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Laws concerning environmental protection have a long history in the UK, but the last thirty years have seen unprecedented development in both the substantive body of environmental legislation and in thinking about underlying principles and institutional arrangements.
The materials in this book demonstrate how far environmental law has come in less than a generation, focussing in particular on the major themes of regulation, institutional arrangements, and enforcement which underlie the substantive detail of the law. Whilst acknowledging the growing importance of public international law relating to the environment, the book is largely concerned with UK and EC law, though many of the core themes have much wider relevance.
Chapter 1 is concerned with major issues concerning regulatory reform, while chapter 2 considers challenges to current institutional arrangements, including the need for a specialised environmental court and tribunal, and the environmental implications of the major constitutional changes that have taken place in the United Kingdom in the last decade.
Chapter 3 reflects on the shifting dynamics of environmental law, new environmental standards, new technologies and the need to develop new notions of responsibility. Chapter 4 is a selection of reports of leading cases over the last decade illustrating how the higher courts have grappled with the interpretation of environmental legislation and the development of legal principle. The final two chapters focus on European dimensions, such as the key principles of EC law and its enforcement through unique, but by no means perfect, mechanisms developed under the Treaty.