Standing for the Environment

UCLA Law Review, Vol. 5, April 1998.

Posted: 21 Apr 1998

See all articles by Ann E. Carlson

Ann E. Carlson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law


Although the U.S. Supreme Court's recent tightening of standing rules in environmental cases will undoubtedly cause problems for environmental plaintiffs, it may produce some surprising benefits for organizations that opposed the changes. By requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate more directly and concretely that they have been "injured in fact," the recently invigorated rules may force environmental lawyers to think more seriously about how environmental problems actually harm human beings. This more careful consideration could, in turn, significantly assist environmental plaintiffs in building and presenting compelling cases in court and could tranform the approaches they take outside of court to solving environmental problems. To illustrate these claims, the Article presents a case study comparing a litigation approach with little focus on the human diimension inherent in the injury-in-fact standard with an approach that makes the human dimension a centerpiece of the case.

JEL Classification: K32, K41

Suggested Citation

Carlson, Ann E., Standing for the Environment. UCLA Law Review, Vol. 5, April 1998., Available at SSRN:

Ann E. Carlson (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

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