House Style

The submission must be in English, must be an original, unpublished work that is not simultaneously being considered for publication by another journal and should not, in general, exceed 12 000 words. Submissions between 4000 and 6000 words may be considered for the Cases and Comments sections. Submissions in the form of book review essays (engaging critically with one or more books) should be between 4000 and 6000 words.

Correspondence, books for review and all other communications should be directed to

Contributions must be submitted via Scholar One - . Scholar One is an electronic management system used by the Journal in its handling of all submissions.


Please avoid polite legal cliches such as the learned judge , the learned author , with respect , with the greatest respect , it is submitted etc.

Judges should be referred to as Smith J or Smith JA or Smith LJ etc, unless referring to a quote or another jurisdiction where this is the norm. Please avoid formulations such as his Lordship , the honourable etc , unless referring to a quote or another jurisdiction where this is the norm.

Please avoid awkward avoidances of the use of the first person. So, it is my view or I argue is preferable to it is the view of the present author , it is this writer s argument , this article will etc. Similarly, the usage we argue , we will show etc is acceptable, unless by a single author.

Please remember to write in the active voice.

‘On’ is almost always preferable to ‘upon’.


The Journal publishes articles as well as shorter contributions in the Notes and Comments and Current Developments sections.

The Journal publishes articles as well as shorter contributions in the Notes, Comments, Current Developments and book review essays sections.

All articles, notes, comments, book review essays, book reviews and contributions to the Current Developments section must make use of footnotes. The Journal does not make use of parenthetical references, except for reference to page numbers of books under review.


    Articles and notes should be divided up into sequential sections and subsections in the following manner:



(a) A This is a level two heading ((a), (b), (c) etc) (bold, sentence case)

(i) A A A This is a level three heading ((i), (ii), (iii) etc) (italics, sentence case)

( ) This is a level four heading (( ), (bb), (cc) etc) (sentence case)

Abstracts. All article submissions must include a single paragraph abstract. A Notes, comments, book reviews and Current Developments contributions do not require abstracts.

Good abstracting style. Please avoid blow-by-blow summaries of the structure of the article: In this article I begin by analysing the law of contract, then I look at various decisions on the subject . . ., I conclude by saying etc . The abstract should state the principal questions investigated in the article and the outcome of the investigation and, it should, as far as possible, state them in abstract language (ie, avoiding I argue , the article argues etc). Here is an example of good abstracting style:

Proposed constitutional amendments envisage the creation of a single apex court for South Africa. If adopted, this will change the system that has existed since 1994 in which the Constitutional Court of South Africa is the court of final instance for constitutional matters and the Supreme Court of Appeal the court of final instance in matters that are not constitutional. Since the distinction between constitutional and other matters is illusory, this change is welcome. What is not welcome is the manner in which an important change to the structure of the judicial system has been introduced by stealth. It is also undesirable for the Constitutional Court as it is currently constituted to perform the role of the apex court.

Quotations should be clearly indicated by single quotation marks, with double quotation marks used only for quotes within quotes. Where a quotation is more than about five lines long, it should be indented as a separate paragraph, with a line space above and below, and with no quotation marks or leader dots.

Please indicate where footnote numbers have been omitted from quotations by ellipsis or by the phrase (footnote(s) omitted). Examples:

People who are living with HIV constitute a minority. . . . Society has responded to their plight with intense prejudice. They have been subjected to systemic disadvantage and discrimination. They have been stigmatised and marginalised .1

1 Hoffmann v South African Airways 2001 (1) SA 1 (CC) para 28.


People who are living with HIV constitute a minority. Society has responded to their plight with intense prejudice. They have been subjected to systemic disadvantage and discrimination. They have been stigmatised and marginalised .1

1 Hoffmann v South African Airways 2001 (1) SA 1 (CC) para 28 (footnote omitted).

Avoidance of Latinisms. English terms above/below to be used rather than Latin supra/infra, ante/post. Exception: ibid when used in footnotes. Please avoid unecessary Latinisms such as in casu etc. 

Foreign words and phrases. Where Latin phrases and non-English expressions are used, they should not be italicised (underlined). Italics should be used only for case names (passing right through the 'v'), titles of books and journals and for emphasis.

Abbreviations may be used provided that the name is set out in full, followed by the abbreviation in brackets, at the first usage, eg

    Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA)

    The abbreviation can then be used throughout. Latin abbreviations as follows: eg ie cf -- roman, no full points

    No full points in abbreviations, thus:


Abbreviated plurals do not have an apostrophe before the s. Thus 1970s not 1970's, MPs not MP's.

S spellings. Use s spellings rather than z spellings, eg recognise, nationalise.

Emphasis. Emphasis is indicated by italics and the source of the emphasis (emphasis original, my emphasis or our emphasis) must be indicated in a footnote. Example:

They have been subjected to systemic disadvantage and discrimination.1

1 Hoffmann v South African Airways 2001 (1) SA 1 (CC) para 28 (my emphasis).

Dates. 1 January 1999, 1995-96 (not 1995-6 or 1995-1996), the 1980s and 1990s (not 1990's).

Numbers from one to ten are spelt out in words unless they refer to section or schedule numbers in statutes. Use per cent not % (eg eight per cent or 38 per cent).

Case names
: in italics, v (for versus) without full point - eg Brown v White.
NB: Please avoid multiple references. Reference only to the official Law Report is necessary. For South African cases refer to the South African Law Reports wherever available.

Avoid use of 'at'. A reference to a specific page should be made as follows, with the first page of the report always referred to first:

    Smith v Jones 1989 (4) SA 123 (D), 134A--C

    Subsequent references to the same case should be:

    In footnotes:

    1 Ibid 136. [where the case is cited in the immediately preceding footnote]

    2 Ibid. [where the case and the page reference is the same as that in the immediately preceding footnote]

    3 Note 8 above, 137or Smith v Jones (note 8 above) 134 or Smith (note 8 above) 134.

    Paragraph rather than page references should be used wherever possible. A This is the case for all South African Constitutional Court decisions and for most Supreme Court of Appeal, Land Claims Court and High Court decisions. Examples:

    Hoffmann v South African Airways 2001 (1) SA 1 (CC) para 28 not Hoffmann v South African Airways 2001 (1) SA 1 (CC), 14B--15C.

    CSR Ltd v Della Maddalena (2006) 224 ALR 1 paras 64--66 not CSR Ltd v Della Maddalena (2006) 224 ALR 1, 15. A A A

    The same rules apply to foreign cases. US Bluebook conventions may be used but case names must be italicised both in the text and footnotes and the use of full points must be avoided.

    Eldridge v British Columbia (1997) 151 DLR (4th) 577, 631

    Romer v Evans 116 S Ct 1620, 1627 (1996)

    Brandenburg v Ohio 395 US 444, 451 (1969)

    Avoid using abbreviated names of litigants: thus Regents of the University of California not Regents of the Univ. of Cal.

    The use of brief parenthetical explanations of case holdings and other references is encouraged. A Examples:

    1 A S v Makwanyane 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC) (death penalty a violation of rights to life and human dignity).

    2 Wisconsin v Yoder 406 US 205 (1972) (compulsory school attendance for children of Amish religious community a violation of free exercise right).

    3 E Mureinik A Bridge to Where? Introducing the Interim Bill of Rights (1994) 10 SAJHR 31(Bill of Rights seeks to create a culture of government based no longer on authority and coercion but on justification and persuasion).

Books. When citing books give author's initial and name, full title (italicised), edition, year, page reference. There is no need to give place of publication and publisher. Page numbers should not be preceded by p or pp . In a footnote, co-authors must be joined by an ampersand (&) rather than 'and'. Thus:

    1 LH Hoffmann & DT Zeffertt The South African Law of Evidence 4 ed (1988) 121.

    For subsequent references to this work in a footnote use:

    2 Hoffmann & Zeffertt (note 8 above) 125.

    Translations should be indicated thus:

1 K Marx Capital Vol 1 (1867) (trans J Mander, 1976) 121.

Chapters in books: author's initial and name, full title in quotation marks, initial and name of editor, full title (italicised), year, first page of article, page referred to. Avoid use of 'at'.

    1 C Cohen 'Drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Challenges and Achievements' in E Verhellen (ed) Understanding Children's Rights (1996) 329, 330.

    2 C Loots & G Marcus 'Jurisdiction, Powers and Procedures of the Courts' in M Chaskalson et al (eds) Constitutional Law of South Africa (1996, 3 rev 1999) 6.i, 6-9.

    Subsequent references:
    3 Ibid 6-10. A

    4 Cohen (note 1 above) 335. A

    5 Loots & Marcus (note 2 above) 6-11.

Journal articles: author's initial and name, full title in quotation marks, year in parenthesis, volume number, abbreviated name of journal (italicised), first page of article, page referred to. Avoid use of 'at'. Where there is no volume number and the edition is known by the year of publication, the parenthesis may be omitted.

    1 H Corder 'Administrative Justice: A Cornerstone of South Africa's Democracy' (1998) 14 SAJHR 38, 41.

    2 C Albertyn 'Women and the Transition to Democracy in South Africa' 1994 Acta Juridica 39, 45.

    3 C Sunstein 'Rights and Their Critics' (1995) 70 Notre Dame LR 727.

    Use LR (Law Review), LQ (Law Quarterly), LJ (Law Journal), J (Journal), Univ (University), Int (International), SA (South African). Thus: Univ of Chicago LR; Oxford J of Legal Studies, Modern LR, Int & Comparative LQ, SA Medical J.

    For South African Journals use SALJ, SAJHR, THRHR, TSAR, Stellenbosch LR, Comparative & Int LJ of SA, Annual Survey, Acta Juridica, SA Public Law.

In footnotes subsequent references to the same book, chapter or article should be Ibid 290 (where the article is cited in the immediately preceding footnote), otherwise:

    1Albertyn (note 10 above) 290.

    2Note 10 above, 290.

The Constitution. The first reference to the Constitution should be (in text, rather than footnote):

    Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

    The interim Constitution requires a footnote. Eg, The interim Constitution1 has been repealed.

    1 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 200 of 1993 (interim Constitution).

    Thereafter, Constitution or '1996 Constitution' and 'interim Constitution' may be used in the text and notes. Please avoid Final Constitution .

Law Reform Commission papers

Note that the South African Law Commission changed its name to the South African Law Reform Commission in 2002. Pre-2002 publications should use the earlier name. Examples:

SA Law Commission Issue Paper 3 Customary Marriages (August 1996) 34.

SA Law Commission Discussion Paper 76 Conflicts of Law (April 1998).

SA Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper 108 Stalking (November 2004).

Statutes. When referring to a statute (including an amending statute for the first time please give its full name, number and year (eg 'the Mental Health Act 18 of 1973 was amended by the Mental Health Amendment Act 16 of 1985'). Subsequent references are to 'the Mental Health Act', or 'the Act' or 'the 1973 Act' or 'the 1985 Amendment'. Do not place the number and year of an Act in a footnote.

Hansard. Parliamentary debates should be cited as follows:

    NA Debates col 1472 (29 July 1998).

    NCOP Debates col 125 (24 February 1999)

Treaties and international instruments. A Give ILM reference where available, failing which give UNTS reference or full UN Doc or OAU Doc reference. A Examples: A

United Nations Code of Conduct on Transnational Corporations (1984) 23 ILM 626

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 30 Oct 1947, Protocol Amending the General Agreement to Introduce Part IV on Trade and Development and to Amend Annex I (8 Feb 1965) 572 UNTS 320

Resolution on an International Development Strategy for the Third UN Development Decade GA Res 35/56, UN Doc A35/56 (1981)

These rules should be confined to the more obscure treaties and instruments. For most of the well-known multilateral treaties, instruments and UN documents there is no need to give a bibliographical reference. Examples:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963)

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)

International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (1966)

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1980)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 9: The Domestic Application of the Covenant, (1998)

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Fourth World Conference on Women, 15 September 1995

Websites. Include the protocol name and format (http://, etc) in brackets < >.Examples:


Joel Bleifuss 'Know Thine Enemy: A Brief History of Corporations' These Times Magazine (February 1998),

There is no need to record the date the site was last visited.


ANC Says it Knows Nothing About Kebble Loans Mail & Guardian (26 March 2006).

Note that there is no need to give a page reference. No author's name is necessary in the case of ordinary journalist bylines but should be provided where authorship has significance.

Jimmy Carter It s Not Too Late for Lasting Peace in the Middle East The Guardian (20 March 2006).