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Environmental LawText, Cases & Materials

Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials (2nd edn)

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford
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date: 28 May 2024

p. 32911. European Union Environmental Lawlocked

p. 32911. European Union Environmental Lawlocked

  • Elizabeth Fisher, Elizabeth FisherProfessor of Environmental Law, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford
  • Bettina LangeBettina LangeAssociate Professor of Law and Regulation, University of Oxford
  •  and Eloise ScotfordEloise ScotfordProfessor of Environmental Law, UCL


Much of the substance of UK environmental law has been derived from EU environmental law. This chapter is an introduction to some of the major themes in EU environmental law. The first section outlines aspects of EU legal culture and considers different approaches to defining EU environmental law. The following sections examine four major themes of EU environmental law. The first theme is competence, which concerns the nature of the EU’s authority to act in relation to environmental matters. The second theme is implementation and enforcement. The third theme is the ability of Member States to take unilateral environmental protection action. Finally, the last theme is the legitimacy and accountability of EU governance.

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