Environmental law—new starter guide

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental law—new starter guide
  • Topics covered
  • What is environmental law?
  • Development of environmental law
  • History of environmental law
  • Transboundary issues
  • Climate change
  • The UK’s response to climate change
  • Principles of environmental law
  • Sources of environmental law
  • More...

Environmental law—new starter guide

This Practice Note provides an introduction to environmental law. It is aimed at trainee solicitors and others who are new to environment as a practice area.

The content of this Practice Note is also available in the form of a PowerPoint presentation and speaker notes—see: Introduction to environmental law—powerpoint.

Topics covered

  1. what is environmental law?

  2. development of environmental law

  3. transboundary issues

  4. principles of environmental law

  5. sources of environmental law

  6. environmental regimes

  7. environmental liabilities

  8. regulatory action and third party claims

  9. environmental law in practice

What is environmental law?

Environmental law is the body of law that seeks to protect or enhance the environment.

Environment as a practice area is broad and covers areas such as pollution prevention, waste management, producer responsibility, water quality and flooding, control of hazardous substances, brownfield development, wildlife protection and nature conservation, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Due to the transboundary nature of environmental problems such as air pollution and the trade of endangered species, regulation is often required at the national, EU and international levels.

Development of environmental law

History of environmental law

Legislative environmental controls have a long history and can be traced back to private law principles to protect private property and shared assets such as water.

The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the development of public controls related to environmental protection, especially in response to public health problems rooted in

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