Environmental law and policy evolves at an alarming rate. Indeed, even as we were going to press, law and policy kept changing. This dynamism creates a fundamental methodological challenge for legal scholarship in that keeping up with that change becomes an intellectual feat in itself. We have discussed this at some length in our piece: Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, Eloise Scotford and Cinnamon Carlarne, 'Maturity and Methodology: Starting a Debate about Environmental Law Scholarship' (2009) 21 JEL 213. These challenges are important to note because, while having an online site for updates is obviously important, it doesn't actually solve the intellectual problems that the speed and scale of legal change creates. Moreover, companion websites for law textbooks are great ideas that have never really quite taken off in the way they should. There are lots of reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant is that it is very difficult to integrate new developments into the logic of a textbook through such a site. Each new reform or case doesn't just require a new paragraph but often the entire reconfiguration of a chapter. And that requires time and thought!
In light of all of the above, as well as the fact that our textbook has the purpose of encouraging students to think as independent lawyers, this companion website provides lists of recent cases, reforms, developments and scholarship that we think might be of interest to our readers. What we don't attempt to do is to integrate these lists in any meaningful way into our text. Nor do we subject their update items to extensive analysis. Such analysis requires critical reflection and we don't wish to pretend that we can do that very quickly (time is a highly underrated feature of good legal scholarship). Nor is it the case that everything here will appear in the next edition. What we do hope to provide is a regular update of the changes and developments that are taking place, which will encourage you to read and think further. It will also provide you with a feel for the rhythm of environmental law and policy - a feel that can be lost in the static frame of a textbook.
The updates are arranged around the 5 Parts of the book and are loosely ordered and referenced to the text. Updates will be periodic. Enjoy!
Liz Fisher, Bettina Lange and Eloise Scotford