South Africa Savanna

Environmental law

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Appeal blocks far-reaching environmental ruling

Intrigues, illegalities and pollution involved in a sugar milling operation whose poisonous effluent eventually flows in Lake Victoria have been highlighted by Kenya’s environment and land court. In a far-reaching judgment, the court gave the company 120 days to sort out licences and environmental impact assessments for all their operations – or be closed down. But the Court of Appeal has now stepped in to overturn part of the lower court’s order, with a ruling that the mill may continue to operate as before until the appeal is heard.

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Judges from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region met last week outside Cape Town for specialised judicial training in a growing field of law. The course, offered by the Judicial Institute for Africa (Jifa), was an introduction to environmental law, a subject many of the judges have not often needed to deal with before.

“Ogoni 9” case back in the spotlight, this time in the Netherlands

The families of nine environment and human rights activists executed by the Nigerian government in 1995, have their hopes for justice pinned on a court in the Netherlands, where a preliminary round was argued this week.

The fight for justice for the “Ogoni 9” moved to the Hague this week where representatives of nine men, executed by Nigeria’s military government in 1995, argued that this was an appropriate forum to deal with their case and gave evidence of the trauma of the men's secret trial and execution.

The families want to sue Royal Dutch/Shell in the Netherlands and claim that the petroleum giant gave help to the Nigerian troops at the time. They say that Shell played a significant role in the “unlawful arrest, detention and execution” of their husbands.

Villagers' water pollution case should be heard in UK not Zambia, court hears

A major case on the environmental and human rights of villagers in Zambia was heard in the English courts over two days this week. The appeal concerns the question of where villagers, suing over the pollution of their water via mining action, may bring their dispute. They want the case heard in the UK while Vedanta, the parent company they are targeting, says the “natural forum” for the matter would be Zambia.

FOR almost 2000 villagers in Zambia’s Chingola region, this was a crucial week. A two-day hearing in the English courts could see them finally able to act against the mining outfit they claim has, since 2005, polluted their water and damaged their health, their lands and any prospect of earning a living.

Clean air vs industrial development: Durban court case explained

South Durban environmental alliance brings case to court. 

What is the right balance between economic development and environmental protection? This is the issue raised in a court battle over a new industrial development in south Durban.

By Mluleki Marongo

8 February 2018

 

What is the right balance between economic development and environmental protection? This is the issue raised in a court battle over a new industrial development in south Durban.

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