Promoting medico-legal knowledge in all its aspects

The Medico-Legal Journal was founded in 1931. It is published by Sage on behalf of the Medico-Legal Society. The paper version is published quarterly and posted to all full members and subscribers.  The content is also available in electronic form ahead of the print version.

The Medico-Legal Journal provides an official record of the papers presented by eminent speakers to the Medico-Legal Society and a unique collection of original articles, case reports, book reviews and correspondence from around the world.

The current content of The Medico-Legal Journal can be found here.

Members can access the full journal by clicking here. Note that your password will be required. If you would like to be considered for membership, please apply here.

The Medico-Legal Journal has its entire archive, dating back to 1933 online and available for Society members. An index of all articles from the start of the Journal to volume 64 is available here: Index of Articles.

All issues are available at the Royal Society of Medicine library and most issues at the Inns of Court Library and Law Society Library.

Talks recently published include:

  • What Power the Inquisition? Do Coroners really make a difference? By Mr Philip Barlow
  • Medicine and Law – ‘Little Territory in Common’ Presidential Address by Simon Readhead KC

The Journal publishes a wide range of high quality original articles, commentaries, case studies, letters, reviews and obituaries which consider contemporary and relevant medico-legal issues that are sent in from around the world.  Once approved texts are published first on line and later in the quarterly paper issue.  Society members and Journal subscribers can view all of these as well as 90 years of past publications.

Topics recently published include:

  • Abortion ban in some US States risks sending some women back to the back streets
  • The costs of avoidable injury from childhood cancer: litigate or mediate
  • The shame of truth – death due to accidental autoerotic asphyxia
  • Fitness to practise and the spectre of erasure
  • Digital resilience mediates healthy use of technology
  • Unlawful killing at inquests: clarity or confusion
  • Advance decision making
  • Forensic application of hyperspectral imaging technique
  • Obituaries
  • Book Reviews

If you are considering submitting an article for publication, please see below:

Guidance on Submitting texts for Publication in the Medico-Legal Journal

At present all submissions should be sent directly to the Editors ([email protected]) ([email protected]).   However, we will be moving to web-based submissions in due course and at this point we will provide more detailed guidance.

We are often short of space so limit your articles where possible to 2,500 words or less.

Texts must be original and in clear and grammatical UK English (UK setting on your computer) and as concise as possible.   Input should be of Medico-Legal interest.    We can offer authors advice on whether a proposed topic will be of interest but we cannot guarantee publication in advance of receipt of the manuscript.

We may need to edit your text but we will track any changes clearly for you to approve before further steps are taken.   You will be sent a copyright form for our publishers SAGE which you must complete and sign and return before your article can be put into the proof stage before its later publication:

Please NOTE further requirements for the publisher SAGE:

  • A cover page that provides the finalised title, all authors’ affiliations and email addresses:


  • Manuscript title
  • Manuscript Type
    • We understand that article types will vary across journals, but, we need the Journal editor to assign one of the following SMART manuscript types to each article:
      • Research or Review Article
      • Editorial
      • Case study
      • Letter
      • Other
    • Submitted Date
    • Accepted Date
    • Abstract
    • Key words

Author: we need

  • Full postal address for all authors.
    • Including countries, state and postcode.
  • Affiliation for authors (where the work was carried out).
  • Unique emails for all authors.


  • All funding information.
  • Permissions have been sort as stated below.
  • The Contributor Form is provided signed by the corresponding author.
  • Only the final and accepted version of a paper will be sent to the Production Editor.


Authors should ensure that:

  • their work is original and written by them
  • their work has not been previously published and has been submitted only to the Journal
  • where material is taken from other sources (including their own published writing) the source is clearly cited and that where appropriate permission is obtained
  • their work does not infringe on any rights of others, including privacy rights (any identifiable faces have been covered) and intellectual property rights
  • their data is true and not manipulated
  • their data is their own or that they have permission to use data reproduced in their paper
  • any real or apparent conflicting or competing interest is clearly stated on submission of their paper (this would include funding assistance)
  • they adhere to all research ethics guidelines of their discipline, particularly where human or animal subjects are involved
  • they contact the Editor to identify and correct any material errors upon discovery, whether prior or subsequent to publication of their work
  • authorship of the paper is accurately represented, including ensuring that all individuals credited as authors participated in the actual authorship of the work and that all who participated are credited and have given consent for publication

Above all, authors should be transparent.  For example, if an author is not sure whether her paper is original (for instance, whether it might constitute duplicate publication), she should inform the journal’s editor. If the editor decides it is appropriate to publish, the paper itself should state clearly any potential overlap.

For specific papers

  • We require an institutional email address where possible. A personal one can be used for correspondence but an institutional one is preferred for publication and official contact purposes.
  • Please ensure you have permission for all images used, and any identifiable faces have been covered, in both living and dead subjects. If the face needs to be shown for reasons relevant to the article then permission must be obtained from the subject, or next of kin.
  • The article must be original and not have not been published in whole or in part elsewhere . Your work should add to the academic literature.
  • Where material is taken from other sources (including your own published writing) the source must be clearly cited and where appropriate permission must be obtained

We look forward to hearing from you.

Diana Brahams, Editor.

Jane Turner (Medical Editor)