What is ENVIRONMENTAL LAW - Definition and Summary

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Wondering what exactly is environmental law? Did you know that it is not the same as Ecological Law and that it is one of the most complex legal branches that exist?

If you are interested in knowing this type of right in depth, do not hesitate to continue reading this article by Ecologist Verde in which we explain what is environmental law with a simple definition and we offer you a practical summary on the subject so that you can begin to delve into this complex legal branch that is related to nature or the environment.

What is Environmental Law - simple definition

As an introduction to the subject for the ordinary citizen, here we explain what is environmental law with a simple definition. Roughly speaking, environmental law is:

"ANDhe set of legal norms that regulates human activities to Protect the environment or nature".

However, this branch of law That, explained in those words, may seem like a fairly simple law, it turns out to be one of the most complex legal branches that exist to date.

In this other Green Ecologist article we show you what is the difference between Environmental Law and Ecological Law.

Environmental Law: summary

Compared with other branches of law, it can be said that environmental law is one of the most specific because it deals with a limited branch of legal reality, being the one in charge of establish laws and control of the environment, with the main objective of conservation and preservation of the same. As a consequence, we are faced with legislation on environmental matters with a multisectoral nature and with an important technical component, integrating both in the legal and scientific branches, constituting a point of connection between them, with the common goal of reaching the most appropriate solution. required for each case, so that this protection can be effective in terms of its legal effectiveness. As a consequence of this, we are faced with a combination of legal norms, both past and current, since it must go updating according to environmental reality in which we find ourselves, which is the result of the occasional need to urgently resolve needs that require immediate regulation.

The complexity that environmental law represents has already been expressed by our Constitutional Court, specifically in Sentence 102/1995 of June 26, 1995, alleging that:

The environment cannot be reduced to the mere sum or juxtaposition of natural resources and their physical base, but rather it is the complex network of the relationships of all those elements that, by themselves, have their own and previous existence, but whose interconnection them endows with a transcendent meaning, beyond the individual of each one "

Environmental law is a deeply internationalized law, this is due to the global dimension that the environment itself has, therefore, we are faced with resources whose conservation requires international action, which would not be possible without a consensual regulation, pursuing a common action, in which each state assumes its share of responsibility.

As a direct consequence of this internationality, we are facing a multisectoral legislation and of a high technical component where several normative levels are distinguished, which are carried out by the different public administrations, since these are in charge of safeguarding the public interests, having for this different instruments of intervention in terms of environmental Protection It is about, some of these instruments are creating different environmental laws and regulations, thus finding regulations at the international, community, state, regional and even municipal levels, integrating issues such as:

  • Health protection, the relationship between the two being evident, specifically to counteract epidemics and diseases that may arise as a result of poor environmental management.
  • Property defense, regulating, among other factors, acoustic or other emissions that people do not have a duty to bear.
  • Market techniques, regarding the relationship that exists between environmental protection and the techniques that are used by companies to position themselves or even intervene in a specific market; among others.

Therefore, the environmental Protection has ended up becoming one of the keys to ensure social development, trying to protect a common good, which has become a social demand, since it is closely linked to health and quality of life, being the environment a Common denominator in policies that at first glance might seem alien to this environmental protection.

Environmental Law Regulations - summary

Regarding the regulations created by the different administrations, they orbit around the character of "common good" that the environment possesses, having neither more nor less than a preventive purpose, thus seeking avoid environmental damage, prior to its subsequent restoration. In turn, a sanctioning action by the administration for cases of non-compliance. Regarding sanctioning responsibility, we find that the Spanish legal system, under the provisions of article 45.3 of the Spanish Constitution, which also provides for a criminal liability for damage caused to natural resources, fauna and flora, among others.

Regarding the aforementioned article 45 of the Spanish Constitution, it establishes that:

  1. "Everyone has the right to enjoy an environment suitable for the development of the person, as well as the duty to preserve it.
  2. The public powers shall ensure the rational use of all natural resources, in order to protect and improve the quality of life and defend and restore the environment, relying on the indispensable collective solidarity.
  3. For those who violate the provisions of the previous section, in the terms that the law establishes, penal sanctions or, where appropriate, administrative sanctions will be established, as well as the obligation to repair the damage caused. "

Therefore, said article configures the environment as a good whose enjoyment is a right of every citizen and both they and the public authorities have the obligation to preserve it. Due to this, everyone has the right to demand that the administrations adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the protection of the environment, providing for this public participation and access to justice in environmental matters.

To finish, we want to offer you this other article in which we talk in depth about the Conservation and protection of the environment, its importance and measures.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is Environmental Law, we recommend that you enter our category of Society and culture.

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