UK Environmental Legislation and Its Administration in 2013 – Achievements, Challenges and Prospects
Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 25, Issue 3, p. 383-409, 2013
25 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016
Date Written: August 27, 2013
This article considers the unwieldy state of UK environmental legislation in 2013, after 25 years of innovation, ad hoc reform and political change. It shows that an appraisal of UK environmental legislation requires consideration of much more than primary legislation emanating from Westminster – secondary legislation, devolved legislative instruments, policy documents and administrative norms all serve to constitute and inform the legislative picture. Through this wide analytical lens, the article considers various legal problems that characterise UK environmental legislation today, from its arguable undermining of the rule of law due to inaccessible complexity, to its occupying an awkward place in public law terms. A particular problem is the fragmentation of UK environmental legislation, and the article examines the case for integrating environmental legislation in a way that does not undermine the flexibility and institutional expertise that more particular and focused legislation allows. Overall, the article offers not only a method for analysing the current legislative landscape in UK environmental law and the legal problems to which it gives rise, but suggests routes for reform that might now be considered.
Keywords: Environmental Legislation, Legislative Integration, Environmental Policy, Environmental Administration, Legislative Reform
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