The following tools allow you to search for journal articles and case comments on your topic in hundreds of journals at the same time. These resources are either indexing / abstracting tools or full text databases. However, many of the indexing / abstracting tools listed below link to the full text articles.
Abstracting / indexing tools are the most effective and efficient way to find relevant scholarly law journal articles, as the databases are searched by title, keyword, subject and abstract etc, rather than the full text of the articles, so the results are going to be more relevant.
When searching full text databases, your keywords may appear anywhere in the article, so you will get far more results, many of which will not be relevant, unless you construct clever searches using, for example, proximity operators, so that your words/phrases retrieve relevant articles. In full text databases we advise that you use field searching if available to eg: search for your words in the title, abstract, subject, keyword fields, rather than in the full text.
To find journal articles about South African law, we recommend the following South African and multijurisdictional databases. Although the multijurisdictional databases cover more jurisdictions than just South Africa, they do include coverage of South African journals. In addition, articles on South African law will be published in African law journals, as well as, for example, US, UK or Australian journals.
Sabinet African Journals (UniMelb staff & student access) - the Library subscribes to Sabinet's Law Collection, and Juta's Law Journals. These collections contain full text professional and scholarly journals on South African and African law. The Law Collection comprises 48 journals (22 of which are open access). The Juta collection includes 18 journals. Journals in these collections include: Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law, Journal of South African Law, South African Law Journal, Southern African Public Law, South African Yearbook of International Law, Stellenbosch Law Review.
South African Law Journals Index
iSALPI: South African Legal Periodicals Index (open access) from the Library of the Constitutional Court of SA. Can be searched, or browsed by topic, author, article title or date. Indexes articles from South African journals only. No full text.
Journal Article Index (open access) - part of the online catalogue of the Johannesburg Bar Library. This has a sophisticated search engine. Indexes articles from South African journals only. No full text.
Please note: there are currently (as at 6/9/22) issues accessing this catalogue from Australia and we are working with the Johannesburg Bar Library to resolve the issue. In the meantime, you can access the library catalogues available via these links:
Multidisciplinary African and South African Journals Index
Sabinet Advanced Search - see information above.
Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) South Africa contains numerous full text open access journals, mainly in the sciences, but also some arts, social sciences and 'human sciences' journals, including a few law journals. It has a fairly basic article search engine - no boolean searching, but it does allow field searching, so you can search in eg: title, abstract and subject fields.
Sabinet includes two open access full text collections:
The following South African and African law print and e-journals are examples of the Law Library holdings - it is not an exhaustive list.