Incorporating an Earth Jurisprudence approach into South African environmental law for the protection of endangered species : options and challenges

Van Rooyen, Carla (2016-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Many South African species and habitats are threatened by various human activities including illegal poaching of species such as rhinos, which is threatening the survival of the species. This study explores the anthropocentric basis of the South African legal system and the resulting failure of our legal system to protect the environment. As a result, this study examines the concept of Earth Jurisprudence as an alternative to the aforementioned traditional anthropocentric legal system. Earth Jurisprudence is a legal philosophy which proposes that rights be extended to other species to ensure the protection of nature. Through the study of available literature on the subject, this research explores the core principles of Earth Jurisprudence and identifies key case studies where Earth Jurisprudence has been incorporated in legislation, and the catalysts which led to the implementation of an Earth Jurisprudence approach in the abovementioned contexts. By analysing the above data, this research makes a number of recommendations as to how this approach can be incorporated into a South African context, including a cross-cutting limitation clause which could potentially limit the friction between rights for nature and human rights. Finally, the study explores the capacity for legislation to shape social pro-environmental behaviour, and determines that the law is a tool which can be utilised for the purposes of positive social engineering.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Menigte Suid Afrikaanse spesies en habitatte word bedreig deur verskeie menslike aktiwiteite insluitend die onwettige stropery van spesies soos renoster, wat die voortbestaan van die spesies bedreig. Hierdie studie ondersoek die antroposentriese basis van die Suid Afrikaanse regs sisteem en die daaropvolgende mislukking van ons regs sisteem om die omgewing te beskerm. As 'n gevolg, ondersoek hierdie studie die konsep van Aards Regspraak as 'n alternatief tot die voorgenoemde tradisionele antroposentriese regs sisteem. Aards Regspraak is 'n regs filosofie wat voorstel dat regte uitgebrei word om ander spesies in te sluit en daardeur die beskerming van die natuur verseker. Deur die studie van beskikbare literatuur oor die onderwerp, ondersoek hierdie navorsing die kern beginsels van Aards Regspraak en identifiseer sleutel gevalle studies waar Aards Regspraak inkorporeer is in die wetgewing, en die katalisators wat gelei tot die implementering van 'n Aards Regspraak benadering in die voorgemelde kontekste. Deur die bogenoemde data te analiseer, maak hierdie navorsing 'n aantal aanbevelings hoedat hierdie benadering inkorporeer kan word in 'n Suid Afrikaanse konteks, insluitende 'n kruis snydende beperkings klousule wat potensieel die wrywing tussen regte van die natuur en menseregte kan beperk. Laastens, ondersoek die studie die kapasiteit van wetgewing om sosiale pro-omgewings gedrag te vorm, en bepaal dat die wet 'n hulpmiddel is wat kan gebruik word vir die doel van positiewe sosiale ingenieurswese.

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