Legislation and the Stress of Environmental Problems

Current Legal Problems (2021), cuab010, https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuab010

Faculty of Laws University College London Law Research Paper No. 2/2021

22 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2021 Last revised: 26 Oct 2021

See all articles by Eloise A.K. Scotford

Eloise A.K. Scotford

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: September 29, 2021

Abstract

For lawyers and legal scholars, legislation seems a known quantity—a relatively permanent, public expression of democratic processes in parliamentary democracies and of the rule of law. This ‘knowable’ character can however be misleading, particularly in the field of environmental law. This article examines why research into environmental legislation is challenging but critically important. A short history of UK environmental law provides salient examples of political stress and highly complex, unsettled, even unknowable, environmental legislation. Collective environmental problems demand legislative responses in shaping individual behaviours and guiding social policies—but knowing how to craft these responses and how to evaluate the resulting legislation is often uncharted legal territory. Navigating that legislative terrain is a vital task for legal scholars and practitioners, particularly to investigate the serious legal problems that can arise from its construction, including poor legibility, legal fragmentation, and concerns about compatibility with the rule of law.

Suggested Citation

Scotford, Eloise A.K., Legislation and the Stress of Environmental Problems (September 29, 2021). Current Legal Problems (2021), cuab010, https://doi.org/10.1093/clp/cuab010, Faculty of Laws University College London Law Research Paper No. 2/2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3756907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3756907

Eloise A.K. Scotford (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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