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Common Law Environmentalism.

  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Political Science


The necessity to control environmental externalities is almost invariably given as justification for command-and-control regulation and other forms of state intervention in related markets. When even mentioned, common law remedies that protected environmental rights for centuries are quickly dismissed as either being unworkable or ineffective. A review of the common law experience indicates that the rule of law can be effective in protecting environmental rights. Indeed, it is quite possible that common law was too effective, which led to special interest demand for statute law. The rule of politics may be more attractive to rent seekers than the rule of law and markets. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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