Four new environmental courses, namely the Principles of Environmental Law, Land Use Planning Law, Natural Resource Law and Pollution Law, will be offered by UCT's Institute of Marine and Environmental Law from 2009.
"The last decade has seen huge growth in the post-LLB area of law. Forty percent of all students registered in the faculty are studying for master's degrees and postgraduate diplomas," said Dean of Law Professor Hugh Corder.
"We're proud that we offer over 40 postgraduate options, but we are also mindful of the need to be current and to provide areas of specialisation that are valuable and relevant to solving the challenges facing human society."
It is for this reason that the postgraduate Environmental Law Programme has been restructured. The new courses mean that UCT can now offer a depth and breadth of specialisation to policy makers, legal practitioners and environmental consultants.
The four new courses will include a block teaching component (40 hours), which means that students not living in Cape Town can study large parts of the curriculum by correspondence.
Principles of Environmental Law introduces students to the fundamentals of environmental law. It provides a critical overview of the principles underlying the discipline, the key components inherent in environmental laws, the institutions responsible for their administration, and the challenges facing their implementation.
"As South Africa has one of the world's most contemporary environmental legal regimes, it will be used as a case study throughout the course," said Corder.
One of the key ways to govern the impact of society on the environment is through regulating land use and planning. Land Use Planning Law came into being at the beginning of the twentieth century but environmental law was superimposed on it towards the end of the twentieth century.
The past decades have seen a significant shift in the array and nature of regulatory tools that planning authorities have used to achieve a balance between the dictates of development and environmental protection. The course examines the complex interaction and overlap between the regulatory tools contained in these two areas of law.
There is global consciousness and consensus that the world's natural resources are being depleted on an unsustainable basis. Natural Resources Law examines the domestic legal frameworks that have emerged to regulate the use and conservation of natural resources.
Development and pollution appear to be inherently linked, as evidenced by the rapid development that has taken place over the past few decades. Pollution Law will examine the domestic legal frameworks that have emerged to deal with this.
The Institute of Marine and Environmental Law was founded in 1983 and is the oldest and largest of its kind in Africa. The Institute also participates in multi-disciplinary research projects in collaboration with scientists, geographers, economists and other experts in marine and environmental subjects.
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