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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1129838
 
 

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The Mismatch between Public Nuisance Law and Global Warming


David A. Dana


Northwestern University - School of Law

May 6, 2008

Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 08-05
Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-16

Abstract:     
The federal courts using the common law method of case-by-case adjudication may have institutional advantages over the more political branches, such as perhaps more freedom from interest group capture and more flexibility to tailor decisions to local conditions. Any such advantages, however, are more than offset by the disadvantages of relying on the courts in common resource management in general and in the management of the global atmospheric commons in particular. The courts are best able to serve a useful function resolving climate-related disputes once the political branches have acted by establishing a policy framework and working through the daunting task of allocating property or quasi-property rights in greenhouse gas emissions. In the meantime, states do have a state legislative alternative that is preferable to common law suits, and that federal courts can facilitate without any dramatic innovations in federal preemption or dormant commerce clause doctrine.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Global warming, climate change, nusiance, public nuisance, federalism, environmental law, greenhouse gas emissions, political question

JEL Classification: K32, K11, K19, K23, K40

working papers series





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Date posted: May 7, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Dana, David A., The Mismatch between Public Nuisance Law and Global Warming (May 6, 2008). Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper No. 08-05; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-16. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1129838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1129838

Contact Information

David A. Dana (Contact Author)
Northwestern University - School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-0240 (Phone)
312-503-2035 (Fax)
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