Mostly, the “environmental law” that we rely on to protect the environment comes from legislation, such as the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), which is made by Parliament. However, the courts have over many years also developed some additional causes of action and remedies, known as the “common law”, that may be useful for remedying or preventing harm to the environment, particularly where the issue involves private land holders.

This fact sheet examines the three key common law actions that can be used to protect the environment – trespass, nuisance and negligence.