Legal regulation of the environment is often construed as a collection of legislated responses to the problems of modern living. Treated as such,`environmental law' refers not to a body of distinctive juristic ideas (such as one might find in contract law or tort) but to a body of black-letter rules out of which a distinct jurisprudence might grow. This book challenges the accepted view by arguing that environmental law must be seen not as a mere instrument of social policy, but as a historical product of surprising antiquity and considerable sophistication. Environmental law, it is argued, is underpinned by a series of tenets concerning the relationship of human beings to the natural world, through the acquisition and use of property. By tracing these ideas to their roots in the political philosophy of the seventeenth century, and their reception into the early law of nuisance, this book seeks to overturn the perception that environmental law's philosophical significance is confined to questions about the extent to which a state should pursue collective well-being and public health through deliberate manipulation and restriction of private property rights. Through a close re-examination of both early and modern statutes and cases, this book concludes that, far from being intelligible in exclusively instrumental terms, environmental law must be understood as the product of sustained reflection upon fundamental moral questions concerning the relationship between property, rights and nature.
an interesting approach to the analysis of environmental law, drawing out important connections between the history of property and environmental law. This work is essential to reforming environmental law.Andrew GreenFaculty of Law, University of TorontoUniversity of Toronto Law JournalVol. 57, No. 1, Winter 2007I cannot fault itit is a coherent wholetheir text is supportive of environmental regulation and bolsters it by establishing how it need not conflict with private rights.Arlene KwasniakPhilosophy in Review, Vol 25, No 4August 05Coyle and Morrow..give environmental lawyers the tools to inform debates on sustainable development, human rights, and inter-generational equity, by illuminating how historical context and values shape the current debate.Jaela ShockeySaskatchewan Law Review, Vol 682005...blending of theory and doctrinal development gives the book its inherent intellectual strength and also renders the book very accessible to the reader.Mike Doupe, Lancaster University Law SchoolJournal of Environmental LawOctober 2005...refreshing...original, succinctly argued (a mere 228 pages), and ultimately compelling...It is thus an important book that will stimulate much further discussionBen Pontin, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of the West of EnglandThe Yearbook of European Environmental Law, Vol. 5September 2005...arguments are well-presented and coherent. Chris Himsworth, Professor of Administrative Law, University of EdinburghThe Edinburgh Law Review, Vol. 10, Issue 1January 2006...will aid the practicing lawyer in understanding the development of environmental law in a broader context...the tools to inform debates on sustainable development, human rights, and inter-generational equity...Jaela ShockeySaskatchewan Law Review2005
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