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Beauty: a lingua franca for environmental law?


Richardson, BJ and Barritt, E and Bowman, M, Beauty: a lingua franca for environmental law?, Transnational Environmental Law, 8, (1) pp. 1-29. ISSN 2047-1025 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2018 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S2047102518000195


This article investigates whether beauty in nature can provide a global language to inform environmental governance, such as by providing shared values and collaborative approaches across and within different cultures. Because art mediates how many people experience environmental aesthetics, such as through photography and music, this enquiry extends to the arts. As is the case for other aesthetic values, beauty is ultimately about relationships and ways of knowing our environment, and the law can best engage with such values through interpretive guidance and processes for participatory decision making. Prescriptive codification of beauty ‘standards’ is generally not a realistic goal for lawmakers. The article enriches our understanding of how aesthetics can contribute to human beings’ emotional empathy and ethical commitment to environmental stewardship, and identifies some conceptual and methodological difficulties that militate against beauty being a lingua franca for environmental law.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:aesthetics, art, beauty, environmental law, language, nature
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Environmental and resources law
Research Field:Environmental law
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Objective Field:Environmental policy, legislation and standards not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Richardson, BJ (Professor Benjamin Richardson)
ID Code:131192
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2019-03-06
Last Modified:2019-04-26

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