See fn.00. In cross-references in footnotes, avoid Latin abbreviations (i.e. avoid Ibid. and similar): these aren�t good from an accessibility point of view.

Thomas Acton, Gypsy Politics and Social Change (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974), p.102.

Acton, Gypsy Politics and Social Change, p.103. See fn.43.

CPT, Report to the Czech Government on the visit to the Czech Republic carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25 March to 2 April 2008, CPT Doc. CPT/Inf (2009) 8.

CPT, Report to the Czech Government on the visit to the Czech Republic, para. 44. See fn.32.

For cross-references to material within the text of the article, do not use later and earlier: use above and below.

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Use only single quotation marks, except for quotations within quotations. For instance:

President Clinton gave the CIA authority to send prisoners to foreign countries to 'get them "off the street" when a criminal conviction was not feasible.'

All quotations must be footnoted: the reference must specify the paper number (or paragraph/article, etc.) where the quotation appears in the original text. Quotations should only start with a capital letter when the quotation comprises a complete sentence.

Quotations can be edited by inserting words in square brackets (sometimes in place of the original word) to match the sense/grammar of the independent clause of the main sentence to the quotation. Explanatory information may also be added in square brackets to clarify the meaning of the quotation (particular in the case of pronouns since, when taken out of context, it is not always clear what is being referred to). Omissions, however small, must be marked by ellipses. Errors in the original should be marked with [sic].

Authors must quote carefully and accurately. Material that is paraphrased must be completely re-written to not constitute plagiarism. When individual words or very short phrases represent unusual word choices by the original author, they must be formatted as quotations.

Block quotes are quotations longer than 40 words. They should appear as an indented paragraph. For very long quotations, permissions may be required. If in doubt, please include a note about this when submitting to the journal.

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Points of Style

Titles: When a title appears in the text, format (in italics or '') as you would in footnotes.

Dates: Within the main text and the footnotes of the article, dates should be written out in full in the form Day Month Year (e.g. 25 December 1946). Use all four digits for referring to specific years. When referring to decades, write 1990s, 1980s, etc. (NB: there is no apostrophe). For date ranges, use 1956-1967, 1986-1998. Always include the decade.

Numbers and Units of Measurement: Spell out numbers below 10 in the main text. Use figures for numbers over 10. However, if a number falls at the start of a sentence, it must always be written out in full. If a paragraph contains numbers over and under 10 then stick to a single approach: be consistent! Always use figures for statistics (even for numbers under 10). If a number if over 999, then use commas to group it into thousands (e.g. 4,000,000).

Abbreviations: When using an abbreviation to avoid wordiness, write the first instance out in full, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis. It is not enough, for instance, to write out European Convention for the Prevention of Torture (ECPT): the full version must be used - European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (ECPT). For example:

Violence against Women (VaW) is especially common in South Asian communities.

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (CPT) is a Council of Europe (CoE) treaty body.

Usually abbreviations will be acronyms. If there is a standard abbreviation (e.g. OPCAT, UN, CoE) then it must be used. Only abbreviate when the abbreviation will be re-used a number of times. Once something has been abbreviated, it should not be written out in full again except for emphasis at the end of the conclusion or if the abbreviation is not used for many pages.

Lists: For short lists use (i), (ii), and (iii), rather than bullet points. For long, complex lists, use (1), (2), (3), and (4) instead of bullet points (NB: This is an accessibility issue).

Spelling: Please remember that the journal requires British spelling to be used throughout (see especially s/z, -re/-er, s/c, our/or and -c/-s differences). If in doubt, check the Oxford English Dictionary. However, do not change the spelling of words in quotations or in titles. Digraphs: Keep the digraph in (e.g. aetiology).

Passive voice: Generally, passive voice should be avoided. Instead of It is submitted that torture is always wrong, use Torture is always wrong. The purpose of an argument is to claim that something is true and then support this claim with evidence.

Be precise, be specific: Use specific rather than general verbs (he skipped/leapt to the door versus he went to the door): specific verbs help non-native speakers to grasp the meaning of sentences more clearly. Be precise: take out as many pronouns as possible. They're problematic for non-native speakers.

Gender-neutral language: Avoid sexist language (humankind not mankind or humanity; where possible, remove the need for pronouns or require the use of plural pronouns: If he/she wants, a student can apply versus Students can apply versus If they want, students can apply).

Personal pronouns in argumentative voice: Avoid I and we unless making a point about your own personal experience of the topic under discussion: I/we is usually only appropriate in practitioner reports and/or reflective pieces.

Wordiness and unnecessary complexity: Avoid wordiness and overly complex sentences. Break long sentences down into shorter, clearer, simpler ones. Where possible, cut introductory phrases and clauses and even individual words, unless vital to convey the logic/ progression of the argument (e.g. therefore, however). Cut 'introductions' to the argument (e.g. This paper argues that torture is one of the most serious of all human rights violations versus Torture is one of the most serious of all human rights violations). The paper must defend the argument, so the argument should be made directly and forcefully, then backed up.

Punctuation: In lists of three or more items, use a comma before the and or or (e.g. red, white, or blue and red, white, and green). Do not insert full stops after headings or in acronyms, including after titles (e.g. Dr, Mr, Mrs). Note that Prof. is a truncated version of Professor and should contain a full stop.

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Note: The EHRR Style Sheet uses, in adapted form, parts of the European Commission Style Guide, October 2007, produced by members of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation, with grateful thanks.

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