Diversity, Dissonance and Denial: Exploring the the Canengusian Environmental Connection
Journal of Jurisprudence, Forthcoming
25 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2010
This essay seeks to highlight the broad application of Hutchinson and Morgan’s analysis of tort law as this is put forward in ‘The Canengusian Connection’, by showing its relevance to environmental law (a body of law that intersects in a variety of ways with tort law). The aim of this essay is to illustrate how the deliberation of the five Canengusian Court of Appeal judges along distinct lines (doctrinal, consequentialist, deontological, socio-legal and critical legal scholarship (CLS)) alerts us to the inherent diversity in law, while highlighting a number of critiques. In addition to linking ‘The Canengusian Connection’ to environmental issues, this essay also discusses the themes of diversity and denial as these are identified as subtle premises lurking underneath the deliberations of the five Canengusian Appeal Court judges. As a way of elucidating these themes, we will partly rely on the concept of cognitive dissonance. In the course of developing these themes, this essay argues that the response of the five judges to the diversity identified in ‘The Canengusian Connection’ is one of denial. It is argued that the issues of diversity, dissonance and denial are equally applicable to environmental issues. In light of this, this essay seeks to demonstrate that such denial and dissonance can be countered by reliance on concepts of open deliberation and critical rationalism, as these are elaborated by John Dewey and Karl Popper respectively.
Keywords: Environmental Law, Diversity, Dissonance, Rationality
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