Environmental Regulation and Economic Growth

Environmental Regulation and Economic Growth

Environmental Regulation and Economic Growth

Environmental Regulation and Economic Growth


The essays in this volume, written by practising and academic lawyers, address some of the most fundamental problems facing industrialists and environmentalists throughout the world. The essays review and analyse attempts being made in various countries to blend environmental protection with continued economic development. How does the recently-agreed GATT agreement influence international developments in environmental regulation? Is deregulation an answer? Will the polluter always have to pay and how are the costs to be equitably distributed throughout society? These are some of the fundamental questions posed and discussed by these searching and powerful essays.


In 1991 the Oxford University Law Faculty and The Norton Rose M5 Group held their first Oxford Law Colloquium, a projected series of colloquia in which leading practitioners would join with academics in exploring trends and policy issues in particular fields of law of mutual interest. That highly successful joint venture led to the publication of Commercial Aspects of Trusts and Fiduciary Obligations, the collection of colloquium papers edited by my colleague Ewan McKendrick, which was very favourably received.

The present volume, which reproduces the papers presented at the 1993 Oxford Law Colloquium, is devoted to a subject of universal importance: the safeguarding of the environment and the impact of protective measures on national economies. It is hardly surprising that this has become a major field of legal practice and academic study, for it concerns the very future of life on earth. The ten contributors to this volume, all experts in their fields, embrace a wide diversity of interests and expertise. They include practising lawyers, academics, regulators, and leading figures in industry and commerce.

Massive claims and settlements for clean-up costs of large-scale pollution have become a feature of modern life. They expose the innate tension between the need to protect life, property and natural resources and the equally important need to ensure that the cost of prevention and cure does not become so large as to cripple industrial and commercial activity. The label 'sustainable development' accurately conveys the balance to be achieved but gives no guidance as to what is sustainable or how the concept is to be achieved. It is fundamental issues of this kind, their implications for legal liability, and the way that different regulators have sought to address them in particular fields, that is the focus of the present volume. The problems are fascinating and complex. They are admirably addressed in the ten papers collected here and skilfully edited by Professor Alan Boyle, whose colleague I was privileged to be for many years and whose own contribution to the debate reflects the perspective of a leading international lawyer.

In warmly commending this publication, which will be invaluable to all those with a serious interest in environmental regulation, I should like to express the appreciation of the Oxford Law Faculty to Alan Boyle, to all the contributors, to the partners and staff of The Norton Rose M5 Group, whose friendship and collaboration we greatly value, and to our own Oxford University Press for all their work in the publication of this attractively produced volume. I hope that it will be as widely read as its predecessor.

St. John's College Roy Goode
1 October, 1994 . . .

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