Adapting a more expansive understanding of 'legal scholarship,' the policy will be to publish papers about law as much as of law. Although traditional forms of scholarship will be retained and encouraged, a greater range and style of writing will be actively pursued and published. The ambition is to make the Journal into a forum for the exchange and expression of new ideas about law in all its manifestations and meanings, both theoretical and practical. The criterion of publication will be quality and originality, not orientation or orthodoxy.
The Osgoode Hall Law Journal has been publishing continuously since 1958 and is currently run by a student board of editors with a faculty editor-in-chief.
The Journal has earned a reputation for excellence in publishing scholarly articles that represent a wide range of perspectives about law and legal institutions and for providing thorough, meticulous, and efficient editorial services to our authors. We aim to provide an interdisciplinary forum for legal innovation and for provocative approaches to legal knowledge.
This ambitious mandate distinguishes us from other law journals and legal publications. We focus on publishing articles that present new theoretical generalizations, report empirical findings, or address the impact of legal developments on issues of social, political, or economic importance from a wide array of disciplinary and ideological perspectives. In addition to notable Canadian scholarship, the Journal publishes submissions from authors around the world who offer international or comparative perspectives.
The Journal was initially run entirely by a student board of editors with the support and encouragement of faculty advisors. Early on, the majority of articles in the Journal were written by Osgoode students. The Journal’s laudable goals were stated in the inaugural June 1958 issue as follows:
"THE JOURNAL hopes to encourage student writing and to be the catalyst in a programme of legal writing which can be a rewarding educational experience … [b]ut THE JOURNAL should not serve exclusively those who care to write for its pages. We hope that the articles, notes and reviews collected here will be of interest to lawyers and students of the law and that our readers will give us the benefit of their criticism and advice. The most severe judgment is your indifference."
In 1984, Professor Allan Hutchinson was appointed the first faculty editor-in-chief, and the Journal took its present form of a joint student-faculty enterprise. The philosophy of the Journal was restated that year, building upon the original principles of education and relevance and pioneering new conceptions of legal knowledge. This bold and ambitious mandate, which the Journal continues to pursue today, was introduced in the 1984 volume as follows: