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Governing Ecologies: Species Protection in Overlapping and Contiguous Legal Regimes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) aims to protect biodiversity in the European Union. It does so within a complex ecology of legal regimes for environmental protection at the international, EU, national, and regional levels. As the EU has continued to expand its competence, and the role of EU law for environmental protection continues to develop within the member states, it is important to examine the effect that EU law is having on biodiversity horizontally between states for the protection of transboundary populations, and the effect it has vertically as it interacts with international and national law.

This collection is a licentiate thesis consisting of four articles addressing the challenge of protecting species populations across legal jurisdictions. Its central aim is to examine how interactions and shifting centers of authority between different legal species protection regimes impact species protection. These legal systems may be contiguous, such as in the case of neighboring countries, or overlapping, such as in the case of EU and national law. Four sub-questions develop the analysis, each the central investigation of an article. The first article asks how EU law, and international law, affects the protection of transboundary populations of protected species in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The second narrows in on a single concrete example in a member state, analyzing how EU law has affected the evolution of species protection in Sweden. The third lifts the analysis out of the Nordic context to examine more closely how the cooperation and tension between international and EU species protection law help or hinder the policy objectives of both. The fourth widens the scope further still, using a comparison with species protection in the United States to query how the division of responsibility for species protection between the federal or union level and the state or member state level affects protection.

Human laws manage the natural world, as best they can. But the resultant tangle of overlapping jurisdictions of laws and rules and management strategies becomes its own ecology to be explored, mapped and ordered. The title, “Governing Ecologies”, refers to this investigation of the governing of ecology and the ecology of governing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Juridiska institutionen , 2013. , 26 p.
National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208223ISBN: 978-91-506-2373-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208223DiVA: diva2:651330
Presentation
2013-11-08, Faculty Room, Department of Law, Trädgårdsgatan 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-16 Created: 2013-09-25 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Polulation Based Species Management across Legal Boundaries: The Bern Convention, Habitats Directive and the Gray Wolf in Scandinavia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Polulation Based Species Management across Legal Boundaries: The Bern Convention, Habitats Directive and the Gray Wolf in Scandinavia
2013 (English)In: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, ISSN 1042-1858, Vol. 25, no 4, 589-614 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The protection of biodiversity, like many other environmental goals, transcends political boundaries. This is particularly true regarding large carnivores, such as wolves, which typically require a relatively low population density and a range that often extends hundreds of kilometers across many legal borders. The two primary legal instruments promoting the protection of species in Europe, the Habitats Directive and Bern Convention, recognize that to be effective in preserving the long-term genetic diversity and thus survival of a population, conservation management must be coordinated throughout the population’s range. Despite the goal of international cooperation for species protection, conservation management rarely occurs at an international level. Using the Scandinavian and Karelian wolf populations as an example, this article comparatively analyzes the two conservation instruments and explores their effect on national law, thus illuminating how the legal situation for a species changes as it crosses political boundaries.

National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207933 (URN)
Available from: 2013-09-21 Created: 2013-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. The Wild Has No Words: Environmental NGOs Empowered to Speak for Protected Species as Swedish Courts Apply EU and International Environmental Law
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Wild Has No Words: Environmental NGOs Empowered to Speak for Protected Species as Swedish Courts Apply EU and International Environmental Law
2013 (English)In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law, ISSN 1613-7272, E-ISSN 1876-0104, Vol. 10, no 3, 250-261 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Stockholm Administrative Court recently ruled that Sweden’s wolf management policies are incompatible with the Habitats Directive. These policies are also the subject of an on-going infringement proceeding by the European Commission. The administrative court’s decision has been appealed. This case is significant for two reasons. First, it interprets controversial provisions of the Habitats Directive. But perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates the growing impact of EU law in a member state. This was the first major case in which the national courts were able to review a hunting decision pertaining to a species protected under EU law because standing to bring public interest lawsuits for the protection of species has been recognized only very recently. Under traditional Swedish procedural law, only the government can represent the public interest in administrative decision making and in court. Here, Swedish courts finally applied to hunting decisions the CJEU’s holding in Slovak Brown Bear, which says that national procedural law must be interpreted so as to allow environmental NGOs to challenge administrative decisions that might contravene EU environmental law. The court did not request a preliminary ruling despite that fact that controversial questions of EU law were implicated however. While the court applied EU law, it preferred to maintain control over its interpretation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013
Keyword
standing, Habitats Directive, species, wolves, Aarhus Convention
National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-206068 (URN)10.1163/18760104-01003004 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-08-27 Created: 2013-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. The Habitats Directive and Bern Convention: Synergy and Dysfunction in Public International and EU Law
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Habitats Directive and Bern Convention: Synergy and Dysfunction in Public International and EU Law
2014 (English)In: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, ISSN 1042-1858, Vol. 26, no 2, 139-174 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The Bern Convention of the Council of Europe and the European Union’s Habitats Directive are the primary legal instruments driving species protection in Europe. The Habitats Directive implements the Bern Convention in the EU. While the Habitats Directive has stronger enforcement mechanisms than the Bern Convention, it covers a smaller geographical region. Through cooperation, each has used the other’s strength to compensate for its weaknesses. This dynamic interplay between these two legal regimes has most often been beneficial to the pursuit of both instruments’ conservation goals, particularly with regards to enforcement, funding, and capacity building. As the EU has grown in size and competence, however, it now essentially has the ability to direct the application of the Bern Convention. This outsized influence presents challenges to the institutional synergy between the two instruments and the continued functioning of the Bern Convention as an independent legal regime with policy preferences separate from those of the EU.

National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207934 (URN)
Available from: 2013-09-21 Created: 2013-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Centralizing and decentralizing responsibility for species protection: A comparative study of the Endangered Species Act and Habitats Directive
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Centralizing and decentralizing responsibility for species protection: A comparative study of the Endangered Species Act and Habitats Directive
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Habitats Directive and Endangered Species Act (ESA) are the primary legal instruments governing species protection in the European Union and United States, respectively. These two legal regimes locate the responsibility for their implementation, administration, and enforcement at different levels of government, or governance. The division of responsibility between the Federal authority, state governments, and non-government actors is perhaps the most significant distinction between these two systems. This article looks at this division of responsibility along with several legal features of the two instruments: the prohibitions on killing protected species, the role of hunting, their enforcement mechanisms, and their flexibility to adapt to changing or uncertain circumstances in nature. These features highlight some differences in the legal mechanisms of the Habitats Directive and ESA, as well as some surprising similarities. As the EU continues to gain federation-like competences, it is not surprising that responsibility for biodiversity protection has shifted from the states to the central authority. This authority is also shifting from the state to the non-state actor. In this way, biodiversity protection in the United States and European Union is becoming more similar.

National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208129 (URN)
Available from: 2013-09-23 Created: 2013-09-23 Last updated: 2013-10-16

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