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Humanities 2017, 6(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/h6040084

Transformative Environmental Constitutionalism’s Response to the Setting Aside of South Africa’s Moratorium on Rhino Horn Trade

Department of Public Law, University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Hatfield 0002, South Africa
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 4 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Humanities for the Environment)
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Abstract

South Africa’s rhino population is under threat of extinction due to poaching for purposes of illegal international trade of rhino horn. The South African government has thus far been unable to regulate rhino poaching effectively. One of the legal responses was to introduce a moratorium on local trade of rhino horn. However, in 2015 the High Court set aside the moratorium. Subsequent appeals against the High Court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court were dismissed without a hearing. The anthropocentric approach to the protection of biodiversity under South African environmental law is reflected upon in this article. It is argued that the High Court adopted an unapologetic and uncritical anthropocentric approach to the issues before it. A legal theory of transformative environmental constitutionalism is proposed as a means to infuse litigation about global environmental problems with substantive environmental considerations, such as precaution, prevention and equity. These principles could facilitate a more ecocentric orientation towards the application of environmental laws. View Full-Text
Keywords: rhino; environmental law; transformative environmental constitutionalism rhino; environmental law; transformative environmental constitutionalism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Murcott, M. Transformative Environmental Constitutionalism’s Response to the Setting Aside of South Africa’s Moratorium on Rhino Horn Trade. Humanities 2017, 6, 84.

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