By Gary E. Marchant, Kenneth L. Mossman
This learn examines how the eu Union has used the precautionary precept in felony judgements.
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Extra resources for Arbitrary and Capricious: The Precautionary Principle in the European Union Courts
15 Although the EU treaty refers to the precautionary principle only in the context of environmental protection, the EU institutions have applied the principle more broadly in a wide range of environmental and public health contexts. As one judicial decision expressly acknowledged, “Although the precautionary principle is mentioned in the Treaty only in connection with environmental policy, it is broader in scope. ”16 The EU has applied the precautionary principle in hundreds of regulatory decisions, opinions, resolutions, and reports, ranging from severe restrictions on genetically modified foods and bans on various chemical products, to a proposed fundamentally new chemical testing regime (REACH).
The Precautionary Principle and Science The EU judicial opinions are also inconsistent with regard to the relationship of the precautionary principle to scientific evidence and advice. In one case, the European Court of Justice ruled against a challenge by France to the commission’s decision to lift the ban on British beef and veal that had been imposed based on the risk of “mad cow” disease. 73 Notwithstanding this significant expert scientific support from at least two scientific bodies (in one case, the consensus view; in another, at least a minority view) that British beef remained a risk, the court upheld the EU’s decision to reject adopting more protective measures based on that scientific advice.
Yet, while providing useful insight into the meaning and application of the precautionary principle, the commission’s communication has two serious limitations. First, it fails to answer many central questions about the meaning of the precautionary principle. Second, the interpretation of the precautionary principle provided by the communication is not in accord with the views of many other precautionary principle proponents, resulting in even more confusion and uncertainty about the actual meaning of the precautionary principle.
Arbitrary and Capricious: The Precautionary Principle in the European Union Courts by Gary E. Marchant, Kenneth L. Mossman