In this article from Trends, a publication of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Hangley Aronchick Environmental Practice Chair Steven T. Miano discusses the importance of the Charter of the Forest, and why land use advocates and environmental law practitioners the world over will celebrate its 800th anniversary this year. He alsouses the history of the charter to look at current public land use controversies.
The Charter of the Forest has historical and enduring relevance to environmental, energy, and resources law. Widely considered one of the first laws in the world to regulate the use of natural resources, the Charter extended tangible rights, privileges, and protections regarding the use of the forests in England to the common man. This established a basic right to use public lands and resources, and it established the concept of the commons.
This article was originally published in the January/February 2017 issue Trends, the Newsletter of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources of the American Bar Association (Vol. 48, No. 3).