Semester: Second Semester Course Convener: Assoc. Professor Melanie Murcott Format: Block Teaching
Planet earth provides society with a vast array of natural resources including: fresh water; air; marine living resources; soil; minerals; and biological resources. Human society is dependent on these natural resources for their very survival. Global consciousness and consensus is growing that we are depleting these natural resources on an inequitable and unsustainable basis. This course examines the domestic legal frameworks that have emerged to regulate the use and conservation of natural resources. These legal frameworks prescribe an array of tools including: institutional arrangements; planning schemes, permitting regimes; duties of care; incentive-based measures; civil liability measures; and criminal measures.
South Africa has one of world’s most contemporary legal regimes regulating natural resources and it will be used as a case study through which to critically explore the nature and application of these tools inherent in natural resource legislation. These tools have significant implications for those seeking to use and conserve natural resources and the course is accordingly of relevance to domestic legal practitioners, government officials and those working in the NGO sector. Furthermore, given the contemporary nature of South Africa’s natural resource regime, the course is of key relevance to foreign students wishing to understand, critique and become involved in the reformation of their own domestic natural resource regime.