WHEN SHOULD WE PREFER TORT LAW TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION?

Keith N. Hylton

Boston University School of Law Working Paper 01-11

Abstract

This paper, prepared for the 2001 Washburn Torts Seminar, argues that tort law has some properties that make it superior to statute-based regulatory schemes as a system of environmental protection. In particular, two arguments, one based on enforcer-malfeasance and one based on information, suggest that tort law is preferable to statutory regulation. I sketch these arguments and apply them to nuisance law. The result is a set of conditions or rules-of-thumb for determining where tort law is preferable to environmental regulation. The framework implies that emission standard regulation can and should be implemented without preempting nuisance law.


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Keith N. Hylton Contact Information

knhylton@bu.edu
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
USA
(617) 353-8959

Presentation and Publication Information:

To be announced.


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