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Legal Reasoning in Environmental Law

A Study of Structure, Form and Language Douglas Fisher, Emeritus Professor, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Legal Reasoning in Environmental Law provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the range of legal reasoning processes to support the understanding, interpretation and application of international, regional and national rules of environmental law.
Extent: 480 pp
Hardback Price: $180.00 Web: $162.00
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 78100 896 6
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  • Environment
  • Environmental Law
  • Law - Academic
  • Environmental Law
  • Legal Theory
  • Public International Law
Legal Reasoning in Environmental Law provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the range of legal reasoning processes to support the understanding, interpretation and application of international, regional and national rules of environmental law.

The book considers how rules for environmental governance are designed to accommodate the various competing interests within each of the private and public sectors and also between the two sectors. The author then examines how decisions in particular cases reflect the sources of these rules together with their form, structure and language. He exposes the ways in which reliance upon an extensive range of legal reasoning processes are used to justify the particular decision by interpreting and applying these rules to the case in question.

Much has been written about legal reasoning and about environmental law but relatively little about the relationship between the two. This book will strongly appeal to legal scholars for its analysis of intellectual processes, and to legal practitioners for its exposition of how decisions are made.
‘Professor Fisher’s analysis reveals the rationality, or rather the lack of it, of current environmental decision-making. It also provides the evidence for an environmental grundnorm to guide legal reasoning. Without it, political and legal decision-makers will not be able to achieve ecologically sustainable development. A timely book on a hugely important issue.’
– Klaus Bosselmann, University of Auckland, New Zealand

‘I am afraid that an endorsement of this kind, however condense and packed with praise, cannot do justice to Doug Fisher’s latest book. A respected and seasoned environmental law scholar, Fisher skilfully reminds us that law is about language and that language is the point of commencement of legal reasoning, also in environmental law and governance. Importantly, language and legal argumentation and reasoning will play a determinative role in our efforts to achieve sustainability. The book’s detailed account of the different forms of legal argumentation; the methodology of legal decision-making; and the connection between law, language and legal reasoning in international environmental law and governance, is an invaluable resource for scholars of legal hermeneutics, international lawyers generally, and specifically, for environmental lawyers.’
– Louis J. Kotzé, North West University, South Africa

‘It can be said that Fisher’s new book is a specific delight to read because the author has such thorough knowledge of jurisprudence in this case, the theory of legal reasoning and a hands-on approach to environmental law in the most concrete sense of the word. It is a clearly structured, well-balanced, and well thought out presentation that fills an important gap in environmental law scholarship.’
– Niko Soininen, Yearbook of International Environmental Law
Contents: Preface Part I: Reasoning in a Legal Context 1. Law, Language and Reasoning 2. Forms of Legal Argumentation 3. The Methodology of Legal Decision-making Part II: Legal Reasoning in International Environmental Law 4. Rules of Competence and Limitation: Territorial Resources 5. Rules of Limitation: Common Resources 6. Internationally Accepted Rules: The Normative Framework 7. Internationally Accepted Rules: Implementation Measures 8. Judicially Constructed Rules: Biological Resources 9. Judicially Constructed Rules: Common Resources Part III: Legal Reasoning in Applying Environmental Law 10. Rules in the Form of Human Rights 11. Rules in Instrumental Form 12. Rules in the Form of Constitutional Rights 13. Rules in the Form of Environmental Rights 14. The Structure, Form and Language of Statutory Rules 15. Rules Informing Adjudication 16. Strategic Rules Informing Decisions 17. Strategic Rules Regulating Decisions Part IV: Conclusion 18. Legal Reasoning in Environmental Law Bibliography Index