South Africa: Public Trust Theory as the Basis for Resource Corruption Litigation
The creation of a constitutionally recognized environmental right in section 24 of South Africa’s 1994 Constitution laid the foundation for several statutes that incorporate doctrines of public trust into South African environmental and natural resources law.
In this paper, Elmarie van der Schyff, a professor of law at South Africa’s North-West University, argues that the statutory creation of doctrines of public trust has strengthened and supported existing legal remedies against corruption, in appropriate circumstances.
While considering both the opportunities and challenges, Professor van der Schyff argues that “public-trust theory has a supportive role to play in combatting corruption regarding the use and allocation of South Africa’s natural resources. It is hoped too that the doctrines that underlie it will serve to provoke similar responses in other African states.”
This is the latest paper in a series developed from a day of discussions on the worldwide legal fight against high-level corruption, organized by the Justice Initiative and Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict, held in June 2014.
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