Fracking Frames and the Courts
16 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: July 30, 2018
This article utilises the concept of policy framing to examine regulatory choices and the contestation of such choices in the context of hydraulic fracturing in the UK. The article makes no argument about the merits of fracking in the UK context, but rather explores how the institutional choices and design serve to shape the legal reasoning, thereby defining the ability of actors outside the London government to engage with its efforts to govern. Through the lens of recent judicial decisions in which claimants have sought to challenge privileged policy frames supportive of hydraulic fracturing, the article finds that the deferential approach taken by the courts serves to reinforce privileged frames, resulting in there being little scope to challenge such frames.
Keywords: hydraulic fracturing, framing, climate change, courts, judicial review
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