Advancing the Sovereign Trust of Government to Safeguard the Environment for Present and Future Generations (Part II): Instilling a Fiduciary Obligation in Governance
Environmental Law, Vol. 39, No. 1, p. 91, 2009
49 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014
Date Written: March 1, 2009
This Article is the second part of a two-part work that highlights the fiduciary obligation of government emanating from the public trust doctrine of environmental law. This Part explores the measurable standards of performance for protecting vital natural assets in the people’s trust as carried out within the modern framework of administrative law. Section II of this Article discusses the substantive and procedural duties of governmental trustees of natural assets. Section III presents the interface between public trust obligations and statutory law. Section IV discusses enforcement of the trust and the pivotal role of the judiciary. Section V evaluates implications of a trust approach for economic activity and private property rights. Section VI sets forth specific recommendations for incorporating a trust approach within U.S. environmental law and on the international level as well.
Keywords: public trust doctrine, fiduciary obligation of government, private property rights, environmental law
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