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Legal Architectures: The Influence of New Environmental Governance Rules on Environmental Compliance

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "LEGALARCHITECTURES" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: BELFIELD
city: DUBLIN
postcode: 4

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Ireland [IE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙494˙650 €
 EC max contribution 1˙494˙650 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-07-01   to  2021-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Non-compliance with the EU’s environmental rules is one of the key weaknesses of the EU’s environmental policy. This research investigates the influence that environmental governance laws have on compliance decisions, and how we might best design our laws to maximise compliance. One of the most important trends in European environmental regulatory techniques over the past decade has been the shift from hierarchical, state-led government via command-and-control techniques, to decentralised, society-led governance by local private actors (see, e.g., Jordan et al (2013)). The EU has strongly supported efforts to empower compliance and enforcement by non-State actors, as embodied in the UNECE Aarhus Convention and implementing laws. Yet little is known about how this major change in environmental governance laws has actually influenced compliance levels in practice, and why. Can the design of environmental governance rules influence us not only to comply with the letter of the law, but also to go further? This research seeks to fill that gap by means of an interdisciplinary, bottom-up study of the relationships between the legal architecture of environmental governance and compliance decisions, in a selected field of EU environmental policy (biodiversity), and in three selected States. It is novel in terms of theory, because it tests new hypotheses about the effects environmental governance rules have on compliance. It is novel in terms of methodology, because in testing these hypotheses, it uses techniques that have not up to now been applied to measure the effect of law. It is challenging, because it sits at the intersection between the law and economics, socio-legal and governance/regulatory literatures, and brings together multiple methods from these fields to test its hypotheses. It has potentially high impact, because non-compliance is one of the most serious problems the EU’s environmental policy faces, and is closely linked to environmental outcomes.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Professor Suzanne Kingston/Dr Geraldine Murphy
Getting the hierarchy right: The effects of law on environmental decision-making in Ireland
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Garret FitzGerald Autumn School - Seminars 2019-05-29
2017 Professor Suzanne Kingston
\"More Democracy Please? Reflections on the Democratic Turn in European Environmental Enforcement(It was the keynote lecture in the \"\"Environmental Law\"\" stream.) \"
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
108th SLS Conference Annual 2019-05-29
2017 Edwin Alblas, Ph.D. researcher
Presentation Higher Education Authority, Ireland, Making an Impact Competition Finalist 2017
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
2018 Alblas E.
Conflicting goals and mixed rationales: A closer look at the objectives of EU environmental law in light of the Anthropocene.
published pages: , ISSN: 2050-0386, DOI:
Review of European, Comparative, International Environmental Law RECIEL. 2018;00:1–12. 2019-05-29
2016 Professor Suzanne Kingston / Dr Geraldine Murphy
Project Methodology Background Paper
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Effective Nature Laws Workshop University College Dublin, April 29th, 2016 2016 2019-05-29
2018 Alblas, E
Regulating Costs of Environmental Proceedings under the AarhusConvention: A Role for Citizens?
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Presentation Postgraduate research symposium on environmental law (University College Cork Conference, 2018) 2018 2019-05-29
2016 Professor Suzanne Kingston / Dr Geraldine Murphy
Effective nature Laws: Theoretical Background Paper
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), 6th Standing Group on Regulatory Governance Biennial Conference, Tilburg University, Netherlands, 6-8 July 2016 Biannual 2019-05-29
2018 Professor Suzanne Kingston / Dr Valesca Lima
Empowering Environmental Regulatory Intermediaries Through Law: The Changing Roles of ENGOs in Ireland 1998 - 2017
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), General Conference 2018, Hamburg Biannual 2019-05-29

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