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"The Use of the Precautionary Principle in WTO Law and EC Law"

Cheyne, Ilona. (2005) "The Use of the Precautionary Principle in WTO Law and EC Law". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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      [Introduction]. The precautionary principle is one of the great puzzles of international law. It is designed to promote environmental protection by excluding scientific uncertainty as a justification for delaying action in the face of potentially serious threats to the environment. It is the subject of voluminous literature, which ranges across the spectrum from those that argue that it imposes a positive obligation to act as soon as a plausible threat is identified to those that maintain that it is not a legal principle at all but only a policy guideline to be taken into account along with many other policy factors. In between is a growing understanding of how the principle might have legal effect, and an impressive number of international instruments containing or implementing the principle including the EC Treaty. In addition, the power of the precautionary principle is such that it has proven impossible to ignore even by institutions that do not explicitly recognise it, such as the WTO. At first glance, the positions of the WTO and the EC seem very different but there appears to be an interesting degree of convergence between their approaches in practice. The purpose of this paper is to consider how that convergence could have come about notwithstanding the very different starting points in each regime, and to consider the implications for the future.

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      Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
      Uncontrolled Keywords: Precautionary principle.
      Subjects for non-EU documents: Other international institutions > GATT/WTO
      EU policies and themes > External relations > international trade
      EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > law & legal affairs-general (includes international law)
      EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > environmental policy (including international arena)
      Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
      EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
      Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
      Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
      Official EU Document: No
      Language: English
      Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2005
      Page Range: p. 17
      Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:25

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