Johannesburg candidate attorney, Alecia Pienaar, won the 2017 Juta Law Prize for best candidate attorney article for her article titled ‘Overview of air quality regulatory developments’ published in 2017 (Dec) DR 38. Her article discussed how climate change has been on the agenda since 1993 when South Africa (SA) first became a signatory to the United Nations Framework. She said the ratifications of the Paris Agreement in November 2016 has introduced a spur of developments to the air quality regulatory regime. She added that the movement interlinks with the mitigation component of SA’s Intendent Nationally Determined Contribution, which commits to a peak, plateau and decline of greenhouse gas emissions trajectory range.

Ms Pienaar came to the conclusion that it is clear that there is a commitment to move towards a formally regulated climate change framework. Although progressive, the environmental law regime, and in particular the quality sector, is already defined by continuous proliferation of legislation. She said this will likely create numerous lacunas and ambiguities that industries will have to navigate across as they seek to bring their operations into compliance. Ms Pienaar added that she is elated and inspired as this serves as a reminder of the relevance of her chosen field of law and that there is value in consistently reading up and writing on legal development. Ms Pienaar won a tablet device and one year’s subscription to Juta’s online Essential Legal Practitioner Bundle worth R 25 000.