This book examines the harmonisation of environmental liability rules in a federal system from a law and economics perspective. Throughout the book, soil pollution is used as an example. The author uses public interest and private interest theories to examine at which level environmental liability rules best can be decided in a federal system. The harmonisation of environmental liability rules in the European Union by means of Directive 2004/35/CE on Environmental Liability with Regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage induced this research. The Environmental Liability Directive gave rise to much controversy and conflict and resulted in animated academic and political debates on the role of liability rules for environmental damage and on the optimal policy level of liability rules for environmental damage in the European Union.
Therefore, this book tries to unravel the decision-making process behind the Environmental Liability Directive, and the reasons and consequences of harmonisation. The author examines whether the harmonisation of environmental liability rules in the European Union corresponds with the optimal policy level of environmental liability rules as propounded by the economic theory on federalism and, if not, how harmonisation of environmental liability rules in the European Union can be explained. The author concludes that the shift of environmental liability rules to the European level was inefficient and does not correspond with the economic criteria or centralisation. Moreover, the content of the Directive itself shows inefficiencies. At the same time, the analysis in this book makes clear that the existence and the content of the Environmental Liability Directive largely can be explained by private interest distortions.
Although this book studies environmental liability in the European Union, a similar line of reasoning could be applied to other fields of regulation. This book will therefore be of interest to all economists, lawyers and practitioners interested in regulation and the organisation of regulation in a federal system.
Chapter 1: Introduction (p. 17)
Chapter 2: An Economic Theory of Environmental Liability (p. 27)
Chapter 3: Optimal decision-making level of environmental liability rules in a federal system (p. 65)
Chapter 4: Liability for environmental damage in the European Union by means of Directive 2004/35/CE on Environmental Liability (p. 157)
Chapter 5: Economic analysis of Directive 2004/35/EC on Environmental Liability (p. 209)
Chapter 6: Optimal decision-making level of liability rules for environmental damage in the European Union (p. 237)
Summary and conclusions (p. 301)
Samenvatting (p. 315)
Bibliography (p. 329)
Curriculum Vitae (p. 363)
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Prof. Dr. J. Smits (chair - Tilburg University, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. M. Faure (Maastricht University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. E. Vos (Maastricht University, the Netherlands).