Implementing the Precautionary Principle: Approaches from the Nordic Countries, EU and USA

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Nicolas de Sadeleer
Earthscan, 2007 - 432 pages
From fisheries to persistent organic pollutants to climate change itself, no other environmental principle in environmental law has produced as much controversy as the precautionary principle. Unlike a preventive approach in which action is taken provided that the threats to the environment are tangible, with a precautionary approach, authorities are prepared to tackle risks for which there is no definitive proof that the damage will materialize. The ramifications of this increasingly apparent approach are profound and cut across all areas of risk assessment and management, environmental law, policy and regulation in every major sector. However, to date little thought has been dedicated to the implementation of the precautionary principle in a wide array of environmental circumstances. This authoritative handbook addresses the legal aspects of how the precautionary principle is implemented in different sectors, and examines its successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses. Sectors and subjects covered include chemicals, GMOs, marine pollution, fisheries and nature conservation, and the book draws on cases in the EU, in the USA, and Nordic countries, where the use of precaution has been gathering momentum. Ultimately, the book provides an indispensable appraisal of the question - increasingly important in the era of human-induced climate change - of whether the precautionary principle is relevant, indeed essential, to avert major environmental and health risks, and how and when it can be used successfully. Published with MARIE CURIE ACTIONS

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Contents

European Community Law
7
Comparative Analysis of the Precautionary Principle in the Nordic Countries
59
The Precautionary Principle and the Law of the Sea A Nordic Perspective
139
Precaution Genetically Modified Organisms and Biodiversity
181
The Precautionary Principle and Chemicals
291
Conclusion
379
Index
389
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About the author (2007)

Nicolas de Sadeleer was recipient of an EU Marie Curie Chair at the University of Oslo on risks and precaution. He is currently professor of law at different universities in Belgium as well as in France. De Sadeleer's areas of research and teaching include EC and environmental law, topics on which he publishes and speaks intensively.

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