BASD505 Req Reading- Role of Tort Law in Controlling Environmental Pollution

BASD505 Req Reading- Role of Tort Law in Controlling Environmental Pollution

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Unformatted text preview: The Role o f Tort Law in C o n tro llin g E n v i r o n m e n t a l Pollution* DONALD N. DEWEES University of Toronto La reduction des emissions polluantes au Canada et aux Etats-Unis depuis 1970 semble attribuable principalement a la reglementation, quoique le recours au droit de la responsabilite civile ait contribue a la reduction de certains polluants. Le droit de la responsabilite civile ajoue un role moins important en partie parce que les regles de responsabilite se concentrent sur la propriete privee, ignorant ainsi les dommages causes aux terrains publics et aux ecosystemes, mais aussi parce qu'il est difficile d'etablir hors de tout doute que la pollution emise par A a cause des dommages a la propriete ou a la sante de B. L'efficacite limitee du droit de la responsabilite civile a engendre un certain nombre de propositions de reforme, certaines ayant ete incorporees dans une Loi sur les droits environnementaux. Certains changements par rapport a ce qui est requis pour prouver le lien causal pourraient etre utiles, mais les incertitudes scientifiques reelles vont continuer d'exclure le recours au droit de la responsabilite civile dans plusieurs circonstances. De plus, 1'elimination de l'obligation voulant que le plaignant soit necessairement la victime va faciliter certaines poursuites judiciaires, mais n'augmentera pas substantiellement le nombre de cas qui peuvent etre traites en cour. La revision des regles de procedure afin de faciliter les actions de groupe peut augmenter le nombre de ces actions mais, encore une fois, cet effet sera probablement limite par l'incertitude scientifique entourant l'impact de plusieurs polluants. Bref, certaines reformes raisonnables peuvent etendre le champ d'application du droit de la responsabilite civile dans le domaine de la protection environnementale, mais son r61e va probablement reste limite. The reduction in pollution emissions in Canada and in the US since 1970 appears to be attributable predominantly to government regulation, although tort law has contributed to the reduction of some pollutants. Tort has played a small role in part because tort doctrines focus on the protection of private property, thus ignoring damage to public lands and to ecosystems, but also because it is very difficult to assemble the evidence necessary to prove that A's pollution discharge harmed B's property or health. The limited effectiveness of tort law has spawned a number of proposed reforms, some of which have been incorporated in an Environmental Bill of Rights. Some changes to the requirements for proving causation may be helpful, but genuine scientific uncertainty will continue to prevent tort litigation in many cases....
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2010 for the course BUSINESS basd505 taught by Professor Clive during the Spring '10 term at The University of British Columbia.

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BASD505 Req Reading- Role of Tort Law in Controlling Environmental Pollution

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