n African Human Rights Law Journal - The meaning of certain substantive obligations distilled from international human rights instruments for constitutional environmental rights in South Africa

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The South African Constitutional Court has not yet had sufficient opportunity to clarify the meaning of positive obligations of the state imposed by the environmental right contained in section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. The contribution attempts to determine some of the positive obligations of a substantive nature implied by this section. It does so by drawing inspiration from the way in which international (both universal and regional) human rights bodies have interpreted and applied relevant provisions of different human rights instruments within their respective jurisdictions. In addition, it illuminates the extent to which these obligations may have already been given effect to in domestic law. The human rights instruments that are considered for the purposes of this article include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights; the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; and the American Convention of Human Rights.

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