New generation environmental policy: Environmental management systems and regulatory reform

Neil Gunningham , Darren Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


[This article reviews the 'new generation' of environmental policy instruments that have been introduced in legislation in most Australian jurisdictions during the 1990s. These instruments are representative of a shift in thinking on environmental regulation, away from prescriptive standards towards more process-based approaches which place greater onus on the regulated firm to take responsibility for environmental improvement, preferably by reducing pollution at its source. The most significant example of this development is the use of 'environmental management systems', a policy instrument which is considered in some detail, including both its strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the article addresses the applicability of the new generation instruments in regulating both business 'leaders'and 'laggards', and how such instruments might need to be supplemented by other forms of regulation.]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-616
Number of pages25
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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