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2 Nov 2017

Lee-Anne Bruce, Centre for Applied Legal Studies

Mining company threatens environmental activists

On 24 October 2017, the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) applied to the Western Cape High Court to intervene as amicus curiae or ‘friend of the court’ in a matter brought by Mineral Sands Resources against two environmental lawyers and a community activist.

Mineral Sands Resources alleges that Christine Reddell and Tracey Davies from the Centre for Environmental Rights and activist Davine Cloete made ‘defamatory’ statements during a lecture at the Unversity of Cape Town’s Summer School Programme in January 2017. 

...CALS has applied to intervene in the matter to assist the Court with this important issue. We argue that this kind of litigation can have a devastating effect on activists who are simply defending their rights or the rights of their clients and communities. We further argue that this particular case is an issue of academic freedom and that being able to critique cases and bring real world examples into a classroom is essential to academia in general and teaching environmental law in particular.