Research Handbook on Fundamental Concepts of Environmental Law
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Research Handbook on Fundamental Concepts of Environmental Law

Edited by Douglas Fisher

The quality and the strength of an environmental legal system is a reflection of the conceptual foundations upon which it is constructed. The Research Handbook on Fundamental Concepts of Environmental Law illuminates key aspects of environmental governance through the lens of their underlying dimensions: for example, the form, structure and language of international, regional and national instruments; the function of norms, objectives and standards; and the relevance of economic analysis and of integrated policy formulation.
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Chapter 2: A normative approach to environmental governance: sustainability at the apex of environmental law

Klaus Bosselmann

Abstract

Environmental law has become an amalgam of norms, principles and rules that affect the legal system in general. A central issue here concerns the relationship between these norms, principles and rules and the extent to which sustainability as a norm not only underpins the legal system but also functions as a rule. This chapter seeks to answer these questions. It does so by locating sustainability in the context of its history, contemporary environmental law and the concept of sustainable development, by defining the core idea of sustainability and by examining its legal nature and general importance for environmental law and the legal system in general.

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