oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Environmental audits and self-incrimination

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



This article investigates the question of whether environmental audits carried out by corporations can be used as evidence against them in criminal prosecutions for environmental offences, or whether this would infringe the privilege against self-incrimination. The approach to this question in Australia, Canada and the United States is considered with a view to suggesting an appropriate approach for South Africa, where this issue has not yet been considered. The suggested approach, based on the Oregon statute, is to provide for voluntary environmental audits to be privileged (subject to certain exceptions) whereas those audits required by legislation are to be made available to the state, but to be privileged in criminal proceedings.

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