Incorporation of ‘Private’ Environmental Certification Systems in Formal Legal Systems: The U.S. Case
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW NETWORK INTERNATIONAL NEWSLETTER, 71-86, Feb. 2000
36 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2014
Date Written: February 2000
This paper describes the main ways in which state environmental regulatory programs use, are influenced by, and respond to non-state envirionmental certification systems. Certification programs bear an interesting resemblance to government regulatory programs. However, because of their relatively autonomous and voluntary nature, these “unilateral commitment” programs are conventionally viewed as separate and distinct from legal systems. Certification systems are deeply entwined in formal law as they use legal mechanisms to organize themselves and control their members. Among other things, certification systems have a significant influence on governmental policies and the content and application of legal rules. This paper develops the proposition that environmental certification systems will have a significant influence on the substance and operation of the U.S. legal system over time. The paper also describes the primary ways in which state legal systems are likely to inhibit and shape certification systems.
Keywords: Legal Systems, Certification Systems, Certification, Forest Certification, International Trade, Trade Law, Environmental Law, non-environmental law, government regulatory program, direct regulation, regulation, International Organization for Standardization, Forest Stewardship Council
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation