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
Table of Contents
Introduction, Origin, Status and Effects of the Precautionary Principle * PART I: European Community Law * The Precautionary Principle in European Community Health and Environment Law: Sword or Shield for the Nordic Countries? * PART II: Comparative Analysis of the Precautionary Principle in the Nordic Countries * Denmark * Finland * Iceland * Norway * Status of Precaution in the Nordic Countries: A Comparative Analysis * PART III: The Precautionary Principle and the Law of the Sea - A Nordic Perspective * The Precautionary Principle and the Helsinki Commission * The Precautionary Approach and Fisheries: A Nordic Perspective * PART IV: Precaution, Genetically Modified Organisms and Biodiversity * Uncertainty and Precaution: Challenges and Implications for Science and the Policy of Genetically Modified Organisms * Genetically Modified Organisms in European Union Law * Genetically Modified Organisms and Precaution in Norwegian Law * Genetically Modified Organisms and Precaution in Finnish and Swedish Law * The Precautionary Principle and Nature Conservation Law: EU and Danish Experiences * PART V: The Precautionary Principle and Chemicals * The Precautionary Principle in Swedish Chemicals Law and Policy * Risks, Costs and Alternatives in European Community Environmental Legislation * The Impact of the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation on the Regulatory Powers of the Nordic Countries * The Legacy of the Precautionary Principle in US Law * Conclusion, Lessons From International, EU and Nordic Legal Regimes.*
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.