Friends of the Earth & Legal Interdisciplinarity: Introduction by the Analysis Editors

Joanna Bell, Sanja Bogojevic, Olivia Hamlyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What counts as environmental law adjudication? Or to put it differently; how do we decide which cases demand attention in an environmental law journal, such as this one? Is it the relevance of environmental legislation to the court’s legal reasoning, or would the mere reference to environmental problems and their related laws do? In either case, the net is cast wide. Environmental disputes are undoubtedly on the rise, and judges are increasingly called on to resolve these in courtrooms around the globe.1 Our point, however, does not concern the speed or the surge of environmental law jurisprudence but rather the drawing of its outer limits. Take HS2,2 as an example. Here, the Supreme Court was asked to consider some of the leading decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU on the Environmental Impact Assessment and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) directives,3 but the case, perhaps more significantly, contributed to the contouring of British constitutional law, and its relationship to the EU legal order.4 Is then HS2 an environmental or a constitutional law case? Obviously, we should not need to make this too sharp a distinction, especially as environmental disputes commonly cut across legal fields. But how we label cases matters in how we understand the nature of the environmental dispute at play. Given the polycentricity of environmental problems and the tendency of environmental disputes to transcend legal fields, we gain much by moving away from studies of cases in silos of distinct legal sub-disciplines towards an approach grounded in legal interdisciplinarity. And so, as a new Editorial team for the analysis section, we invited different legal perspectives on the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) decision in Friends of the Earth (FOE).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-440
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law


  • Environmental Law
  • Adjudication
  • EU law


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