Fundamina, A Journal of Legal History is published as the mouthpiece of the Southern African Society of Legal Historians and is distributed free of charge to members of the Society.
In 1983, when the Southern African Society of Legal Historians was founded, the publication of a journal of legal history was envisaged to further the aims of the Society and to encourage contact and co-operation between legal historians, legal historical societies and other interested organisations in South Africa and abroad. The initial step in the realisation of this goal was the publication of a Newsletter, some ten years after the founding of the Society. This annual publication, which did not seek the status of a legal periodical, was renamed “Bulletin” in 1986. In 1992, the Bulletin was replaced by the first issue of Fundamina, a fully fledged journal of legal history. In the preface to the first issue the editors expressed the hope that it would “encourage contact and co-operation between legal historians”, stating that the “heterogeneous character of legal historians makes international contact and co-operation between legal historians a conditio sine qua non and the publication of an international legal history journal provides a vehicle to create and maintain these contacts”.
The words of the late Professor Robert Feenstra, since its inception honorary editor of Fundamina, confirmed this vision:
“I speak on behalf of the European legal historians and especially those from the country which was the cradle of the Roman-Dutch law, when I express our happiness that the Southern African Society of Legal Historians has accomplished one of their main objectives, namely the publication of a legal journal.
I wholeheartedly endorse the objectives and aims of the editorial staff as stated in the preface. I say without fear of contradiction that many legal historians – in Europe and in other parts of the world – will support the new journal, not only through subscription but also through scientific contributions for publication.” (Preface 1992 Fundamina at 2)
Today the interaction of South African legal historians and those from Europe, the United Kingdom and America is underlined by the fact that many of the articles published in Fundamina are by non-South African scholars.
Fundamina is available on HeinOnline.
Fundamina is indexed and abstracted in the Vlaamse Academisch Bibliografisch Bestand voor de Sociale en Humane Wetenschappen (VABB-SHW).
Fundamina publishes contributions in English, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish and German.
Editorial information and guidelines for contributors may be found here.
All contributions to Fundamina should be sent to:
Prof Rena van den Bergh
Prof Gardiol van Niekerk