Environmental problems such as global warming and pollution lie at the heart of the public agenda in the twenty first century. Law, as a guardian of the environment and a deterrent to those who cause environmental problems, remains undiminished, even in this post-modern age, but it is not the only means of influencing human behaviour. To be effective, environmental law must be prepared to adopt practical strategies and techniques from the fields of ethics, science, economics and politics, to further an understanding of the proper form and content of environmental law itself. Environment and Law is a concise introduction for students with little or no legal background, to the role of law in environmental protection. It initially describes and explains law and legal systems, the concept of the environment, sources of environmental law and some of the techniques used in environmental law. It then examines some of the major connections between law and the disciplines of ethics, science, economics, and politics.
Some of the issues discussed are the response of environmental law to the rise in theories of environmental ethics; the role of science in the resolution of environmental law disputes; how economic instruments can offer alternatives and supplements to traditional 'command and control' forms of environmental regulation; and the kinds of political entities that are most conducive to high standards of environmental protection. Environment and Law concludes with a vision of law at the centre of a multidisciplinary approach to altering our relations with nature: a transformation from a single-subject to a holistic perspective that forms part of the basis for the construction of a new body of Ecological Law. It offers a greater understanding of international and national environmental law and has case studies from all over the world, including examples from UK, US and Australian law. Chapter summaries and annotated further reading are also included.
David Wilkinson is a Lecturer in Environmental Law at Keele University.