Searching for Intergenerational Green Solutions: The Relevance of the Public Trust Doctrine to Environmental Preservation

Common Law Review, No. 11, pp. 7-13, 2009

7 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2010  

Lucas Bento

New York University

Date Written: November 14, 2009

Abstract

In the Common Law jurisprudence, a trust is "the legal relationship between one person having an equitable ownership in property and another person owning the legal title to such property." In the context of the Public Trust Doctrine, the legal title is vested in the state and the equitable title in the public. Thus the state is responsible as trustee to manage the property in the interest of the public. The PTD has been praised by the environmentalist community as "the most promising legal basis upon which individual members of the public could maintain a lawsuit to protect natural resources from needless degradation and destruction." In contrast, critics contend that it is "more rhetorically than legally charged." The purpose of this article is to assess the relevance of the PTD to environmental protection.

Keywords: Public Trust Doctrine, Environmental Law, US Law

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bento, Lucas, Searching for Intergenerational Green Solutions: The Relevance of the Public Trust Doctrine to Environmental Preservation (November 14, 2009). Common Law Review, No. 11, pp. 7-13, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1709104

Lucas Bento (Contact Author)

New York University ( email )

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New York, NY 10003-711
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