Edited by Douglas Fisher
Chapter 16: Environmental impact assessment: ‘setting the law ablaze’
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a defining feature of ‘modern’ environmental law and this chapter provides an overview of it and the type of legal frameworks and obligations its implementation creates. In particular, it focuses on the way that EIA, by creating a new legal frame that cuts across the existing legal order, gives rise to difficult legal questions in most jurisdictions. Three major legal features of EIA are examined: its procedural nature; the way it acts as a classificatory process; and the fact that it is primarily an administrative procedure. Overall it is shown that EIA is responding to ‘hot’ situations and thus is ‘hot’ law.
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