New law journal

November 1st, 2012
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By Nomfundo Manyathi

A group of law students who saw a gap in the market have taken the initiative to start a new law journal. As a result, the Wits Student Law Journal for Southern Africa (WSLJ) was launched by the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Law in September. The journal seeks to be a central platform for legal discourse in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and embraces the legal systems, policies and ideas unique to SADC member states.

Although run by students, the journal hopes to attract content from students, academics and legal practitioners from across the SADC region.

The journal was founded by final-year LLB students Tariro Muzenda and Nyasha Gonzo. When asked what inspired the pair to establish the journal, Ms Muzenda told De Rebus: ‘We participated in the Law Students Council elections when we were in first year and at the time there were a lot of ideas flying around. Someone mentioned that there was not a law journal at Wits and I thought that this was strange. … So Nyasha and I started researching … and it took off from there.’

The journal is run by nine students, including the two founders, and it will be published bi-annually in February/March and September each year.

Those interested in the journal will be able to purchase copies from the journal’s office at the university. There will also be a subscription option for the print and electronic versions of the publication in future.

The journal also has a webpage on which it posts –

  • articles that are not published in the journal;
  • webcasts; and
  • interactive discussion forums.

Ms Muzenda told De Rebus that establishing the publication had been an ‘exciting and interesting journey’.

‘It has all just come together and we work very well together. That has helped us because it is a stressful project and it will probably get more stressful now because it will get bigger. We all chipped in and made the journal what it is today,’ she said.

In a speech at the launch, head of the university’s School of Law, Professor Jonathan Klaaren, congratulated the editorial team. He said that the journal was innovative as a student-led initiative and that it was a ‘great achievement’, adding that students were their ‘own best teachers’. Professor Klaaren said that when students educate themselves, there is longer lasting learning.

The editorial team can be reached by e-mail at StudentJournal.Law@wits.ac.za or tel: (011) 717 8575 or fax: 086 756 3656. The WSLJ website address is www.wslawjournal.org

Nomfundo Manyathi, nomfundo@derebus.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2012 (Nov) DR 10.

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