Law reform in the sphere of natural resource management (NRM) requires consideration of not only doctrinal matters but also of the balance between doctrine, institutions and context. For law reform to work it must have regard not only to strategies, instruments and institutions that are overtly "the law", but also must take account of the broader ecological and governance landscapes with which it seeks to engage. These challenges are particularly acute with regard to agricultural NRM, where the challenges for law reform are exceptionally complex. This article argues that only if doctrinal improve- ment is embedded within reform of the architecture of laws and institutions within which particular laws operate, will substantially improved environmen- tal outcomes be achieved. Mindful of the complex intersection between law, the natural world and the socioeconomic system, this article proposes 10 principles or directions for reforming NRM law. These are not concerned with doctrinal improvement per se but are intended to ensure that doctrinal matters are considered within a more robust environmental governance framework. The goal is not only for legal instruments to be well designed in a formalistic sense, but that they will take greater account of the context in which they must be implemented; and as a result, have a much greater chance of being efficient, effective and fair.
|Environmental and Planning Law Journal
|Published - 2011