Do existing laws in South Africa hold directors personally liable for environmental transgressions?
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The number of environmental offences taking place continues to increase each year. Despite the special position of responsibility occupied by directors as the ‘directing mind and will’ of the companies responsible for the commission of these offences, directors appear to continue to be shielded unconditionally behind the separate legal personality of the company. This thesis consists of a thorough examination of existing environmental laws, as well as the Companies Act 71 of 2008 and the King IV Report on Corporate Governance, to determine whether the provisions contained therein may be interpreted so as to depart from the principle of separate legal personality (as provided for by corporate law) in order to hold directors personally liable for environmental transgressions.