De Rebus: No more free printed copy

February 1st, 2019
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Mapula Sedutla – Editor

As we begin the year with the combined January/February issue of De Rebus, this will, unfortunately, be the last free printed copy made available for practising attorneys and candidate attorneys.

Due to the changes brought about by the Legal Practice Act 28 of 2014, the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) – which publishes De Rebus – is on a three-year trajectory to realign its functions to those of a membership-based professional association. This means that the funding model of the LSSA will have to change so that the organisation will be able to meet its obligations of being self-sustaining (see p 14).

With limited funding, the LSSA will continue to publish De Rebus in digital format. Those who wish to receive the printed version will, unfortunately, have to bear the cost for its subscription. We have no way around this, given the circumstances in which the profession finds itself. Alternatively, a PDF version of the journal is available for personal printing. The Classifieds section, however, will only be available on the website and in PDF format and not be printed.

How will De Rebus be distributed?

In the coming weeks, De Rebus will be sending an e-mail to practising attorneys and candidate attorneys, who will have to ‘opt in’ to receive a newsletter, which will contain a link that will direct readers to the latest online issue. This is to ensure we comply with the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa’s guidelines, which is the body that regulates circulation statistics in the country. Please be on the lookout for this mailer because if you do not ‘opt in’, we will not be able to send the newsletter to you.

The publication will continue to be a monthly publication, which is published 11 times a year. All the sections that have been in the journal will continue to be published. Therefore, we urge legal practitioners to continue sending us letters, case notes, feature articles, practice notes, etcetera.

Those who wish to receive the paid printed version of the journal can fill in a subscription form available on our website. The link to the subscription form is available at the foot of the homepage, under ‘Tools’. Subscription will only be available for postage within South Africa The annual cost of subscription is R 1 500 (including VAT).

What changes will the digital format have?

The news section and any other information, which is pertinent to legal practitioners, will be published online as soon as possible. This is so that practitioners do not receive outdated news. Practitioners should follow De Rebus on Twitter because articles that are published immediately will be tweeted. In keeping up with the digital age, practitioners should also download the De Rebus app, which is available for Android and Apple. The app will notify readers when new content is uploaded on the website through push notifications.

Other sections of the journal will be published monthly, and a newsletter will be sent out on the first of every month, alerting readers of the latest issue. Throughout the month of publication, articles in a particular issue will be tweeted and also be available on the app.

Reading the journal online has the added benefit of allowing one to search for articles, cases or phrases for research purposes. In future, the De Rebus website will also be used for Post-Qualification Professional Development (PPD, previously known as CPD).

De Rebus, which has served the legal profession for many years through education, information and by being the mouthpiece of the profession, will continue to serve the profession diligently. Although this change will not be welcomed by all, the financial situation dictates that the journal be distributed digitally. We hope that legal practitioners will continue to read the journal and send through educational and thought-provoking articles to be shared with the rest of the profession. The next issue, which is the March issue, will be available from 1 March on the website at www.derebus.org.za.

Would you like to write for De Rebus?

De Rebus welcomes article contributions in all 11 official languages, especially from legal practitioners. Practitioners and others who wish to submit feature articles, practice notes, case notes, opinion pieces and letters can e-mail their contributions to derebus@derebus.org.za.

The decision on whether to publish a particular submission is that of the De Rebus Editorial Committee, whose decision is final. In general, contributions should be useful or of interest to practising attorneys and must be original and not published elsewhere. For more information, see the ‘Guidelines for articles in De Rebus’ on our website (www.derebus.org.za).

·         Please note that the word limit is 2000 words.

·         Upcoming deadlines for article submissions: 18 February and 18 March 2019.

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2019 (Jan/Feb) DR 3.