TITLE

Fairness Versus Efficiency in Environmental Law

AUTHOR(S)
Shi-Ling Hsu
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Ecology Law Quarterly;2004, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p303
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Like many other areas of law, the development of environmental law has been strongly influenced by notions of fairness. This should not be surprising, since environmental law has been developed by lawyers, who are self-selected to be fairness-oriented and trained to think in terms of fairness. While large environmental gains have been achieved in the thirty-year history of environmental law, progress seems to have reached a plateau. Partisanship has poisoned the debate on how best to proceed in making further environmental progress. I attribute the failings and the current stalemate in environmental law to our obsession with fairness. Fairness-thinking has created a culture where stakeholders are conditioned to make self-serving arguments, not considered judgments about the public interest. While this is true in many areas of law, this has become especially troubling in environmental law. I propose that environmental law and policymakers pay more attention to efficiency arguments and efficiency-thinking. While I do not propose a tyranny of economists to supplant fairness-thinking, I argue that efficiency-thinking can provide an important complement to the fairness-thinking that has dominated environmental law and policy. This article explores the theoretical arguments for fairness-based and efficiency-based programs, and examines the empirical support for some of these arguments. The theoretical arguments for an increased role for efficiency-thinking are quite clear. The evidence for more efficiency-based environmental regulation is somewhat thin, but with some important caveats, vindicates the economic theory in support of efficiency-based regulation.
ACCESSION #
14775032

 

Related Articles

  • INTERNATIONAL INSOLVENCY AND ENVIRONMENTAL OBLIGATIONS: A PRELUDE TO RESOLVING THE CONFLICTING POLICIES OF A CLEAN SLATE VERSUS A CLEAN SITE IN TRANSNATIONAL BANKRUPTCIES. Neiman, David // Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law;2003, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p789 

    Explores the issues raised when environmental claims arise during the course of international solvencies. Discussion of how the U.S. judiciaty reconciled its Bankruptcy Code's objective and substantial provisions with the U.S. policy of strict environmental liability; Treatment of...

  • Program for Water Pollution Control in Major River Reaches Formulated.  // China Chemical Reporter;6/26/2008, Vol. 19 Issue 18, p12 

    The article reports on a program formulated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Water Conservancy, and the Ministry of Real Estate and Municipal Construction in China. The "Program for the Water Pollution Control in Major...

  • The Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea. Janusz, Barbara // Chinese Journal of International Law;2005, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p257 

    The Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, which concluded recently between Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, is a great step on the long path of rescuing the fragile Caspian Sea environment devastated by the economies of the...

  • PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT AT A CROSSROADS. Layard, Antonia // Journal of Environmental Law;2002, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p401 

    Discusses British papers on planning and the environment. 'Environmental Planning,' released by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution; 'Planning and Environmental Protection,' edited by Chris Miller; 'Sustainability, Land Use and Environment: A Legal Analysis,' by Mark Stallworthy.

  • REGULATING IPC IN SCOTLAND: A STUDY OF ENFORCEMENT PRACTICE. Lovat, Claire // Journal of Environmental Law;2004, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p49 

    Studies enforcement practices regulating integrated pollution control regime in Scotland. Opinions of some environmental protection officers; Enforcement data and policy of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Constitutive Law and Environmental Policy. Doremus, Holly // Stanford Environmental Law Journal;Jun2003, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p295 

    Describes a constitutive approach to environmental policy in the U.S. that provides a principled framework for decisions. Information on the constitutive power of law; Reason environmental policy demands attention to the constitutive dimensions of law; Brief taxonomy of constitutive...

  • Guest Editor's Introduction. Zusman, Eric // Chinese Law & Government;May/Jun2004, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p3 

    Discusses the trends in environmental legislation in China. Stages of the history of environmental legal development in China; Systems in which the basic environmental law is set in place to influence subsequent environmental legislation; Biggest omissions in the environmental legislation.

  • Environmental Protection Law (for Trial Implementation) of the People's Republic of China (1979).  // Chinese Law & Government;May/Jun2004, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p51 

    Presents the environmental protection law of the People's Republic of China for trial implementation in 1979. Function of the law; Scope of the meaning of environment for the purposes of the environmental protection law; Guidelines governing environmental protection work.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION IN THE 21st CENTURY. Harman, John // Environmental Law Review;2004, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p141 

    Focuses on environmental regulation in the 21st century. Expression of the desired environmental outcome; Setting of regulatory process; Challenges facing regulators in Great Britain.

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics