The evolution of public policy with regard to the environment: a legal perspective over the last fifty years

Rabie M.A. ; Glazewski J.I. (1990)

From a survey of official and unofficial sources of government public policy, it is apparent that environmental public policy is reflected chiefly in legislation. A review of South African environmental legislation from the 17th century to the present day reveals a progressive development in the ambit and scope of the country's environmental legislation. By contrast, judicial environmental law-making is scant. It is concluded that environmental legislation has evolved as a reaction to particular sectional interests and concerns, rather than as a result of an overall environmental policy or strategy. It is submitted that the declaration of actual environmental policies, provided for in the Environment Conservation Act 73 of 1989 could play a significant role in redressing this imbalance and could set the scene for environmental law-making at judicial level. -Authors

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