Tort Law as an Environmental Policy Instrument
Adam D. K. Abelkop
Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
January 14, 2014
92 Oregon Law Review 381 (2013)
Policymakers aiming to tackle any environmental problem have a diverse tool chest of policy instruments at their disposal, including command and control regulations, taxes, marketable allowance, and liability entitlements. Scholars of public health and safety have been debating the effectiveness of tort law as a regulatory tool for decades. The legal literature on this topic, though, is muddled because the field has failed to adopt a set of criteria by which to compare tort law to public regulation. Heightened clarity on the usefulness of tort law as a complementary policy instrument to public regulations may have legal and policy implications. This article therefore adopts evaluation criteria from the policy analysis and public policy fields — equity, legitimacy, efficiency, organizational competence, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness — to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of tort law as an environmental policy instrument relative to public regulation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 90
Keywords: law, tort law, torts, environmental law, law and economics
Date posted: July 23, 2013 ; Last revised: March 15, 2014
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