Environment and Law Wilkinson

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  • Environment and Law

    Environmental problems such as global warming and pollution lie at theheart of the public agenda in the twenty-rst century. To be effective intackling these, environmental law must be prepared to adopt practicalstrategies and techniques from the elds of economics, science, ethicsand politics, to further an understanding of the proper form and contentof environmental law itself.

    Environment and Law initially describes and explains law and legalsystems, the concept of the environment, sources of environmental lawand some of the techniques used in environmental law. It then examinessome of the major connections between law and the disciplines ofeconomics, science, ethics, and politics. Some of the issues discussed are:

    how economic instruments can offer alternatives and supplements totraditional command and control forms of environmental regulation;

    the role of science in the resolution of environmental law disputes; the response of environmental law to the rise in theories of

    environmental ethics; and the kinds of political entities that are most conducive to high

    standards of environmental protection.

    Environment and Law is a concise introduction for students with little orno legal background to the role of law in environmental protection. Itoffers a greater understanding of international and nationalenvironmental law and has case studies from all over the world, includingexamples from UK, US and Australian law. Chapter summaries,annotated further reading, a glossary of legal terms, a list of legal casesand their abbreviations are also included.

    David Wilkinson is Lecturer in Environmental Law at the School ofPolitics, International Relations and the Environment, Keele University.

  • Routledge Introductions to Environment SeriesPublished and Forthcoming Titles

    Titles under Series Editors:Rita Gardner and A.M. Mannion

    Environmental Science texts

    Atmospheric Processes and SystemsNatural Environmental ChangeBiodiversity and ConservationEcosystemsEnvironmental BiologyUsing Statistics to Understand the

    EnvironmentCoastal SystemsEnvironmental Physics

    Forthcoming:Environmental Chemistry (September2002)

    Titles under Series Editor:David Pepper

    Environment and Society texts

    Environment and PhilosophyEnvironment and Social TheoryEnergy, Society and EnvironmentEnvironment and TourismGender and EnvironmentEnvironment and BusinessEnvironment and Politics (2nd edition)Environment and Law

    Representing the Environment (July 2002)

    Environmental Movements (September 2002)

    Environmental Policy (September 2002)Environment and Society

    (December 2002)

  • Routledge Introductions to Environment Series

    Environment and LawDavid Wilkinson

    London and New York

  • First published 2002 by Routledge11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canadaby Routledge29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

    2002 David Wilkinson

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book has been requested

    ISBN 0415215676 (hbk)ISBN 0415215684 (pbk)

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005.

    To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledges collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.

    ISBN 0-203-99444-2 Master e-book ISBN

  • Contents

    List of gures vii

    List of tables ix

    List of boxes xi

    Series editors preface xiii

    Authors preface xvii

    List of cases xix

    Names of law reports xxvii

    Introduction 1

    1 Law and legal systems 10

    2 Legal concepts of environment 40

    3 Sources of environmental law 59

    4 Principles of environmental law 100

    5 Techniques of environmental law 134

    6 The economics of environmental law 171

    7 Science, law and the environment 195

    8 Environmental ethics in law 216

    9 Politics, law and the environment 248

    Glossary 268

    Bibliography 271

    Index 301

  • Figures

    1.1 Hierarchy of English Criminal Courts 326.1 The earths biosystems are very fragile 1736.2 The earths biosystems are fragile within robust boundaries 1736.3 The earths biosystems are very robust 1736.4 The earths biosystems are robust within fragile limits 1736.5 The earths biosystems have multiple localised points of

    robustness, but are essentially fragile 1736.6 The earths biosystems have multiple localised points of

    fragility, but are essentially robust 1736.7 The correlation between economic activity and

    environmental quality 178

  • Tables

    0.1 The administration of US environmental law 61.1 Environmental legislation websites 192.1 A taxonomy of the environment 413.1 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 64

  • Boxes

    1.1 Indigenous Maoris and environmental theft 172.1 Extraterrestrial environments? 443.1 The Cape Asbestos litigation Lubbe and Others

    v. Cape Plc, House of Lords (2000) 613.2 The common law (in) action: the Cambridge Water

    Company Case [1994] 964.1 Implementing the PPP in US legislation 1244.2 Lender liability and the PPP 1275.1 Self-regulation in North America 1488.1 Old growth forests: an ethics and law conict in the

    United States 2388.2 Hunting in the English countryside: judicial

    ambivalence towards ethical motivations and the ethics of direct action 242

  • Series editors prefaceEnvironment and Society titles

    The modern environmentalist movement grew hugely in the last third ofthe twentieth century. It reected popular and academic concerns aboutthe local and global degradation of the physical environment which wasincreasingly being documented by scientists (and which is the subject ofthe companion series to this, Environmental Science). However it soonbecame clear that reversing such degradation was not merely a technicaland managerial matter: merely knowing about environmental problemsdid not of itself guarantee that governments, businesses or individualswould do anything about them. It is now acknowledged that a criticalunderstanding of socio-economic, political and cultural processes andstructures is central in understanding environmental problems andestablishing environmentally sustainable development. Hence thematuring of environmentalism has been marked by prolic scholarship inthe social sciences and humanities, exploring the complexity ofsocietyenvironment relationships.

    Such scholarship has been reected in a proliferation of associatedcourses at undergraduate level. Many are taught within the modular orequivalent organisational frameworks which have been widely adopted inhigher education. These frameworks offer the advantages of exibleundergraduate programmes, but they also mean that knowledge maybecome segmented, and student learning pathways may arrangeknowledge segments in a variety of sequences often reecting theindividual requirements and backgrounds of each student rather thanmore traditional discipline-bound ways of arranging learning.

    The volumes in this Environment and Society series of textbooks mirrorthis higher educational context, increasingly encountered in the earlytwenty-rst century. They provide short, topic-centred texts on socialscience and humanities subjects relevant to contemporarysocietyenvironment relations. Their content and approach reect the fact

  • that each will be read by students from various disciplinary backgrounds,taking in not only social sciences and humanities but others such asphysical and natural sciences. Such a readership is not always familiarwith the disciplinary background to a topic, neither are readersnecessarily going on to further develop their interest in the topic.Additionally, they cannot all automatically be thought of as havingreached a similar stage in their studies they may be rst-, second- orthird-year students.

    The authors and editors of this series are mainly established teachers inhigher education. Finding that more traditional integrated environmentalstudies and specialised texts do not always meet their own studentsrequirements, they have often had to write course materials moreappropriate to the needs of the exible undergraduate programme. Manyof the volumes in this series represent in modied form the fruits of suchlabours, which all students can now share.

    Much of the integrity and distinctiveness of the Environment and Societytitles derives from their characteristic approach. To achieve the right mixof exibility, breadth and depth, each volume is designed to createmaximum accessibility to readers from a variety of backgrounds andattainment. Each leads into its topic by giving some necessary basicgrounding, and leaves it usually by pointing towards areas for furtherpotential development and study. There is introduction to the real-worldcontext of the texts main topic, and to the basic concepts and questionsin social sciences/humanities which are most relevant. At the core of thetext is some exploration of the main issues. Although limitations areimposed here by the need to retain a book length and format affordable tostudents, some care is taken to indicate how the themes and issuespresented may become more complicated, and