About the Journal

Focus and Scope

SAPL aims to provide academics and intellectuals from Southern Africa and Africa in general a forum for discursive deliberation and debate on matters relating to public law. The journal welcomes contributions dealing with topics in constitutional and administrative law, legal philosophy, legal and constitutional theory, law and government law and closely related fields. The journal encourages a multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary approach to these various facets of public law. The journal also welcomes book reviews on topical subjects in the field of public law.

Peer Review Process

All submissions are peer-reviewed by means of the double-blind system to guarantee impartiality and a focus on quality of the submissions. All articles submitted to the journal are peer reviewed by at least two reviewers.

The final decision in the case of a dispute between reviewers lies with the editors, although in all cases an attempt is made to reach consensus between the reviewers.

Editorial Policy

Contributions for publication should be submitted online at https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SAPL

Contributions must comply with the following requirements:

The journal will not publish submissions by the same author in consecutive volumes. Should the author still wish to submit, a one-year waiting period will apply before the article can be considered for publication.

Authors acknowledge that contributions have not been published in part or in whole elsewhere or sent for publication elsewhere.

Contributions are subject to a plagiarism check using iThenticate.

Authors should submit their contributions in the SAPL house style (www.law.ox.ac.uk/oscola and New Hart’s Rules: The Oxford Style Guide).

Authors acknowledge that contributions will be sent for review to at least two expert referees. The decision to publish contributions reside with the editors.
Contributions must include an abstract of no more than 250 words. Abstracts should not contain footnotes. Contributions without abstracts will not be considered.

Articles should not exceed 8 000 words (excluding the abstract BUT inclusive of footnotes and bibliography).  Case notes, journal notes and book reviews should not exceed 3 000 words (inclusive of footnotes and bibliography).

Upon the acceptance of manuscripts for publication in Southern African Public Law, authors are expected to review at least one (1) manuscript per year for the journal.

The editors are committed to ethical research and publication practices as well as maintaining the integrity of the journal, and therefore follow the COPE guidelines. 

Indigenous African Languages

From 2023, the Southern African Public Law Journal (SAPL) will be devoting a part of its issues to the publication of commentaries on public law development across the continent in indigenous African languages (accompanied by the English translation). The imperative of presenting ideas and issues in indigenous African languages cannot be overstated. National and international normative and policy documents such as the African Union Agenda 2063, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the South African National Development Plan 2030 have all expressed this important goal.

In the context of legal development, the presentation of issues and strategies in the language most of the population can identify with has numerous advantages. One is that it contributes to the development of indigenous languages as a tool of development and ideational strategies. Secondly, it enhances familiarity and a sense of ownership by the people. In this sense, it humanises the law. Lastly, it opens the room for more interrogation and debate on what the law is and should be.

For more information about this process, you can contact the following persons: Babatunde Fagbayibo (babatunde.fagbayibo@up.ac.za); Aubrey Manthwa (manthat@unisa.ac.za); and Nina Mollema (mollen@unisa.ac.za).

Self-archiving Policy

Author's Pre-print:   

    author can archive pre-print (ie pre-refereeing)

Author's Post-print:

    author can archive post-print (ie final accepted version post-refereeing) 

Publisher's Version/PDF:

    author cannot archive publisher's version/ PDF

General Conditions:  

  • On Institutional Repositories, social media repositories (Research Gate) and subject repositories 18 months embargo (from date of acceptance).

  • Must link to publisher version

  • Published source must be acknowledged with DOI

Public Law Corner

The Public Law Corner (PLC) is a contemporary space for legal practitioners, students, academics, and people beyond the legal sector to engage with relevant and current legal issues related to public law. Our main aim is to amplify all voices and issues in public law that are often excluded from formal publications. For more information see https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/SAPL/PLC