Wits will pioneer a new law journal this year, which will draw young law students into the culture of producing and publishing papers of academic quality.The Wits Student Law Journal for Southern Africa will launch its bi-annual publication in July, 2012. It is being run by a mostly undergraduate editorial team and is calling for articles from both undergraduate and postgraduate law students.

The journal will not only reflect the editorial team’s values around youth involvement, but also gender equality. The founding editors are young women and many other women are involved in the running of the journal.

“Our journal will focus on one’s merit and not one’s gender,” said journal proposal writers, Tariro Muzenda and Nyasha Gonzo.

The journal will be one of the official legal publications produced by law students in the 15 southern African states within the region, but it will be housed at Wits.

This new addition to the Law School is important for students because it will “help them become actively involved in legal scholarship [and] help exercise their freedom of opinion in the legal arena”, said Jeremiah Sepotokele, editorial team member and second year law student.

The publication will strengthen Wits’ existing prestige in the field of law – one of the most cited legal publications, the South African Human Rights Journal, is edited at Wits. Sepotokele said this “highlights the competitive edge that Wits [already] has”.

Inexperienced students can submit articles that meet the new journal’s editorial criteria, and will be guided by established academics.

“Through this we hope to see greater student participation in legal discourse, particularly through our online edition of the Journal, which will be updated frequently and include forums and chat facilities that will link students, academics and practitioners across the region.”

The editorial team plans to fund the project by selling the journal, and advertising space within it, to other law schools, law firms and interested parties. Funds have also been provided by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa and the Wits Law School.

Find the Journal’s group on Facebook or Twitter for more details on submission criteria and other information.

Published in Vuvuzela Print Edition, 13 April 2012