Law in Environmental Decision-Making: National, European, and International Perspectives

Law in Environmental Decision-Making: National, European, and International Perspectives

Law in Environmental Decision-Making: National, European, and International Perspectives

Law in Environmental Decision-Making: National, European, and International Perspectives

Synopsis

This collection of essays adopts a distinctive approach to environmental legal issues. The contributors represent a variety of specialisations, ranging from public law to international law and international relations. Some essays are written from within a UK domestic law perspective, but others adopt a broadly comparative, supra-national or international approach. The contributors do not assume that problems and solutions in 'environmental law' should be perceived as wholly distinct from the preoccupations of existing legal specialisms. New and proposed legal responses inevitably build on or employ established legal techniques, rather than starting completely afresh. The contributors do however, regard environmental problems as posing or at least illuminating significant challenges to received patterns of legal thought. In the light of this, the contributors therefore investigate aspects of law's influnce in environmental decision-making, and consider whether legal institutions and forms of thought can respond adequately to the challenge of environmental change.

Excerpt

At the time when we first formed the idea for this collection of essays, it seemed to us that environmental law had matured beyond the stage where it was struggling for recognition as a distinctive subject, and that it was appropriate to consider not so much how it might be distinguished from other areas of law, but how it might influence and be influenced by those other areas. During the writing of this collection, a number of factors--including the emerging centrality of I sustainable development' in the language of environmental policy, and the emphasis on new legal styles to replace or at least qualify the traditional 'commandand-control' techniques of this area of law--have persuaded us that our initial approach is increasingly pertinent, and that it is related to a broad issue concerning the role of environmental concerns among other policy goals. Our contributors have thus been able to draw on a broad range of recent developments in environmental law in the course of their arguments, though it should be emphasised that this collection makes no claim to exhaustiveness on this account. The contributions were substantially completed by October 1997.

Since the collection has been evolving for a number of years, we have accumulated a very large debt of gratitude to a considerable number of people. We would like to thank Richard Hart for his very important early interest in and support of this project, and our editor,Myf Milton, for seeing it through to completion with such patience. Early versions of most of the papers were presented at the SLSA conference in Southampton in 1996, and we would like to thank the participants at the relevant sessions for their contributions, especially Neil Gunningham and Annemarie Sprokkereef. Later drafts of certain chapters have greatly benefited from the comments and criticisms of Michael Purdue, Brian Thompson, Martin Loughlin, Andrew Halpin, Colin Reid, Ben Pontin, Laurence Lustgarten, and Kit Barker. Heartfelt thanks to all of these, although as usual they should not be taken to be in any way responsible for the contents. Parts of the opening chapter were also 'aired' at a meeting of the SPTL Environment Section in Manchester in 1997, and the comments of participants were much appreciated. At one time or another, we have also benefited from the excellent research assistance of Ben Pontin (again), Dave Carter, and Lucy Amott. General thanks are owed to all our colleagues in the Law Faculty at Southampton, for contributing to the unusually warm and supportive environment to be found there. We also acknowledge with thanks the assistance of the ESRC. Work conducted on the funded research project, 'The Financial Implications of Environmental Legislation' (Project No. L320253226), has greatly influenced the first chapter of this book, in particular.

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