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Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

In most civilised legal systems specialised courts are established for special crimes. Examples include tax courts, labour courts, and white collar crimes courts.

The importance of having specialised courts is that crimes and civil suits of a technical nature are dealt with without the delay they would suffer if put to traditional court structures.

As the need to protect environmental media continues to escalate in importance, and climate change law continues to develop, environmental courts are going to be needed to deal specifically with criminal and civil matters pertaining to the environment and climate change.

What must always be borne in mind is that the nature of attacks on the environment will invariably demand that environmental matters be dealt with on an immediate basis, traditional courts cannot guarantee that such matters shall meet the standard of “urgent matters/application”.

For instance, if an application to declare a matter as urgent is rejected by the court, the environmental damage sought to be mitigated may have well caused considerable damage when such matter is eventually heard. A specialised court will also ensure that delaying tactics by either party to a case are avoided, in that such court will be charged with the responsibility of making sure that cases are dealt with in a timely manner.

Another advantage of having a specialised court is that the rules of evidence may be formulated in such manner that is sensitised to the nature of the matters with which the court deals.

As the rise of global warming and related environmental issues goes unchecked, governments have the responsibility to do all that is necessary to see to it that the judiciary has the necessary capacity to realise environmental justice. All the laws passed are essentially useless if they cannot yield the desired result in a timely fashion.

After all, justice delayed is justice denied.

Environmental law

Image source: www.rightnow.org.au

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