Research Group for Climate, Energy and Environmental Law

Recent publication by Berte-Elen Konow

We are pleased to announce Berte-Elen Konows recent publication on Contract and Property Law with an environmental perspective.

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Konow has published the article Nordic Perspectives on Contract and Property Law with an Environmental Perspective: Examples from Norway. The article is published in Contract and Property with an Environmental Perspective. This book includes the conference proceedings of a conference held at KU Leuven in September 2019.  While environmental issues, and more broadly sustainability, are often conceived as a matter of public law, if a matter of law at all, in recent years, also private law aims to join in. More fundamentally, environmental law could challenge the main division in private law, the division between contract and property. Fundamental rules of traditional private law, with strong historical roots, such as the privity of contracts, the closed system of property rights, the praedial rule with regard to servitudes, etc. are under pressure. The contributions of this book therefore are situated at the point of encounter of at least three fields of law: environment, contract and property. Very often, a fourth field of law joins this encounter: the constitutional protection of ownership plays a major role in the described challenges.

In the introduction of her book chapter, Konow explains the historical development leading to what is commonly conceived as  Scandinavian or Nordic Law.  She gives an overview of the trade marks of Nordic contract law and Nordic property law and also the basic principles of interpretation of statutes and contracts in the Nordic countries.  She presents how environmental protection is integrated in the Constitution of some of the Nordic countries.  She also shows how the implementation of the Act of Biodiversity can influence both contract law and property law.  Examples from Norway is given to illustrate how protection of biodiversity is integrated in property law by amendments of provisions regarding the  limit of tolerance in the Neighbor Act and the Servitude Act.  She also shows that the Norwegian Supreme Court provides example of how policy considerations of avoiding a “use and through away” society can be integrated when assessing remedies for breach of contract.