The manuscript must not contain information pertaining to the author(s). Every manuscript undergoes a pre-check regarding its general suitability. Those that make it into the following round of evaluation are sent for the process of anonymous peer review. The Editorial Board appoints two peer reviewers (experts) either from the members of the International Advisory and Peer-Review Board or invites external reviewers to express their opinion on the manuscript. The reviewers are chosen on the basis of their expertise on the given topic. Since the peer-review is anonymous, the reviewer provides opinions on anonymised manuscripts. The author must acknowledge only the content of the peer review. The editorial board brings to the peers’ attention that the final decision of publication falls within the competence of the editorial board, and it does not pay remunerations for the peer review, but issues certificates of participation in the peer review on request.
During the pre-check review, one of the managing editors examines the submitted manuscript based on general requirements, namely academic suitability, morality, and uniqueness.
If the Editorial Board so decides, the manuscript is sent to the appointed peer reviewers. Neither the peer reviewers nor the authors shall be acquainted with each other to ensure personal and institutional independence. The editor further sends the generally reviewed manuscript to two academically qualified experts from the relevant branch/field of law, who then provide their professional opinions about the manuscript. The editor mediates all interactions between the author(s) and peer reviewers.
During the process of reviewing, the editor communicates with the author(s) via e-mail. The author is informed about the result of the process of peer-reviewing by the editor who conducted the general editorial review. Correspondence related to peer-review and peer reviewers’ reviews are archived by the Editor-in-chief. Peer reviews are not published.
After receiving the professional opinions of peer reviewers, the editor makes the decision regarding the publishing of the manuscript. The editor exercises discretionary competence regarding this only in the case of one supporting and one rejecting opinion. Two supporting opinions results in the manuscript being published. However, the editor shall decide in which issue of the Journal the manuscript will be published. Two rejecting opinions implies rejection. In case one or both the opinions recommend(s) the manuscript for publication with changes, the editor sets a fair time limit for making the necessary changes. If the author addresses these required changes, the modified manuscript is sent to the same peer reviewers again for their professional opinions.
Obligations of peer reviewers
Contribution to editorial decisions: Peer reviewers help the editorial team in decision-making if required, anonymously supporting the author in raising the scientific level of the scholarly work during the process of collegial revision (double-blind review).
Efficiency: In case the selected peer reviewer thinks that:
- she/he cannot provide scientifically and professionally well-founded opinions because she/he does not feel qualified, or
- she/he cannot evaluate the research presented in the manuscript for other reasons, or
- she/he is aware of the inability to prepare her/his opinions effectively and within the given time,
she/he is obliged to notify the editor and waive participation in the peer-review.
Confidentiality: All received manuscripts are considered confidential. Peer reviewers shall refrain from using information obtained during the peer-review process to their own or another’s advantage or to the disadvantage or discredit of others. They shall not involve anyone else in the review without first obtaining permission from the Journal.
Objectivity: The evaluation shall be carried out objectively. Personally criticising the author is considered inappropriate. The peer reviewers’s views must be conveyed in a straightforward and argumentative manner.
Reference to sources: Peer reviewers shall know the relevant published works not cited by the author(s). Any statement that contains an observation, thought or argument from a work published earlier must be accompanied by an appropriate reference. Furthermore, the peer reviewer should draw the editor’s attention to any substantive similarity or overlap between the examined manuscript and other material previously published and known by him/her. Peer reviewers should refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to their work merely to increase citation counts or enhance the visibility of their work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons.