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Constitution for the Journal of Crime & Justice Dissertations (JCJD).

The Journal of Crime and Justice Dissertations (JCJD) is a London Metropolitan University 'Crime Lab' Project which was established in 2023. The Journal aims to showcase high-quality student dissertations (which have received an award of '1st') on topics related to crime and justice by way of publication (the assigning of an ISSN and/or a DOI under the Journal's name) and where warranted, the awarding of an annual Dissertation Prize for outstanding scholarly excellence. To this end, the Journal encourages students from a variety of disciplines to submit their dissertation, such as those students who have studied law, criminology, sociology and social science. The Journal has a global reach, accepting submissions from outside of London Metropolitan University. The Journal has a focus on social justice and harm issues. Namely, the Journal seeks to promote scholarship that investigates issues relating to criminality, equality, equity and fairness in the criminal justice system and wider society. 

 

Article I: Purpose

The purpose of the Journal is to provide a platform for students to showcase their high-quality research (which has received a grade of ‘1st’ from their respective institutions) regarding the study of crime and justice. The Journal will do this by screening submitted works by Executive Committee and following this, assigning works with an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) and/or a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) under the name of the Journal. Such research must also promote and advance, in some capacity, ideas of social justice and/or the study of harm. Indeed, the Journal seeks to platform critical thinking recent-graduates who are concerned with criminality, equality, equity and fairness issues. The Journal welcomes both theoretical and empirically-focused dissertations. Where warranted, the Journal will award an annual Dissertation Prize for outstanding scholarly excellence, further advancing the Journal's mission to showcase and reward students’ high-quality work.

 

Article II: Scope

The Journal will accept works that contribute to the understanding of crime and justice issues. Such works should also engage with ideas of social justice and/or harm prevention. The Journal will accept submissions from undergraduate students in any academic discipline. All submissions must be written in English (UK-British style) and must receive a 1st class grade from their respective university. 

Article III: Director & Executive Committee

The Journal will be managed by a singular Director and Executive Committee. All of which will comprise of academics, community members, researchers, students and alumni with expertise or professional practice relating to crime, justice and/or harm prevention. The Director will participate as part of the Executive Committee and will oversee the assigning of new committee members and when necessary, a new director. The Committee will be responsible for screening dissertations and where appropriate, providing feedback to authors before their work is published. 

Article IV: Ethics & Standards

Authors/Contributors are responsible for ensuring that their work was conducted ethically. This means that Authors/Contributors should only submit research that: (1) is their own (is original/not plagiarised); (2) does not infringe on others intellectual property rights; (3) does not defame or slander any individual, group or organisation; (4) preserves the privacy of participants/research subjects; (5) has participants/research subjects informed consent (regarding their participation in the study); (6) discloses any relevant conflicts of interest; (7) accurately and responsibly reports their research findings. Whilst these ethical responsibilities are primarily that of the Author/Contributor, the Director will also screen all works in view of these key ethical issues. This may mean, were relevant, that the Director will liaise with project supervisors to confirm that research was conducted ethically. The Journal will also be committed to transparency, and will clearly communicate its policies and procedures to Authors/Contributors and readers, following a supportive editorial approach. Furthermore, when a work is not accepted for publication, the Committee will provide constructive feedback. Once the Committee rejects a submission, authors cannot (re)submit their work to the Journal; in this sense, decisions are final.

Article V: Commitment to Social Justice & Study of Harm

The Journal is committed to advancing ideas of social justice (addressing issues of inequality, inequity and unfairness) and advancing the study of harm (otherwise known as zemiology). Whilst these concepts are abstract and interpretative, authors are expected to critically engage with these ideas to some degree. Indeed, in terms of social justice, the Journal is interested in research that in some capacity critically examines the role of race, gender, sexuality, class, deprivation/poverty and other factors that contribute to disparities in the criminal justice system and wider society. In addition to this, the Journal seeks to move beyond a myopic legal framing of crime and justice. Indeed, the Journal is committed to promoting scholarship that critically explores a broader, harm-focused understanding of crime and justice issues. Lastly, the Journal aims to amplify marginalised voices and perspectives, and promote scholarship that challenges problematic narratives and power structures in the criminal justice system.

 

Article VI: Dissemination

The Journal will be published online and will be freely accessible to all readers (open access). Publications will be conducted annually on the website ‘journalcjd.org’ with each accepted dissertation being assigned a corresponding ISSN and/or a DOI number. 

Article VII: JCJD Prize & Committee Voting

As part of the JCJD, an annual Dissertation Prize will be awarded to the most outstanding submission of the year. Except for the Director, all members of the Executive Committee will vote to decide which of the submissions should receive the prize. Each committee member will state their first, second, and third choices. In this voting system, the first choice is equal to three points, the second is equal to two points, and the third choice is equal to one point. The submission that receives the highest number of points wins that year’s prize.

In the rare event that the vote is split between two or more submissions, the Director will announce their vote. The Director will follow the same voting method as described above, with a first, second, and third choice preference. Only in these exceptional circumstances can the Director contribute to the voting process. To ensure the highest levels of fairness, the Director should cast and store their votes prior to receiving the votes of other committee members.

In the highly unlikely event that the vote is still split after following all of the above, the Director will make a definitive choice from the submissions that are in deadlock.

Article VIII: Amendments

This constitution may be amended by the Director or a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee board.

 

Conclusion:

The Journal is committed to showcasing high quality student dissertations that related to crime and justice and were relevant, rewarding academic excellence. The journal has a unique focus on social justice and the study of harm. The Journal aims to create a supportive platform for an international student community, to showcase their research with the world.

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