The Seven Degrees of Relevance: Why Should Real-World Environmental Attorneys Care Now About Sustainable Development Policy?

22 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2009

See all articles by J. B. Ruhl

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: March 5, 2009

Abstract

This article explores the evolution of the concept of "sustainable development" through what I suggest are the "seven degrees" of relevance of legal conceptualizations: (1) translation of concept into norm; (2) uncontestability of the norm; (3) intolerance of violation of the norm; (4) demand for fulfillment of the norm; (5) translation of the norm as policy goal; (6) policy consequences based on the norm; (7) translation into hard law to apply. I suggest that, at the time of the writing (1998), sustainable development was stuck on level five.

Suggested Citation

Ruhl, J. B., The Seven Degrees of Relevance: Why Should Real-World Environmental Attorneys Care Now About Sustainable Development Policy? (March 5, 2009). Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Vol. 8, 1997-1998, FSU College of Law, Public Law Research, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1354181

J. B. Ruhl (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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