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Dentons' GLOW named one of the top 10 LGBT+ network groups in the UK at the British LGBT Awards 2018
Dentons' UK LGBT+ network, GLOW, was named one of the country's top 10 LGBT+ Network Groups at the British LGBT Awards 2018.
Costs recovery in the SICC: A different regime
The recovery of legal costs and disbursements (costs) by one party against another, after the substantive merits of a case is determined by the court, is a common feature of common law systems.
The 25 Year Environment Plan – A focus on waste
Earlier this year, the government published "A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment".
New Justice Department policy necessitates a strategic global approach to internal investigations
In May 2018, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) took another step towards encouraging enforcement authorities to structure their corporate investigations in a more global and comprehensive fashion from day one.
Solving Conflicts of Interest of Nonattorney Staff
The hiring of nonattorney staff such as a paralegal can implicate some similar ethics issues as hiring a lateral attorney.
Starting your career as a student at Dentons exposes you to a world of experience and opportunities
With 125+ locations in 50+ countries, Dentons is home to top-tier talent that is found at the intersection of geography, industry knowledge and substantive legal experience. Working with Dentons, you will have the opportunity to learn from the best lawyers in the industry at the largest law firm in the world.
14 Dentons Rodyk lawyers recognised in Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2018
14 Dentons Rodyk lawyers have been recognised in Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2018, which features the prominent practitioners in 18 practice areas in 24 jurisdictions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Leading project finance partner and Africa specialist re-joins Dentons in London
Dentons has further strengthened its UK Banking and Finance practice with the hire of leading project finance partner and Africa specialist Howard Barrie in London.
Dentons teams up with NatWest and Mazars for LGBT+ and faith discussion in London
In May 2018, Dentons' UK-based LGBT+ and allies network, GLOW, hosted a multi-faith panel discussion in London on the challenges faced by LGBT+ people of faith, in partnership with the NatWest Rainbow Network and Mazars.
Welcome to the first edition of the Environmental Review. This regular publication will provide updates on environment and climate change issues in South Africa.
We are delighted to welcome Helen Bowdren, a specialist environmental lawyer, to the team in Cape Town. Helen is a Senior Associate with Dentons, and has relocated from London to South Africa on a consultancy arrangement.
She advises on environmental and health and safety law, and has practised in the UK and the Middle East as well as in Africa. Helen advises on pollution liability, EIA and environmental authorisations, environmental due diligence, dealing with regulatory investigations and climate change issues. She also advises on renewable energy projects.
In this month's Environmental Review:
In September 2013, the South Gauteng High Court handed down an interesting judgment about public access to environmental information held by companies. The case, Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA) v Company Secretary of Arcelor Mittal South Africa Limited (AMSA) deals with a PAIA appeal and will be of interest to companies operating in hazardous sectors such as oil and gas, mining or power generation.
VEJA is a community organisation set up to address environmental issues in the Vaal Triangle. Between 2011 and 2012, VEJA applied to steel producer AMSA to release records relating to:
AMSA refused the requests, saying they were speculative and that VEJA had not proved that they needed to information to protect constitutional rights. VEJA then sought an order to set aside and declare invalid AMSA's decision.
The Constitution of South Africa provides that everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state and, sometimes, information held by private individuals or companies. Citizens can seek disclosure of information, if that information is required to exercise or protect their constitutional rights. The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000 (PAIA) gives effect to this.
There are certain grounds for refusal, for example if the information relates to a private individual, or it is currently the subject of legal proceedings (and therefore protected by legal privilege).
The court ruled that VEJA, as an association of South African citizens who all have constitutional rights, was entitled to seek the information requested. The court noted that Article 24 of the Constitution envisages, and even encourages, civil society organisations to exercise a watchdog role. AMSA was ordered to supply the relevant documents to VEJA and pay the costs for both sides.
The case demonstrates that the courts will take a robust approach to upholding citizens' rights to access information. Companies should be vigilant in identifying which documents relate to legal proceedings (and would thus be protected from disclosure).
The National Environmental Management Act 1998 (NEMA) is the key legislation governing environmental matters in South Africa. Two amendment bills have been going through the legislature which will make important changes to NEMA. The proposed amendments were split into two bills to enable some uncontroversial but urgent amendments to be passed quickly – these relate to biodiversity issues and the implementation of the new Threatened or Protected Species Regulations.
The first bill, which deals with the urgent matters, has now been enacted as the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act, 2013, and was signed by the President on 24 July 2013. It makes changes primarily to biodiversity legislation, tightening up anti-poaching measures and introducing new regulations on the protection of threatened species.
The second, known as the NEMA Second Amendment Bill, is still being debated.
The Bill makes a number of significant amendments, including to the controversial 'Section 24G' process. Section 24G of NEMA enables companies to apply for 'rectification' where they have unlawfully commenced listed activities without obtaining an environmental authorisation. This has led to public concern that it is too easy to unlawfully start activities without an environmental authorisation. The amended S24G makes it clear that even if a rectification is granted, criminal sanctions may still be imposed, and increases the maximum fine which may be imposed (from 1 million Rand to 5 million Rand).
The Bill also clarifies that S24G applies to authorisations under the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008, and introduces a similar mechanism to rectify the unlawful commencement of activities which require air emission licences.
Other key changes include:
The Bill has been approved by the NCOP and is currently before the president for assent.
If you would further information, please speak with a member of our team or your regular contact at Dentons.
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