Social Obligation and Environmental Management
This paper will explore the benefits of using the social obligation norm account of private property in the environmental law context. Using a selection of tradeable environmental allowance regimes from New Zealand and Australia, it will argue that the social obligation norm avoids the predominant concerns about using private property to manage natural resources. In particular, it addresses the potentially negative environmental consequences that can flow from the adoption of a classical liberal approach to private property in an environmental context. As the social obligation norm is predicated on the idea that private property is a social institution, which acknowledges broader community interests, it avoids the potential problems that can be created by privileging individual rights. This paper will also suggest that the social obligation norm provides a principled basis on which to explain the operation of tradeable environmental allowances regimes in practice. Overall, the paper suggests that private property can be a useful tool of environmental management and need not be seen as incompatible with environmental protection. Private property can be, and in fact is being, deployed in creative ways to achieve positive environmental results.
Conference: Association for Property Law and Society Conference, Athens, Georgia, United States
Keywords: Property law; Environmental law and management; New Zealand; Australia
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)