Submission Guidelines

Responsa Meridiana invites you to submit your academic papers of 5000-8000 words to Responsa Meridiana’s 2015 Edition.  The four top submissions from UCT will be published in this year’s journal.

Submission deadline

28 September 2015 12h00.

What to submit

  1. Article of 5000-8000 words
  2. Abstract of 300 words
  3. Academic recommendation from member of faculty within whose area of expertise you are writing


  1. 5000-8000 words (we’re not fussy about footnotes but they should, as far as possible, be within the 8000 word limit – once you’re over 9000, we will ask you to cut!)
  2. Writing style – academic (you can look at past issues of Responsa Meridiana in the Library or consult any academic journal to guide you).
  3. Referencing and layout style – Stellenbosch Law Review (they have guidelines on their website or contact us and we will send you a guide).
  4. Document type – word document
  5. Abstract – short summary of your main argument of maximum 300 words.  Type abstract at the beginning of your article.
  6. Academic recommendation – This need not be more than half a page.  It must be a review of your final piece (not a draft or abstract) and must be written by a member of the faculty who deals with your area of law.  The recommendation needs to comment specifically on whether your argument is correct in law.  It may also comment on general interest, originality and contribution to legal thought (our ‘contents’ requirements).  Please note, however, for those completing research modules with ‘S’ codes (which are due in November), a slightly different process applies.  Please see FAQs below.

How to submit:

  1. Submit via e-mail to
  2. Put ‘submissions 2015’ in the subject line.
  3. Please save your word document as ‘RM Submission – [your name]’
  4. The recommendation can be e-mailed separately if more convenient for the faculty member.  If so, the subject line should state ‘submissions 2015 – [your name]’.   The same deadline (28 September by 12h00) applies to recommendations.


Some FAQs we’ve had thus far:

  1. Do I have to submit my final year thesis?  No.  You can develop any academic paper on any topic you wish.  However, the format lends itself to your final year thesis.  The proviso is that you may not already have had the piece published.  Further, if you are submitting your work for publication elsewhere, we need to know and may chose not to publish you.
  2. What do I do if my thesis due date is in November?  Please submit a draft, abstract and recommendation by the end of August (or email the editorial board  to see if an arrangement can be made if an extension is required).   If we think your paper is likely to be selected, we will ask you to submit a version that is ready for publication by the 5th of October.   Unfortunately this is the best compromise we can come up with as we need to publish in time for Graduation.
  3. Can I hand in my submission early?  Yes!  We encourage this.  We will have a quick read of work as it comes in.  Where an article is particularly interesting but needs some work, we may return it to you.  If you submit early you have more time to do this.  Also, if you are unsure about referencing an early submission may help.
  4. What must be submitted for recommendation?  You must send your final article to the faculty member concerned as we will use the recommendations to guide us as to the validity of your arguments.  We cannot consider articles that have not had academic vetting.  This is our version of ‘peer review’.
  5. How is the selection made?  The Editorial Board uses a rubric which considers, style, interest, originality and contribution to legal thinking.  You can consult past editions of the journal to get a sense of the scope of submissions in the past.
  6. Is there a specific theme or topic?  No – academic freedom rules!  As long as your work is excellent and interesting and meets the above requirements your submission will be considered.
  7. What happens after submission?  The editorial board will check that you have included an abstract and recommendation and that you have complied with word-count and referencing requirements.  If these requirements are not met, your submission may not be considered (at the Editorial Board’s discretion).  The editorial board will then meet to consider all submissions.  All submissions are read by at least two Board members and as far as possible they will be read by people who do not know you.  Your submission will be scored according to our criteria which are broadly: interest, originality, contribution to legal thinking, readability, style, compliance with instructions.  Once consensus is reached on the top submissions, you may be contacted for revisions.  You will usually have only two or three days to make changes (so we urge you to get referencing right first time!).  Once all is in, we will ask you to sign a copyright release. Then – voila!  You’re published.  (If you’re unsuccessful, we will tell you and try to give reasons as to why).  Decisions are final.  No discussion will be entered into.

Best of luck!  We look forward to reading your submissions.

Citations follow the Stellenbosch Law Review guide, a copy of which can be obtained here.

Any further questions regarding submissions can be directed to

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