13-14 Sept – Student Conference
15-18 Sept – Annual Conference
In 2021 the ELA’s conferences, sponsored by Juta, took place online, via Zoom, between 13 and 18 September. Conference sessions were spread over the conference days to avoid Zoom fatigue and accommodate presenters in different time zones.
A booklet of abstracts of the papers presented at the conferences is available for download here.
Recordings of the presentations will be made available on our YouTube Channel soon.
ELA Zoom virtual backgrounds, tips on how to use Zoom, and ELA PowerPoint templates created for conference presentations are available here.
The programmes for the conferences are available here:
Following the student conference from 13 to 14 September, the ELA Annual conference launched on 15 September with our incredible key note speakers: Mr Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC (Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and author of Land Matters), who spoke about Contested histories: Land, mining and the environment, and Prof. Tracy-Lynn Field (Claude Leon Chair in Earth Justice and Stewardship, Wits University), who spoke about The right to environment and the transformative constitutionalism debate: The potential of direct democracy.
Presentations addressed the following theme:
In 1996, following the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 200 of 1993, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which incorporates a justiciable environmental right in section 24, came into effect. It is time to reflect on how far we have come and how the rights and measures in the Constitution have shaped the South African environmental right. A plethora of sector-specific legislation has been promulgated to give effect to section 24 of the Constitution.
In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1996 South African environmental right, we also wish to critically evaluate how far we have come in shaping the meaning, content, relevance and implementation of the environmental right. The conference focuses not only on South Africa, as comparative contributions from other countries are also considered.
The best student presenters were awarded cash and book prizes sponsored by Juta.
For more information about Juta’s incredible collection of books on Environmental Law, look here. To purchase and qualify for the exclusive 15% discount offer for ELA conference delegates, please contact or return the order form to: Stefan Kruger – Cellphone: +27(0)83 709 7883 | Email: for students OR Alwyn Leon Peacock – Cellphone: +27 (0)83 561 2703 | Email: for professionals. More information about Juta books and online purchases can be found on https://juta.co.za/catalogue.
The 2020/2021 Annual Student Essay Competition prizes were awarded at the closure of the student conference on 14 September.
In the LLB category, the winning essay was by University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law 2020 LLB graduate, Nicola Irving, on Conservation crime and pangolin poaching: Tensions between customary use and conservation law. In the LLM category, the winning essay was by University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law 2021 LLM in Constitutional and Administrative Law graduate, Ursula Papé, on A critical analysis of the evolution of public participation in environmental decision-making in the South African mining sector. Both essays were supervised by Dr Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Pretoria. Congratulations to both students!
13 Sep 2021 - 18 Sep 2021