Massimiliano Montini - The Failures of Environmental Law and the Shift to Ecological Law
Biography: Massimiliano Montini is Associate Professor at the University of Siena (Italy) where he teaches EU Law and Sustainable Development Law. At the University of Siena, he is Founder and Director of the Environmental Legal Team, a University-based research and consultancy team of lawyers, and co-Founder and co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group R4S (Regulation for Sustainability). His main research areas cover International and European Union Environmental Law, Climate Change, Investment Law and Sustainable Development Law, Regulation for Sustainability and the transition from Environmental Law to Ecological Law. He is co-founder of the global network Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA), a member of the UN Harmony With Nature Knowledge Network and a trustee of Rights of Nature Europe. He was a consultant to the Italian Ministry for the Environment on Environmental and Climate Change Law from 2004 to 2014.
Abstract: Environmental law has developed along two main phases, which correspond to two parallel and sometimes conflicting trends. The first phase, which may be identified with the "environmental regulatory trend", was characterised by the attempt to protect the environment through management of negative externalities caused by the dominant economic model based on the pursuit of an unrestrained growth. The second phase, characterised by an "environmental deregulatory trend", has promoted a shift towards the progressive revision of the existing legislation, with a view to simplify and streamline it. Both approaches have resulted in substantial failures. In order to address such shortcomings, a new regulatory regime aiming at the protection of the health and integrity of the ecosystems which support life on Earth is proposed. In order to signal the shift towards a new ecologically based approach to the law, a change in the name from environmental law to ecological law is suggested.