Environmental Law

Damage to the environment resides in a hallowed place - Zambian judge

Eight senior Zambian headmen and a traditional princess have challenged the behaviour of the government’s private-public partnership company, Zambia Airforce Projects Ltd, in relation to a building project in an environmentally critical area. Now they have been rewarded by a tough court response in their favour.

Don’t like a court judgment? Just change the law, why don’t you?

Everyone who attended the Jifa training course on environmental law earlier this year will remember Judge Brian Preston. Chief judge of the New South Wales land and environment court, he had remarkable insights into the subject of environmental law and the role of the courts in making environmental rights real. But now the NSW government is taking on a major decision he gave earlier this year in which he cited climate change, among other issues, for turning down a planned coal mine.

 

Though Judge Brian Preston is the author of many other judgments, the best known is a decision he gave in February 2019. It involved a mining company that wanted to extract 21m tons of coal over 16 years in a picturesque country valley. But the minister for planning refused development consent. And that is how the case found itself before Judge Preston, via an appeal by the mining company

Demolish unlawful sewerage works - environmental tribunal

Kenya’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has been given a tough lesson in obeying the country’s environmental laws by the National Environmental Tribunal. The NEMA had given the go-ahead for a major sewerage works to be built close to a stream and a natural wetland, all of this despite objections by the local community. Now the tribunal has found that the NEMA and other parties had not properly followed the law before the project was started.

 

Read judgment

Decisions of Kenya’s National Environment Tribunal are fast becoming essential reading for judges interested in the subject of environmental law.

The tribunal recently delivered a crucial ruling that stopped the development of a  coal power plant project after a local community challenged its legality.

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