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Divining common law standards for environmental protection: Application of the public trust doctrine in the context of reforming NEPA and the commonwealth environmental protection act

Meyers, G.D. (1994) Divining common law standards for environmental protection: Application of the public trust doctrine in the context of reforming NEPA and the commonwealth environmental protection act. Environmental and Planning Law Journal, 11 (4). pp. 289-306.

Abstract

The public trust doctrine is a common law natural resources management and protection doctrine that has been extensively litigated in the United States. The general thrust of that litigation is to constrain sovereign action when that action would disturb public access to, or interest in, preservation of certain "public" resources. Similar constraints are identifiable in other common law jurisdictions like Australia. One view of the doctrine is that it acts analogous to an environmental servitude impressed on public authorities to preserve the national estate from degradation. This article suggests that in this guise, the public trust doctrine provides useful guidelines for reforming national environmental planning and protection statutes, which typically lack substantive standards and provide only for information assessment.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Law
Publisher: Lawbook Co.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/19021
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