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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the roles of sciences in environmental law and the challenges created by the sciences/environmental law interface. It begins with a discussion of three roles played by the sciences in different areas of environmental law. First, the sciences can help identify environmental problems, their causes, and their possible solutions. Second, the sciences are a key component of the practice of environmental law and regulation. Third, the sciences play a symbolic role in the process of legitimizing environmental action by the state. The chapter goes on to consider the challenges involved in the interrelationship between the sciences and environmental law, the different ways in which science has been ‘contained’ as a response to those challenges, and how this leads to a failure of communities to take collective epistemic responsibility and legal culture seriously. It also explores the issue of kettling the sciences in environmental law.

Keywords: science, environmental law, legal culture, environmental decision-making, courts

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