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A Study of Administrative Environmental Decision-Making before the Courts

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ole Pedersen



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article presents the findings from a quantitative study of 207 environmental judicial review decisions. The study finds that the courts find against claimants challenging administrative environmental law decisions by a higher margin than in other areas of administrative law (though the margin varies from court to court). The paper identifies the main reason for this in the dynamics between the ‘political’ nature of environmental law and the legal focus of judicial review. The article also finds that this variation between courts is potentially narrowing and that the rate of success enjoyed by claimants varies depending on which public authority they seek to challenge. Having presented the quantitative findings of the study, the article briefly sketches out the relevance of the type of quantitative work presented here in relation to ongoing debates on role of the courts in environmental law whilst also identifying future avenues for additional follow-up research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pedersen OW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Environmental Law

Year: 2019

Volume: 31

Issue: 1

Pages: 59-82

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 23/01/2019

Acceptance date: 05/02/2018

Date deposited: 20/02/2018

ISSN (print): 0952-8873

ISSN (electronic): 1464-374X

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/jel/eqy026


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