About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Ukumela: The South African Journal of Legal Reasoning, Writing and Education ("Ukumela" meaning "to represent"  in Xhosa) 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.


Double Blind Peer Review Process

  • Ukumela subscribes to the Guidelines for Best Practice in Editorial Discretion and Peer Review adopted by the Forum of Editors of Academic Law Journals in South Africa.
  • Only contributions that have not been submitted for publication elsewhere will be considered for publication in Ukumela. This rule will only be deviated from in exceptional circumstances.
  • All contributions, excluding book reviews, will be subjected to blind peer review by at least two reviewers. Blind review entails:
    • that an author is not informed about the identity of a reviewer;
    • that a reviewer is not informed about the identity of an author; and
    • that reviewers are not informed about each other's identities.
  • Only reviewers who are knowledgeable in the subject area with which the contribution deals will be used to prepare review reports.

Publication Frequency

  • Contributions will be published as soon as they have been finalised.
  • Contributions will be consolidated into three issues per year.


Code of Conduct

Publication ethics and malpractice statement

1. Publication and authorship:

  • Authors must list all references used in/for the article
  • Authors must acknowledge financial support received and from which organization or firm
  • Authors acknowledge that the article/s is their own original work and that no other author's work has been used without referencing or in a manner which constitutes plagiarism.
  • Authors acknowledge that their data is real and verifiable and that no fraudulent data is used
  • Authors may not submit an article that has been published in another journal; nor may they submit to other journals when published in SAJHE. Articles must be published exclusively in SAJHE

2. Author's responsibilities:

  • Authors are obliged to participate in the review process and refusal to do so may result in articles not being published or retracted
  • Only people who contributed significantly to the research and/or article can be listed as "author". People who contributed in a lesser role must be acknowledged as ňúcontributor"
  • Authors must provide retractions or corrections of any mistakes found by the reviewers

3. Peer review / responsibility of reviewers:

  • Judgments will be objective
  • Reviewers should have no conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors and/or the funders of the research
  • Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited
  • Reviewers will treat reviewed articles as confidential

4. Editorial responsibilities:

  • The editor-in-chief has complete authority to reject or accept articles
  • Editors should have no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject or accept
  • The editor/s will only accept a paper when reasonably certain that all conditions have been met by the author/s
  • The editor will promote the publication of corrections or retractions when errors are found in published work
  • The editor will preserve the anonymity of the reviewers

5. Publishing ethics issues

  • The editorial board will monitor and safeguard the publishing ethics of the journal
  • The guidelines for retracting articles are as follows:
    • Articles that are seriously flawed and unreliable will be retracted. Redundant articles (published in other journals prior to SAJHE) will be retracted. Change of authorship or minor errors will not lead to retraction but to the publishing of a correction notice.
    • Notices of retraction will clearly state the reason and the retracted article will be clearly marked in all electronic versions of the journal, and a retraction notice will be published in the print copy of the journal.
  • The journal will not compromise intellectual or ethical standards in favour of the business needs of the journal
  • The editorial board will maintain the integrity of the academic record of the journal
  • The editorial board will always be willing to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed.
  • No plagiarism and no fraudulent data will be tolerated in the journal


Open Access Policy

  • This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
  • Contributions published in this journal are subject to the following creative commons license:
  • Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
  • Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) before and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Digital Preservation

Ukumela: the South African Journal of Legal Reasoning, Writing and Education. This journal is in the process of migrating from the Stellenbosch University preservation platform to the PKP PN (Preservation Network) platform.


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