Since the Quid belongs to all Law students, it is essential to adopt a transparent editorial policy that will guarantee both freedom of expression and the protection of individual interests.
Wherever possible, the Quid publishes everything submitted. However, to encourage a climate where each student will feel comfortable sharing his/her opinions, in rare circumstances, articles may be edited, and in extreme cases refused, at the discretion of the editors-in-chief.
While all submissions are presumptively publishable, potentially criminal speech (i.e. hate speech) and-or libelous speech are not presumptively publishable. In such cases the author must make a strong case that the information is accurate, that journalistic standards and ethics were followed; discretion to publish such articles lies solely with the Editors-in-Chief.
QUID NOVI POLICIES AND OPERATING GUIDELINES
This version of the policy is enacted as of 2014.
This document has five sections:
1) General Guidelines
2) Submission and Revocation Policy
3) Anonymous Submission Policy
4) Editing Guidelines
5) Content Review Policy
6) Overheards Review Policy
7) Notice and Amendment Process
1) GENERAL GUIDELINES
Every item appearing in the Quid Novi is an opinion piece that reflects only the views of the person (s) submitting the item. Neither the Quid Novi, the LSA, nor the Faculty of Law endorse any of the material or views contained therein. Given the nature of the publication and its limited resources, the Quid will not undertake to evaluate the factual accuracy of submissions. Submissions are presumptively publishable unless they do not conform to the guidelines contained herein.
2) SUBMISSION AND REVOCATION POLICY
The Quid is a submission-driven publication. The deadline for submission shall appear in every issue. Articles submitted must include the author's name and year of study. If the author is writing in a particular capacity (i.e. 'LSA President'; 'Head of Student Club') this is to be indicated by the author.
No material submitted after the deadline shall be published without the express consent of the Editors-in-Chief. Late submissions will be slated for publication in the subsequent edition.
Articles submitted for publication may be revoked by the author. The Quid will honour all such requests provided they are made at least two days prior to publication. The Quid will do its best to honour a late revocation request but will not stop the printing of an issue that has already gone to press.
3) ANONYMOUS SUBMISSION POLICY
The Quid will publish anonymous articles provided they conform to the Quid policy and operating guidelines. Anonymous articles present a challenge for content review for they do not allow the Editors-in-Chief to consult with the author. As such, if an anonymous article is rejected for publication, notification of rejection must be published in the Quid.
4) EDITING GUIDELINES
Every item submitted to the Quid shall be reviewed. The Quid reserves the right to make grammatical edits to improve the readability or suitability for publication of an article. Editors may also correct spelling mistakes. If a submission requires significant editing - in the view of the first person reviewing the article - this shall be indicated to the Editors-in-Chief. The Editors may refuse to publish the article for lack of suitability or may conduct significant edits and publish the submission. Minor edits need not be communicated to the author prior to publication.
5) CONTENT REVIEW POLICY
All submissions made to the Quid shall be reviewed for content. There is a four-step review process.
1) Review by Editor
The Editor assigned to review the article (or an Editor-in-Chief) individually reviews the submission for content they believe to be questionable. Questionable content is content that, in the appreciation of that respective Editor, is either potentially offensive or potentially not suitable for publication. The following factors will be considered when assessing potential offensiveness: the overall tone of the submission, the specific word(s) used, the context in which they are used, coupled with an individual appreciation of the potential reaction to said material by the student body, professors, alumni, and the Montreal legal community. If, on balance, any individual Editor or an Editor-in-Chief believes there is questionable content, this is communicated to the Editors-in-Chief.
Items that are potentially not suitable for publication include, but are not limited to: submissions that are too long or too short; submissions that have the potential to create a hostile environment for faculty or students; and submissions that are defamatory in nature.
At the second stage of review, the Editors-in-Chief and Editor who did the initial review discuss their specific findings with one another in relation to the submission. If there is a finding of questionable content that is agreed to by a majority (i.e. at least two-out-of-three between the reviewing editor and the Editors-in Chief), the article goes for consultation. If there is no agreed finding of questionable content, the article is published as is or with edits at the discretion of the Editors-in-Chief.
At the Consultation stage, the Editors-in-Chief must advise the author that there is a content concern. The Editors-in-Chief may consult others about the submission, provided there is no information given identifying the author(s). The Editors-in-Chief may consult with any individuals mentioned in the article, fellow students, faculty members, and/or alumni, at the discretion of the Editors-in-Chief. Consultation is not a question of how-many-for vs. how-many-against; rather, given the nature and role of the Quid, consultation is premised on whether the specific content is suitable for publication. The author may be consulted numerous times if the Editors-in-Chief feel this is necessary.
The Editors-in-Chief will discuss the results of their consultations and will render a decision to: [a] accept the submission as is; [b] accept the submission with minor edit(s) to be completed by the Editors-in-Chief; [c] accept the submission with or without minor edit(s) and publish a warning along the submission; [d] return the submission to the author for modification with suggestions provided at the discretion of the Editors-in-Chief, or, alternatively, [e] reject publication without modification suggestions. The decision of the Editors-in-Chief is final and binding. The Editors-in-Chief, at their discretion, may publish a notice of rejection in the Quid with their reasons, indicating, at their discretion, the name(s) of the author(s). Alternatively, the author(s) may request that such a notice appear, in which case the notice will bear the format: AUTHOR -- YEAR -- TITLE OF SUBMISSION was submitted for publication but will not be printed in accordance with the Quid Policy and Operational Guidelines.
6) OVERHEARDS REVIEW POLICY
When an overheard mentions a professor, the Editors-in-Chief shall verify before publication if the professor consents to its publications as, to its publication with her name redacted, or does not consent to its publication at all. The Editors-in-Chief shall respect her decision.
Overheards shall identify students only by their year of study (1L, 2L, 3L or 4L).
The Editors-in-Chief shall be responsible to compile in a single document all the overheards received by the applicable deadline. This document is thereafter to be treated as a regular submission, and shall undergo the content review policy described in section 5, supra, the only difference being that overheards shall be sent to all the editors on schedule for that week, not only one of them.
7) NOTICE AND AMENDMENT PROCESS
The Editors-in-Chief shall publish these guidelines in the Quid in the first issue of every semester. Changes may only be proposed by Quid staff. If there is a proposed change, it will be indicated in the next issue of the Quid with the opportunity for students to make submissions for a period of at least one week. Changes must be approved by a majority of active Quid staff. The Editors-in-Chief must publish notice of any change or change attempt in the Quid.