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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines environmental principles as a general phenomenon in environmental law, with particular emphasis on how they can connect, catalyse, and inspire legal thinking in relation to environmental problems across jurisdictions. It first considers three ways in which environmental principles are developing as legal connectors across legal orders without constituting formal and universal norms of public international law: connection through soft law instruments, connection through judicial dialogue, and connection through legal scholarship. It then explores how environmental principles act as catalysts for legal innovation, offering a basis for new legal reasoning concerning environmental protection, using examples from four jurisdictions: the European Union, India, Brazil, and New South Wales (Australia). It suggests that legal innovations concerning environmental principles are not identical; therefore, the legal functions performed by environmental principles across jurisdictions cannot be understood in simple terms.

Keywords: environmental principles, comparative environmental law, transnational environmental law, soft law, environmental law scholarship, European Union environmental law, Indian environmental law, Brazilian environmental law, New South Wales environmental law

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