The 'Precautionary Principle'
Working Legal Concept in the European Union
(also known as the 'precautionary
approach' at international level)
Where there is uncertainty as to the
existence or extent of risks of serious or irreversible damage
to the environment, or injury to human health, adequate protective
measures must be taken without having to wait until the reality
and seriousness of those risks become fully apparent.
130r(2) of 1997 Amsterdam Treaty (97/C 340/01)
OJ C 340 of 1997-11-10
Court Judgements of 1998-05-05 ~ Ground 63 of Case C-157/96
& Ground 99 of Case C-180/96
Any effect caused by a given activity on the environment, including human health, safety and welfare, flora, fauna, soil, air, water, and especially representative samples of natural ecosystems, climate, landscape and historical monuments or other physical structures or the interactions among these factors; it also includes effects on accessibility, cultural heritage or socio-economic conditions resulting from alterations to those factors.
Energy Charter Treaty (EU)
and 1972 Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment (UN)
Health Council of the Netherlands
A Memorandum dealing with what the Precautionary Principle implies
and what its meaningful application in policy entails.
Click Here to Download PDF
(PDF File, 570kb)
In any endeavour,
therefore, the following Question must be asked ....
Is there a potential for serious or irreversible damage to the
or human health ? "
purposes, the Universal Safety Objective then becomes ....
Protection of Human Health and the Environment
The process illustrated above must be transparent
statements on reliability must be made with regard to supporting
statistical databases and methods of risk
of uncertainty must accompany calculations
Consent freely obtained - without threats or improper inducements
- after appropriate disclosure to a person of relevant, adequate
and easily assimilated information in a form (e.g. oral, written,
braille) and language understood by that person.
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