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The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency

By: Jocelyn Stacey
Media of The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency
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Published: 19-04-2018
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 296
ISBN: 9781509920273
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £70.00
Online price : £63.00
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About The Constitution of the Environmental Emergency

This book argues for a reframing of environmental law. It starts from the premise that all environmental issues confront lawmakers as emergencies. Environmental issues pose a fundamental challenge to law because it is impossible to reliably predict which issues contain the possibility of an emergency and what to do in response to such an unforeseen event. These features undermine the conventional understanding of the rule of law. This book argues that approaching environmental issues from the emergency perspective leads us to an understanding of the rule of law that requires public justification. This requirement recentres the debates in environmental law around the question of why governance under the rule of law is something worth having in the environmental context. It elaborates what the rule of law requires of decision-makers in light of our ever-present vulnerability to catastrophic environmental harm. Controversial, compelling and above all timely, this book presents an important new perspective on environmental law.

Table Of Contents

I. Methodology, Terminology and Context
II. Outline of the Book
Part I: The Environmental Emergency
1. The Concept of the Environmental Emergency
I. The Environmental Emergency
II. Failing Schmitt's Challenge
III. The Formal Conception of the Rule of Law
IV. Conclusion
2. Environmental Reform: The Problem of Discretion in Environmental Law
I. The Environmental Reform Position
II. Black and Grey Holes in Canadian Environmental Law
III. Impoverished Environmental Reform Solutions
IV. Conclusion
3. Environmental Governance: The Problem of Law in Environmental Law
I. Old and New Governance
II. Three Examples of Environmental Governance
III. Reclaiming the Rule of Law
IV. Conclusion
Part II: Responding to the Environmental Emergency 4. The Requirement of Public Justification
I. Responding to Schmitt's Challenge
II. Public Justification: A Democratic Conception of the Rule of Law
III. Conclusion
5. Institutional Design: Reforming Forest Practices
I. The Institutional Dimensions of Public Justification
II. The Forest Practices Board and the Mountain Pine Beetle Response
III. The Forest Practices Board and Its Governance Response
IV. Conclusion
6. Pipelines and Principles: Reasonableness and Fairness in Environmental Law
I. The Pipelines, the NEB and Their Problems
II. In Defence of Environmental Principles
III. Publicly Justifying the Pipelines 7
IV. Conclusion
7. Reasoning Adequately: Wind Turbine Risks and Benefits
I. The Confluence of Environmental Factors in Wind Turbine Development
II. The Method and Purpose of Reasonableness
III. Reasoning Adequately about Wind Turbine Approvals
IV. Conclusion
8. The Rule of Law and the Right to a Healthy Environment
I. The Case for a Charter Right to a Healthy Environment
II. Environmental Protection and Section 7 Adjudication
III. Common Law Constitutional Rights Adjudication
IV. Conclusion


“With well-developed arguments supplemented by cases and legislation, this book provides refreshing perspectives on how governments should respond to environmental harm in a world where the survival of humankind seems to be overshadowed by rapid environmental degradation. It also makes a valuable contribution to constitutional law scholarship with its refreshing perspectives on the meaning of the rule of law and its implications.” –  Yuan Yu Tsai, University of Tasmania Law Review

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