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Making Environmental Laws Work: Law and Policy in the UK and USA

By: William Wilson

Hart Publishing Ltd

Hardback | Dec 1999 | #170932 | ISBN: 1901362795
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NHBS Price: £48.00 $62/€53 approx

About this book

This book explores ways in which ideas from America could be used to improve the effectiveness of environmental laws in Britain and throughout Europe. It addresses some of the wider issues which help to decide whether environmental laws are effective or not.

The book considers the political context in which environmental laws are made,and the implications for long-term public support of them. It examines the ways in which the law-making processes in Britain and Europe effectively exclude public participation and offers suggestions for ways to change these processes, with examples of American alternatives. It considers the tensions between science - the foundation for much environmental policy - and public opinion.

Successful implementation of these laws requires both wide public support and consistent enforcement. Britain has traditionally used criminal law sanctions to enforce its environmental laws. America uses the criminal process more selectively but makes much more effective use of civil and administrative enforcement.

The book also examines some of the highly effective approaches to pollution prevention being developed in America, and the implications for environmental regulation of rapidly changing high-technology industries.

...a timely and ideal opportunity for observers and pragmatists to discover what laws help shape a more cost-effective yet cleaner regime of environmental protection. Making Environmental Laws Work is a compact, engaging, and candid introduction to the global laboratory that houses a myriad of legislative experiments.Robert L. ElamStanford Journal of International LawSeptember 2002an enthusiastic, spirited and highly individualistic trek through public environmental law institutions in the United Kingdom, United States and (of all places!) RussiaIt breathes life into environmental law without losing sight of the importance of legal frameworks and institutions. For both novices and experts alike it provides a fresh and highly relevant point of view.Malvina SnapeEuropean Environmental Law ReviewSeptember 2002


Part 1 Introduction: why America?; part of the picture; civil litigation - a non-comparison; who gets to sue?; deferential courts; a constitutional mismatch; the changing United Kingdom; the influence of scale; summary of contents. Part 2 Politics and environmental laws: Kyoto and climate change; the 104th Congress and the Republican contract with America; environmental groups' counter attack; Democrats and Republicans - the shaping of an election issue; the nature of the debate - and lobbyists v the public; citizens in action; appointments and enforcement; delegation and devolution; conclusions. Part 3 The consent of the governed 1 - making the laws: the lawmaking process in the United Kingdom; Westminster legislation; the American ballot measure process; secondary legislation in England; negotiating European Community law; better law from Europe?; the national parliament and European Community legislation; the "copy out" debate; conclusions. Part 4 The consent of the governed 2 - the public and science: science and public opinion; problems with risk assessment; dioxins; pesticides; food safety and the Delaney clause; genetically engineered crops; toxic substances and public access to information; conclusions. Part 5 Common problems, common themes?: Russia's beleaguered environment; closer to home - the issue of environmental justice in America; the President's Executive Order on environmental justice of 1994; themes of the environmental justice movement; drinking of the Mississippi; lessons of the Mississippi; three issues for the future - development, traffic and global warming; conclusions. Part 6 Use of the criminal law: the case for the criminal law; spare the rod? investigative capacity; unfamiliar tribunals; penalty lottery and some alternatives, Oregon and a revised approach to the criminal law; conclusions. Part 7 Civil and administrative environmental law enforcement: the principle of enforcement - the European Community; federal enforcement - first principles; federal policy to settle civil cases and limit litigation where possible; federal civil penalties; supplemental environmental projects - "SEP", state enforcement - Oregon's civil enforcement process; conclusions. Part 8 An end to pollution and waste?: deregulation v pollution prevention; pollution prevention in America; four federal programmes; other state pollution prevention initiatives; "zero pollution, zero waste"; the environment and the American computer industry; conclusions. Part 9 Keeping hope alive: the elect - nineteenth century confidence; the damned - late twentieth century doubts; the case for optimism; the need for hope.

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William Wilson is a lawyer with the English Department of the Environment,Transport and the Regions, working on United Kingdom and European Community environmental law.

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