This is not a thing: Land, sustainability and legal education

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Law, 2014, 26 (3), pp. 395 - 422
Issue Date:
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© The Author 2014. Legal education plays an important but under-acknowledged role in anthropogenic environmental change because it shapes and qualifies people to become lawyers, judges and policy makers. Their work can prohibit and legitimate particular environmental practices. The conceptual framework of law, its taxonomy, as taught to students of law, often perpetuates an unsustainable relationship to the environment where it separates questions of entitlement to land and natural resources from questions of responsibility for them. The implication of perpetuating this separation in law curricula is that generations of legal practitioners will remain unlikely to develop a coherent system of environmental law that aligns rights with responsibilities. Environmental education scholar David Orr argues that 'all education is environmental education'. But legal education often excludes environmental considerations even where these are materially relevant. Given the role of legal education in shaping future law, this article contends that rethinking its categories opens the possibility to create sustainable land use practice laws and policy.
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