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  • 1.
    Carter, Neil
    et al.
    Boise State University.
    López-Bao, José Vicente
    Oviedo University.
    Bruskotter, Jeremy
    Ohio State University.
    Gore, Meredith
    U.S. Department of State.
    Chapron, Guillaume
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Johnson, Arlyne
    Foundations of Success.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Shrestha, Mahendra 
    Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
    Frank, Jens
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Ohrens, Omar
    University of Wisconsin.
    Treves, Adrian
    University of Wisconsin.
    A conceptual framework for understanding illegal killing of large carnivores2017In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 46, no 3, 251-264 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The growing complexity and global nature of wildlife poaching threaten the survival of many species worldwide and are outpacing conservation efforts. Here, we reviewed proximal and distal factors, both social and ecological, driving illegal killing or poaching of large carnivores at sites where it can potentially occur. Through this review, we developed a conceptual social–ecological system framework that ties together many of the factors influencing large carnivore poaching. Unlike most conservation action models, an important attribute of our framework is the integration of multiple factors related to both human motivations and animal vulnerability into feedbacks. We apply our framework to two case studies, tigers in Laos and wolverines in northern Sweden, to demonstrate its utility in disentangling some of the complex features of carnivore poaching that may have hindered effective responses to the current poaching crisis. Our framework offers a common platform to help guide future research on wildlife poaching feedbacks, which has hitherto been lacking, in order to effectively inform policy making and enforcement.

  • 2.
    Chapron, Guillaume
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Trouwborst, Arie
    Tilburg University.
    Vicente López-Bao, José
    Oviedo University .
    Bolster Legal Boundaries to Stay within Planetary Boundaries2017In: Nature Ecology & Evolution, ISSN 2397-334X, Vol. 1, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The mounting threats posed to the global environment by harmful human activities cannot be averted without effective legislation controlling those activities. However, the environmental laws designed for this purpose are themselves under global attack. Because it is binding and enforceable, legislation is a unique and essential instrument in the overall effort to keep humanity’s impacts on the planet from transgressing critical thresholds. For instance, biodiversity laws do so by designating and protecting natural areas and controlling the exploitation of wildlife populations. Yet, due to short-term economic and other interests, such laws face constant pressures aimed at weakening their regulating impact on human activities. 

    This new study reveals and illustrates the staggering number and diversity of tactics used to weaken biodiversity legislation across the globe. This ‘taxonomy of tactics’ encompasses dozens of categories, ranging from the creative re-definition of terms to the ‘fast-tracking’ of environmentally harmful projects, and from limiting concerned citizens’ access to court, to the silent or even express refusal of appointed authorities to enforce biodiversity laws.

    Whereas the predicament of the planet’s wild fauna and flora would have been even worse without the legal protection they have received so far, the onslaught against biodiversity laws has prevented these from fully performing their assigned function. The global acceleration of wildlife population declines bears witness to this. To stem the tide, strategic approaches are needed to anticipate and counter attacks on biodiversity legislation; to make the most of existing laws, including in court if need be; and to develop new or improved laws where necessary.

  • 3.
    Darpö, Jan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Thrown to the Wolves: Sweden Once Again Flouts EU Standards on Species Protection and Access to Justice2015In: Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift, ISSN 2000-4273, E-ISSN 2000-4273, no 1, 7-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Controversy continues over the return of the wolf to the Swedish landscape. Decisions to allow the licensed hunting of Sweden’s fragile wolf population in violation of the EU’s Habitats Directive have repeatedly been quashed by the Swedish administrative courts. In response, the law was changed: it is no longer possible to appeal those decisions to the courts. This article examines the decision to make impossible the judicial review of Sweden’s implementation of EU species protection law in light of the Aarhus Convention and in light of the EU law principles of useful effect and effective judicial protection. We conclude that while the access to justice requirements of the Aarhus Convention are likely fulfilled, the fact that Sweden’s hunting decisions pursuant to the Habitats Directive are no longer reviewable by a court contravenes EU law.

  • 4.
    Darpö, Jan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Under Fire From All Directions: Swedish Wolf Managmement Hunting Scrutinized by Brussels and at Home2014In: The Habitats Directive in its EU environmental law context: European nature's best hope? / [ed] Charles-Huber Born et al., London: Routledge, 2014, 348-372 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Access to Justice: Remedies: Article 9.4 of the Aarhus Convention and the requirement for adequate and effective remedies, including injunctive relief 2011Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Aarhus Convention requires that its parties make available to the public procedures that “provide adequate and effective remedies, including injunctive relief as appropriate, and [are] fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive.” In order to meet this requirement, it is imperative that procedures provide a means to actually prevent environmental harm. Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of court decisions that are victories for environmental protection on paper but defeats in practice because of an inability to stop the damaging activity while the case was being considered. Once environmental damage occurs, it is often irreversible.

    This study summarizes remedies in environmental matters in thirty parties to the Aarhus Convention, as of 2011. It briefly outlines the administrative and judicial procedures in each country and describes the available procedural remedies. It then offers conclusions and raises issues for further inquiry. This study does not include the EECCA countries, which are being separately studied by others, or many of the Balkan countries, about which little secondary material was available.

    This study was commissioned by and presented to the Aarhus Convention Task Force on Access to Justice.

  • 6.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Approaches to Access: Ideas and Practices for Facilitating Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in the Areas of the Loser Pays Principle, Legal Aid, and Criteria for Injunctions2011Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    This report represents a step towards meeting the goal of the Aarhus Convention Access to Justice Task Force to develop a set of good practices and analyses on three priority issues:

    · The loser pays principle

    Article 9(4) of the Aarhus Convention requires that procedures for obtaining access to justice must not be prohibitively expensive. In some legal systems, the loser of an administrative or judicial action must pay all, or a portion of, the winner's litigation costs. These costs may include court fees, attorney fees, witness fees, and various other types of expenses. The loser pays principle may lead to an inability to control or even predict exposure to risk, and thus unreasonably deter public interest environmental litigation. Good practices in this category are those that help potential public interest claimants manage their risk and prevent environmental legal procedures from becoming prohibitively expensive.

    · Legal aid and other methods of funding for public interest lawyers and NGOs

    One way in which many countries address the requirement that procedures not be prohibitively expensive is to provide legal aid, or some other method of funding. Good practices in this category are those that enable meritorious environmental disputes to proceed when potential claimants lack the funds to pursue claims on their own.

    · Criteria for injunctions

    Article 9(4) of the Aarhus Convention requires that access to justice procedures provide adequate and effective remedies, including injunctive relief. To be effective, procedures must provide a means for actually stopping an environmentally harmful activity or illegal administrative decision. Without the ability to obtain injunctive relief, serious and irreversible damage may occur before the legal dispute is decided. Good practices in this category are those that facilitate injunctive relief leading to an effective level of environmental protection.

    This report was commissioned for the 4th Aarhus Convention Meeting of the Parties 

  • 7.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Favourable Conservation Status for Species: Examining the Habitats Directive’s Key Concept through a Case Study of the Swedish Wolf2016In: Journal of environmental law, ISSN 0952-8873, E-ISSN 1464-374X, Vol. 28, no 2, 221-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the key issues in the current controversy over the hunting of wolves in Sweden is whether the wolf population has reached favourable conservation status (FCS). FCS is a legal concept, created and defined in law, but like many legal concepts within environmental law, can only be understood by reference to ecological concepts such as species viability. These ecological determinations in turn often require some sort of legal or policy judgment, such as how great an extinction risk is acceptable for a viable population. This article interrogates contested legal and ecological aspects of FCS and argues for how they might be applied to the Swedish wolf in potential litigation.

  • 8.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Governing Ecologies: Species Protection in Overlapping and Contiguous Legal Regimes2013Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) aims to protect biodiversity in the European Union. It does so within a complex ecology of legal regimes for environmental protection at the international, EU, national, and regional levels. As the EU has continued to expand its competence, and the role of EU law for environmental protection continues to develop within the member states, it is important to examine the effect that EU law is having on biodiversity horizontally between states for the protection of transboundary populations, and the effect it has vertically as it interacts with international and national law.

    This collection is a licentiate thesis consisting of four articles addressing the challenge of protecting species populations across legal jurisdictions. Its central aim is to examine how interactions and shifting centers of authority between different legal species protection regimes impact species protection. These legal systems may be contiguous, such as in the case of neighboring countries, or overlapping, such as in the case of EU and national law. Four sub-questions develop the analysis, each the central investigation of an article. The first article asks how EU law, and international law, affects the protection of transboundary populations of protected species in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The second narrows in on a single concrete example in a member state, analyzing how EU law has affected the evolution of species protection in Sweden. The third lifts the analysis out of the Nordic context to examine more closely how the cooperation and tension between international and EU species protection law help or hinder the policy objectives of both. The fourth widens the scope further still, using a comparison with species protection in the United States to query how the division of responsibility for species protection between the federal or union level and the state or member state level affects protection.

    Human laws manage the natural world, as best they can. But the resultant tangle of overlapping jurisdictions of laws and rules and management strategies becomes its own ecology to be explored, mapped and ordered. The title, “Governing Ecologies”, refers to this investigation of the governing of ecology and the ecology of governing.

  • 9.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Killing Wolves to Save Them? Legal Responses to 'Tolerance Hunting' in the European Union and United States2017In: Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law, ISSN 2050-0386, E-ISSN 2050-0394, Vol. 26, no 1, 19-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wolves are protected by law in both the United States (US) and European Union (EU). These laws restrict the harming or killing of individual members of protected species, but allow it in selective circumstances, such as when killing some individuals would benefit the species. In both unions, some states have argued that allowing the public hunting of wolves would in fact benefit the species by improving social tolerance for wolves, a claim that is currently the subject of controversy among scientists. In the absence of clear evidence that hunting is favourable for wolf populations, US courts have repeatedly struck down policies that allowed it. While hunting wolves to achieve their social acceptability is likely to also violate EU law, the EU court has not yet resolved the question and hunting for social acceptance continues in some Member States, such as Sweden and Finland. This article contrasts these legal responses to social ‘tolerance hunting’ and argues that the Habitats Directive should not be interpreted to allow tolerance hunting of strictly protected species. It then uses the contrasting legal situations to engage with the claim that the EU has become more ‘precautionary’ than the US on environmental matters.

  • 10.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Polulation Based Species Management across Legal Boundaries: The Bern Convention, Habitats Directive and the Gray Wolf in Scandinavia2013In: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, ISSN 1042-1858, Vol. 25, no 4, 589-614 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The protection of biodiversity, like many other environmental goals, transcends political boundaries. This is particularly true regarding large carnivores, such as wolves, which typically require a relatively low population density and a range that often extends hundreds of kilometers across many legal borders. The two primary legal instruments promoting the protection of species in Europe, the Habitats Directive and Bern Convention, recognize that to be effective in preserving the long-term genetic diversity and thus survival of a population, conservation management must be coordinated throughout the population’s range. Despite the goal of international cooperation for species protection, conservation management rarely occurs at an international level. Using the Scandinavian and Karelian wolf populations as an example, this article comparatively analyzes the two conservation instruments and explores their effect on national law, thus illuminating how the legal situation for a species changes as it crosses political boundaries.

  • 11.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    The Big Bad EU? Species Protection and European Federalism: A Case Study of Wolf Conservation and Contestation in Sweden2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation examines how eco-knowledge intersects with the changes to EU legal cultures and practices known as eurolegalism. This conjunction has created a mechanism for the extension of EU law in the Member States even in the face of a weakened EU.

    Through a portfolio of six articles, controversies over the protection of wolves in Sweden are used to illustrate and explicate the changing roles and responsibilities of various actors in protecting species, and the centralization of competence for environmental protection in Europe at the EU level. In doing so, some substantive requirements of the Habitats Directive are also analyzed. The first article maps the movement of competence to determine conservation policy towards the EU level and away from international and Member State actors. The second article examines what the EU requires of its Member States by analyzing the Habitats Directive’s key concept, favourable conservation status. It also makes normative arguments for how contested aspects of this concept should be interpreted to best achieve the Directive’s conservation goals. The third article deepens this analysis by applying these arguments to the Swedish wolf population. The fourth article is a case commentary illustrating the enforcement of the Habitats Directive through public interest litigation to stop the hunting of Swedish wolves. The fifth argues that the greater availability of public interest standing in the US than in the EU has led to the greater implementation of federal law. The sixth argues that greater availability of public interest litigation in Sweden than previously is also leading to the greater enforcement of “federal” EU law. Each of these articles demonstrates or explains factors that lead to the hollowing out of state power in favor of the EU and interest groups.

  • 12.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    The Habitats Directive and Bern Convention: Synergy and Dysfunction in Public International and EU Law2014In: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, ISSN 1042-1858, Vol. 26, no 2, 139-174 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Bern Convention of the Council of Europe and the European Union’s Habitats Directive are the primary legal instruments driving species protection in Europe. The Habitats Directive implements the Bern Convention in the EU. While the Habitats Directive has stronger enforcement mechanisms than the Bern Convention, it covers a smaller geographical region. Through cooperation, each has used the other’s strength to compensate for its weaknesses. This dynamic interplay between these two legal regimes has most often been beneficial to the pursuit of both instruments’ conservation goals, particularly with regards to enforcement, funding, and capacity building. As the EU has grown in size and competence, however, it now essentially has the ability to direct the application of the Bern Convention. This outsized influence presents challenges to the institutional synergy between the two instruments and the continued functioning of the Bern Convention as an independent legal regime with policy preferences separate from those of the EU.

  • 13.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Darpö, Jan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    The Wild Has No Words: Environmental NGOs Empowered to Speak for Protected Species as Swedish Courts Apply EU and International Environmental Law2013In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law, ISSN 1613-7272, Vol. 10, no 3, 250-261 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Stockholm Administrative Court recently ruled that Sweden’s wolf management policies are incompatible with the Habitats Directive. These policies are also the subject of an on-going infringement proceeding by the European Commission. The administrative court’s decision has been appealed. This case is significant for two reasons. First, it interprets controversial provisions of the Habitats Directive. But perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates the growing impact of EU law in a member state. This was the first major case in which the national courts were able to review a hunting decision pertaining to a species protected under EU law because standing to bring public interest lawsuits for the protection of species has been recognized only very recently. Under traditional Swedish procedural law, only the government can represent the public interest in administrative decision making and in court. Here, Swedish courts finally applied to hunting decisions the CJEU’s holding in Slovak Brown Bear, which says that national procedural law must be interpreted so as to allow environmental NGOs to challenge administrative decisions that might contravene EU environmental law. The court did not request a preliminary ruling despite that fact that controversial questions of EU law were implicated however. While the court applied EU law, it preferred to maintain control over its interpretation.

  • 14.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Vicente López-Bao, José
    Oviedo University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    Chapron, Guillaume
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
    A legal-ecological understanding of Favourable Conservation Status for species in Europe2016In: Conservation Letters, ISSN 1755-263X, E-ISSN 1755-263X, Vol. 9, no 2, 81-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Legislation for the preservation of biodiversity has been instrumental to the recovery of multiple species and habitats. The European Habitats Directive 92/92/EEC is one of the strongest legal tools in nature conservation. This Directive seeks to achieve its biodiversity goals by requiring EU Member States to take measures to reach or maintain Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) of natural habitats and species in Europe. FCS is a legal concept, but must be understood and applied by scientists, managers and policy makers, and therefore a proper interpretation of this concept is crucial for biodiversity conservation and wildlife management. However, its definition contains several aspects that can lead to misinterpretation, being the core of controversies in determining whether or not populations have reached FCS. In this review, we provide legal and ecological clarifications of the most contested aspects of FCS that have not yet been conclusively settled by analyzing and weighting a variety of sources.

  • 15. Trouwborst, Arie
    et al.
    Blackmore, Andrew
    Boitani, Luigi
    Bowman, Michael
    Caddell, Richard
    Chapron, Guillaume
    Cliquet, An
    Couzens, Ed
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    Fernández-Galiano, Eladio
    Fleurke, Floor M.
    Gardner, Royal
    Hunter, Luke
    Jacobsen, Kim
    Krofel, Miha
    Lewis, Melissa
    López-Bao, José Vicente
    MacDonald, David
    Redpath, Stephen
    Wandesforde-Smith, Geoffrey
    Linnell, John D. C.
    International Wildlife Law: Understanding and Enhancing Its Role in Conservation 2017In: BioScience, ISSN 0006-3568, E-ISSN 1525-3244, bix086Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Trouwborst, Arie
    et al.
    Tilburg Univ, Dept European & Int Law, Tilburg, Netherlands.
    Chapron, Guillaume
    Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Ecol, Grimso Wildlife Res Stn, S-90183 Umea, Sweden.
    Fleurke, Floor
    Tilburg Univ, Dept European & Int Law, Tilburg, Netherlands.
    Epstein, Yaffa
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
    López-Bao, José Vicente
    Univ Oviedo, Res Unit Biodivers UO CSIC PA, Oviedo, Spain.
    Europe’s biodiversity avoids fatal setback2017In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 355, no 6321, 1 p.140-140 p.Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The European Commission has finally buried its controversial plan to revise the EU's biodiversity conservation legislation in order to make it more "business-friendly". Such a revision would have meant a fatal setback for European wildlife conservation. The 1979 Birds Directive and the 1992 Habitats Directive set out strict, enforceable obligations for EU member states to protect and restore vulnerable species and areas, and impose real limits on potentially harmful human activities. This legislation has the potential to actually do what it is supposed to do: protect vulnerable nature. Some governments and other stakeholders consider the Directives unduly restrictive, however, and in 2014 the new European Commission announced its wish to “modernize” the Directives as part of its broader deregulation agenda. The Directives have survived this most serious assault since their inception thanks to clear evidence of their effectiveness and an unprecedented public mobilisation campaign. The focus now shifts from revising the legislation to its effective application, including through litigation where necessary. Cooperation between lawyers and other conservation professionals will be crucial to achieve this.

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