The role of the law in habitat protection : a comparative study of the UK and Spain, with particular reference to Scotland and Madrid
There has been considerable debate about the merits of the different legal instruments used to achieve public policy goals. This thesis investigates the effectiveness of different instruments that a government can use to secure habitat protection goals. Comparison is made between two different countries: the United Kingdom, with specific reference to Scotland, and Spain, with specific reference to the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The first phase of the research was the development of a theoretical framework, based on a review of the literature, to identify a suitable system of classification for the instruments. This facilitated the identification of their strengths and weaknesses and the derivation of a set of criteria which could then be used to test the instruments in Scotland and Madrid. The research was principally based on a desk-study of the literature, legislation and case-law. Information about the operation of the legislation in each of the countries under study was completed with qualitative data from unstructured interviews. The study focuses on those instruments which play a major role in habitat protection in each of the two countries studied. This allowed a comparative evaluation to be made of the main instruments, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the instruments. It was found that no single mechanism can meet the range of criteria identified and that a combination of instruments can respond more appropriately to the protection of habitats. However, any policy utilised requires reliance on some form of regulation to be effective.