Copyright (c) 1997 Tulane Environmental Law Journal
Tulane Environmental Law Journal
COMMENT: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN ENVIRONMENTAL CASES: FRIEND OR FOE?
10 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 397
Michelle Ryan *
Currently viewed by many as the salvation of our legal system, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has steadily spread its wings to reach the environment (environmental ADR). ADR is generally seen as a better method of resolving disputes, saving much time and money in comparison to litigation. But is this necessarily true? Should ADR be used in all environmental disputes or should citizen groups and environmental organizations continue to rely on the courts and the legislature to solve these issues of public policy?
Because environmental disputes concern conflicts over the quality of life itself, the way in which we resolve these disputes will determine the future of our planet. 1 Such disputes arise due to the existence of conflicting views over what constitutes sound policy for the environment. These conflicting views arise, in part, because people have different stakes in the outcome of these environmental conflicts. 2 In addition, people possess differing visions of how resources should be allocated and how the environment should be managed. Some believe that the earth exists for the benefit of humankind, and that it is industry's prerogative to use natural resources to make life easier for humans. Others believe that the earth exists for all of its creatures and that it is the duty of humanity to preserve its natural resources for the use and benefit of future generations of persons and species. Thus, it should come as no surprise that environmental disputes are some of the most hotly contested disputes in ...
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