Ukumela: The South African Journal of Legal Reasoning, Writing and Education (“Ukumela”) was established in 2017 as the first, peer-reviewed, open-access journal of its kind in South Africa. Ukumela seeks to provide a forum and showcase for the developing discipline of legal writing, publishing scholarly articles about the theory, substance, and pedagogy of legal writing. It aims to consider a myriad of themes relating to the status, achievements of and challenges facing legal education in South Africa in the present, post-colonial, post-apartheid, constitutionally democratic dispensation.

For this purpose, we invite the submission of papers engaging topics relevant at either a general level or specific to an area where these themes tend to manifest, to be published in the first edition of this work. Areas that may be explored include, but are not limited to, the relationship between transformation and decolonisation in the context of legal education, and what each would entail in the current climate; a focus of LLB curricula on learning by rote the established legal doctrines as opposed to encouraging critical thought, thereby nurturing legal writing prowess, and the consequences of this in both practice and academia; and the successes of alternative teaching methodology/the transfer of knowledge through deviating from traditional classroom norms.

Ukumela is a new initiative and has for this reason not yet been accredited. Contributions included in the first three volumes will thus not be subsidised. Prospective contributors are nevertheless encouraged to participate in what has emerged as an area most worthy of sober debate. 

Notes for prospective authors:

All submission to the journal must be submitted online at Authors are required to register on the journal website before submitting a contribution.

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. 

The following contributions will be subject to peer-review and are eligible for publication in Ukumela:

1. full length articles of typically 6 000 – 12 000 words including footnotes;

2. review articles of typically 6 000 – 12 000 words including footnotes (a review article is an in-depth discussion of a subject or a series of subjects relating to a recent book or books);

3. notes of typically 4 000 – 6 000 words including footnotes (a note should be critical and not merely be descriptive); and

Unless otherwise specified, the house style applies uniformly to all categories of contributions. The house style is available at: