Subscribe: Journal of Environmental Law - Advance Access
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Journal of Environmental Law Advance Access

Published: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 02:45:32 GMT


The Thabametsi Case: Case No 65662/16 Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs

Sat, 03 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT

This analysis considers South Africa’s first climate change-related judicial decision, the Thabametsi case, in which the court considered the quality and form of climate change impact assessment required when a competent authority assesses an application for environmental authorisation in South Africa. Notwithstanding the lack of an express legal obligation to conduct a focused climate change impact assessment, the court ruled that climate change is a relevant consideration when granting an environmental authorisation, and a formal expert report on climate change impacts is the best evidentiary means to consider climate change impacts in their multifaceted dimensions. Drawing upon a theoretical framework recently put forward by Preston, the analysis argues that the Thabametsi bench has made a meaningful contribution to climate change litigation, particularly through the manner in which the court addressed equality before the law and the rule of law.

The Transnationalisation of Environmental Law

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 00:00:00 GMT

This article outlines a critical approach to the emerging discourse of transnational environmental law. It highlights how transboundary activities and organisational structures increasingly shape environmental law, and how legal discourse interprets these developments. In particular, the article unpacks the manifold transnational regulatory structures and explains their interactions with state-made environmental law. It also discusses the legal quality and constitutional issues of transnational norms and analyses the added scientific value of the concept of transnational environmental law. We argue that transnational norms governing the use of public goods are generally not binding on third parties. Accordingly, they have to be ‘re-embedded’ into well-established political and legal processes. In other words, these norms and mechanisms have to be complemented, endorsed or limited by formal legal structures to become a legitimate part of environmental law.