Fracking Frames and the Courts

16 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Ole W. Pedersen

Ole W. Pedersen

Aarhus University

Anthony Zito

University of Newcastle

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

Suggested Citation

Pedersen, Ole Windahl and Zito, Anthony, Fracking Frames and the Courts (July 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Ole Windahl Pedersen (Contact Author)

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
8000 (Fax)

Anthony Zito

University of Newcastle ( email )

40-42 Great North Road
United Kingdom

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