Show Summary Details
Environmental Law

Environmental Law (9th edn)

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes
Page of

Printed from Oxford Law Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 March 2023

p. 31. What is environmental law? A brief introductionlocked

p. 31. What is environmental law? A brief introductionlocked

  • Stuart Bell, Stuart BellProfessor of Law and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of York
  • Donald McGillivray, Donald McGillivrayProfessor of Environmental Law, University of Sussex
  • Ole W. Pedersen, Ole W. PedersenReader in Environmental Law, Newcastle University
  • Emma LeesEmma LeesUniversity Lecturer in Environmental and Property Law, University of Cambridge
  •  and Elen StokesElen StokesProfessorial Research Fellow in Law, University of Birmingham


This chapter, which discusses the difficult issue of defining ‘environmental law’ for the purposes of this book, covers the definition of certain key terms and provides an outline of some of the underlying themes that will be found in many of the chapters that follow. It is designed for use at the very beginning of a course of study to help to establish a context for future study. The notes and questions at the end of the chapter are designed to provoke thought about the way in which law and policy might affect everyday environmental issues and problems. In identifying the subject matter of this book, it is first necessary to consider whether there is any identifiable subject that could be termed ‘environmental law’.

Updated in this version

Note: An update has been made available on the Online Resource Centre (June 2017).

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription