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Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series - May 2021

Sat 15 May 2021

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The latest in the Legal Studies Research Paper Series (Vol. 9, No. 4: May 12, 2021) from Edinburgh Law School is now available.

View the full Edinburgh Law School Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN

Taking Identity Seriously: On the Politics of the Individuation of Legal Systems

Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: This paper examines the question of the identity of legal systems of non-monistic accounts of law. It critically analyses approaches to individuation based on validity, the nature of individual norms as well as the purposes for which they are applied, arguing that the latter approach as endorsed particularly by Raz, offers the most convincing approach to the question of individuation. Raz’s own criteria however, the paper argues, is under-inclusive and misses important reasons why a norm should be individuated in a particular way. The paper defends an approach to individuation which builds upon and expands Raz’s approach. This approach emphasizes the political importance of legal systems as providing the basis for criteria of individuation. These criteria are also relevant for Dworkin’s account of law as integrity which, the paper argues, also relies on an understanding of individuation notwithstanding Dworkin’s claims to the contrary.

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Just Transitions for Oil and Gas Communities

Craig Holt Segall, Edinburgh Law School

Abstract: Calls for a “just transition” for communities now dependent on fossil fuel extraction, production, and processing are increasingly driving national and international climate law and climate advocacy. This paper identifies a critical area of focus: Under U.S. law (and, indeed, under the law of most nation-states) there is not a clear just transition mechanism for communities economically reliant upon oil and gas industries – indeed, even the partial mechanisms available for many coal communities are largely absent. This gap is likely to create substantial legal, equitable, and practical obstacles to a rapid transition away from these fuels. The paper suggests mechanisms which could allow such communities to capture capital from incumbent oil and gas industrial actors to support their transition, including providing funds for community services and transitioning workers. It illustrates how such mechanisms could be instituted in the context of California, a major oil-and-gas producing jurisdiction that also has an ambitious climate policy. It closes with recommendations to advocates and to scholars, emphasizing that sustained attention to distributional justice in energy and environmental law and policy is critical.

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