Environmental Law Across Cultures: Comparisons for Legal Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Environmental Law Across Cultures

Comparisons for Legal Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Kirk W. Junker


280 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This book provides a practical, functional comparison among various institutions, tools, implementation practices and norms in environmental law across legal cultures.

This is a new approach that focuses on the act of comparison, looking at legal practice, from the ground up, including the perspective of citizens. Most literature on comparative environmental law either focuses on a two-way comparison of state jurisdictions or simply juxtaposes environmental features of two or more state jurisdictions without engaging in any analysis of the comparison. However, this book treats legal cultures as the objects of comparison as it provides practical comparisons among various institutions, tools and norms in environmental law. The arrangement and organisation of the material reverses the more traditional presentation of comparative environmental law as a series of countries within which separate descriptions are respectively presented. In this book the reader is presented with environmental legal themes, with examples and case studies drawn from various cultures that are compared in order to help understand the theme. Case studies draw on the authors’ experiences in a range of legal cultures, including in Australia, Brazil, China, Chile, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Nigeria, Slovakia and the USA. The comparative nature of the book allows domestic professionals to develop skills to enable them to understand and advocate broader contexts for clients, and helps students become more aware of specific legal systems while questioning why their own system functions (or does not function) as it does.

The book is aimed at advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of environmental law as well as researchers and practitioners.


"Contrasting the functions of various actors and tools across a myriad of legal contexts, these authors present striking insights impacting legal cultures. The role of the citizen in law and the act of comparison in legal analysis are both key to untangling the threads of environmental responses. Offering an excellent range of environmental analyses, this book is a timely comparative tool to understand evolving environmental good governance. Practitioners, students, and a wide range of readers will find it an important contribution to gaining a deeper grasp of complex environmental legal themes." - Elizabeth Burleson, Co-Editor, Comparative Environmental Law and Regulation

"Whether a student, a lecturer, practising attorney, an expert, or indeed just someone with a genuine interest you will find this text a profound study in comparative environmental law. This book goes way beyond comparing written norms and differences in practices, to include in its focus the fact that law in every societal circumstance is born of a concrete culture and its contents is therefore a consequent of the same. This text is at once historical and contemporary; covers from Canada to Chile and from India to Ethiopia and many others in between in its impressive geo-legal span. It makes the study of comparative environmental law very real through inter alia consideration of decided cases from different local, national and federal judiciaries in dissimilar legal systems in many parts of the world. From customary to statutory laws, and from constitutional principles to specific environmental laws of various countries are compared and contrasted not merely in search of differences and similarity; but to point out how justice is reasoned, defined and delivered based on history, culture, the requirements of modern life vis a vis the protection of the environment, and the meeting of human needs." - Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox, International Law Specialist, Diplomat & Expert on Sustainable Development, United Nations

"This book is a refreshing and much-needed contribution to the area of comparative environmental law. It does not shy away from taking on the complex task of comparing the approach and practice of environmental law across contrasting legal cultures. The uniqueness of this book lies in its ability to effectively combine academic rigor and depth with learning from the practice of environmental law in different cultures as many authors are also practitioners from countries as diverse as India, China, and Germany to name a few. This is a must-have for anybody working or researching environmental law in diverse legal and political contexts." - Arpitha Kodiveri, Hans Kelsen Fellow at the European University Institute's Department of Law

Table of Contents

Foreword by M.C. Mehta

Part I Comparison

1. Why Compare? The Biological, Cognitive and Social Functions of Comparison for the Human

Kirk W. Junker

2. A Taxonomy of Comparison: The Accessus ad auctores

Kirk W. Junker

Part II Institutions and Bodies of Environmental Legislation, Implementation and Dispute Resolution

3. Locating Environmental Law Functions Among Legislative, Judicial and Implementation Bodies

Marek Prityi, Ana Miola, Yuan Ye, Ryan Kraski and Saskia Münster

4. Resolution of Environmental Disputes

Vanessa Johnston, Tsegai Berhane Ghebretekle, Ryan Kraski, Jorge Ignacio García Nielsen, Ana Miola and Mrinalini Shinde

Part III Norms and Tools of Environmental Legislation, Implementation and Dispute Resolution

5. Constitutional Provisions

Ryan Kraski, Marek Prityi and Saskia Münster

6. The Interface Between Law and Politics

Tsegai Gebretekle and Marek Prityi

Part IV Persons Subject to Environmental Legislation, Implementation and Dispute Resolution

7. Public Participation

Mrinalini Shinde, Tsegai Berhane Ghebretekle and Kirk W. Junker

8. Economic Choices Enabled by Environmental Law

Sacha Kathuria

9. Environmental Impact Assessment Systems

Dennis Agelebe, Marek Prityi and Jorge Ignacio García Nielsen 

10. Environmental Crime and Enforcement

Mrinalini Shinde

Conclusions Across Cultures

Kirk W. Junker

About the Editor

Kirk W. Junker is Professor of Law, Director of the Environmental Law Center, and Director of International Master of Environmental Sciences Programme, Faculty of Law, University of Cologne, Germany.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental
NATURE / Ecology