The South African constitution enshrines the right of all people to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being and one that is protected for current and future generations. This right devolves into various other laws intended to prevent environmental degradation and pollution, promote conservation and sustainable development, enable sustainable access and use of natural resources that support livelihoods. Environmental law involves the application of the law to ensure human and environmental rights.
Environmental lawyers spend time between an office, travelling to sites of complaints and transgressions to gather further evidence and information and court for litigation. They can sometimes engage various stakeholders to obtain additional insight into environmental cases.
Environmental lawyers must have a detailed knowledge of human rights, environmental and administrative laws and understand legal and procedural requirements for environmental decision-making, coupled with:
Provide legal research and opinions on environmental matters
Compile evidence and interview clients, witnesses and persons of interest
Counsel and advise clients that seek environmental law input
Negotiate legal agreements and liaise between stakeholders
LLB., LLM. in Environmental Law at NWU, RU, UCT, UKZN, UL, UP, Wits and UWC
National, provincial and local government.
Private practice law firms.
NGOs, civil society and advocacy agencies.