Managing Facts and Feelings in Environmental Governance
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Managing Facts and Feelings in Environmental Governance

Edited by Lorenzo Squintani, Jan Darpö, Luc Lavrysen and Peter-Tobias Stoll

This timely book brings to the foreground the considerable tensions between the need to engage the public in the importance of environmental governance and the need of professional expertise to address the issues which arise. In doing so, it highlights that not only can public opinion deviate from scientific knowledge, but scientific knowledge itself can be lacunose or contradicting. Drawing together insights from some of the leading scholars, this engaging work will provide guidance to decision makers, including judges, on how to govern public participation procedures and professional expertise and the role that the precautionary principle can play in this regard.
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Chapter 6: Scientific facts and litigants feelings: practical innovations from the Vermont Environmental Court and other jurisdictions

Merideth Wright

Abstract

Chapter 6 provides an insight in the approaches followed by the Vermont Environmental Court and some other common law jurisdictions. After highlighting the importance of procedural fairness and consideration for litigants’ feelings about the environmental judicial process, the chapter discusses techniques used in some courts to maximize the opportunity for litigants to participate in environmental and land development cases. Given the complexity of such cases, particular attention is given to the position of self-represented litigants. The complexity of such cases can also be a challenge for the judges. Accordingly, the chapter discusses some techniques developed in common law countries, especially in environmental cases based on statutes, and especially in non-jury cases, empowering judges to handle the acceptance and validation of scientific facts in litigated cases.

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