Environmental Law Principles: From Political Slogans to Legal Rules 2e (2nd edition)

ISBN : 9780198844358

Nicolas de Sadeleer
640 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2020
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  • Provides a practical comparative analysis of the environmental laws of several EU states, the US, and Australia
  • Analyzes the precautionary principle, which has become even more relevant in current international environmental law
  • A thought-provoking book which offers a novel theory of norm formation in environmental law

New to this Edition:

  • Evaluation of a swathe of new legislations, both international, and domestic, surrounding the principles of polluter-pays, prevention and precaution
  • Integrates to a greater extent the relationship between environmental principles and human rights

This book traces the evolution of environmental principles from their origins as vague political slogans reflecting fears about environmental hazards to their embodiment in enforceable laws. Environmental law has always responded to risks posed by industrial society but the new generation of risks have required a new set of environmental principles, emerging from a combination of public fears, science, ethics, and established legal practice. This book shows how three of the most important principles of modern environmental law grew out of this new age of ecological risk: the polluter pays principle, the preventive principle, and the precautionary principle. Since the first edition was published, the principles of polluter-pays, prevention, and precaution have been encapsulated in a swathe of legislation at domestic and international level. Courts have been invoking environmental law principles in a broad range of cases, on issues including GMOs, conservation, investment, waste, and climate change. As a result, more States are paying heed to these principles as catalysts for improving their environmental laws and regulations.
This edition will integrate to a greater extent the relationship between environmental principles and human rights. The book analyses new developments including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, which has continuously carved out environmental duties from a number of rights enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights, and the implementation of the UNECE Convention on Access to Information.


1:General Introduction
Part I: The Polluter-Pays, Prevention, and Precautionary Principles: Three Approaches To Environmental Risk
3:The Polluter-Pays Principle
4:The Principle of Prevention
5:The Precautionary Principle
6:Part I Conclusions
Part II: The Legal Status and Role of the Polluter-Pays, Preventive, and Precautionary Principles: A Shift From Modern to Post-modern Law

8:Theoretical Presentation of Modern and Post-modern Principles
9:The Evolving Function of Environmental Directing Principles in the Transition From Modern to Post-modern Law
10:The Legal Status of the Directing Principles of Environmental Law: From Political Slogans to Normative Principles
11:Environmental Directing Principles Versus Free Trade
12:Part II Conclusions
Final Conclusions

About the author: 

Nicolas de Sadeleer is professor and Jean Marie Chair at Saint-Louis University (Brussels). He is a specialist of EU law (institutions, internal market), environmental law (international and domestic) and comparative law. He is an active commentator on EU legal and political issues in the areas of trade, investment, and sustainable development. In addition to holding guest academic positions at over forty universities around the world, he has been the recipient of five international university chairs. He has worked as a lawyer and as consultant with national and international authorities on a wide range of environmental issues. His research has been published with leading scholarly publishing houses and journals around the globe.

"Reviews from previous edition"
"This book is a formidable feat of legal scholarship ... likely to remain a milestone for years to come and one which no-one working in this field can ignore." - Chris Miller, Environmental Law Review

"De Sadeleer's Environmental Principles is a tour de force, a showpiece of legal as well as contextual analysis, a constant proof of the author's sharp intellect, a reference book." - Geert van Calster, European Environmental Law Review

"... impressively-researched ... This book can be warmly recommended to anyone with an interest in the theory, development and practical working of environmental law ... it is well written and logically structured, with clear section headings as useful signposts to the direction of argument." - Stephen Tromans, Journal of Environmental Law

"The book represents a step forward in the theory of the nature and functions of the environmental principles communicating rather complex concepts. The analyses are original, important and largerly convincing and deserve attention. The book can strongly be recommended to environmental academics." - Peter Pagh, Nordic Journal of International Law

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