Youens Attorneys is a firm that practices in environmental law and environmental justice law, with Kirsten Youens as the sole proprietor and principal attorney. Kirsten was admitted as an attorney in 2000 and established her own specialist firm in 2006. With the focus beginning only in environmental law, it became clear over time that inevitably, the environment and human rights are interconnected. Conservation, preservation and justice are the pillars of this firm and Kirsten, an attorney of the High Court with over 17 years of experience, prides herself on taking on cases and clients that reflect that.
The evidence of the pressure that humankind is placing on the Earth’s ability to sustain life is overwhelming. Global warming, pollution and the loss of species are challenges that both international and domestic law needs to confront. In facing these challenges, the environmental laws of South Africa continue to strengthen the possibility that these challenges can be met.
Youens Attorneys is committed to keeping its client base small to ensure that all clients receive dedicated and focused service to which time is properly and expertly given. Qualifications and experience as well as well as commitment to the conservation of wildlife, the environment and environmental justice ensures that our clients’ expectations and needs are met.
Environmental law is an exciting and dynamic field where great differences can be made. We particularly enjoy cases that explore the relationship between environmental and socio-economic rights. Historically, South African environmental case law overwhelmingly reflects a narrow definition of the environment that is not infused with social justice issues. Section 24 of the Constitution deals with the right to a healthy environment but the rest of the Bill of Rights incorporates a range of socio-economic rights, including the right of access to food and water, the right to just administrative action, the right to property, the right to sufficient food and water and social security as well as the right to access to information. All these rights are potentially affected in environmental justice cases which makes them an exciting and developing field to be involved in.