Handle with care: assessing the risks of the precautionary principle

Cussen, K.
June 2009
Australasian Journal of Environmental Management;Jun2009, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p66
Academic Journal
The author questions the usefulness of the precautionary principle which is frequently put into effect as a way to handle risk in situations of scientific uncertainty. He discusses the scope of such a principle. He notes that the lack of agreement about the precise definition of the principle complicates any examination of the concept. The advantages of the definition formulated by professor Peter Saunders over the one produced in 1998 by a group of scientists, philosophers and activists in the U.S., and is known as the Wingspread Statement, are cited.


Related Articles

  • IS IT TIME FOR AN EU DEFINITION OF THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE? Khoury, Alexandros // King's Law Journal;2010, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p133 

    The article examines the European Union's (EU) approach to the precautionary principle (PP) in Europe. It indicates that the articulation of an EU definition of PP could assist in resolving some of the misunderstandings on its conception of precaution. It also notes that PP is considered as a...

  • Caution ahead -- recent judicial consideration of the precautionary principle. Fitzgibbon, Tarnya // Keeping Good Companies (14447614);Mar2011, Vol. 63 Issue 2, p98 

    The article discusses the precautionary principle as its application by Australian courts and government authorities has the potential to affect projects with an environmental impact in many industries including the public sector. It notes that each state's legislative framework differs from...

  • The Moral Foundation of the Precautionary Principle. Karsten Klint Jensen // Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics;Mar2002, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p39 

    The Commission's recent interpretation of the Precautionary Principle is used as starting point for an analysis of the moral foundation of this principle. The Precautionary Principle is shown to have the ethical status of an amendment to a liberal principle to the effect that a state only may...

  • Ethical and Value-based Aspects of the European Commission's Precautionary Principle. Susan Carr // Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics;Mar2002, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p31 

    In February 2000, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the precautionary principle. This states how the Commission intends to apply the principle and establishes guidelines for its application. The document is intended to inform discussions on international agreements. In...

  • Reconstructing Precaution, Deconstructing Misconceptions. Arcuri, Alessandra // Ethics & International Affairs (Wiley-Blackwell);2007, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p359 

    The precautionary principle, widely endorsed at the national and international level, continues to be at the center of a heated debate. Some authors claim that the principle is unscientific; others argue that the principle is paralyzing and gives decision-makers no direction. Confusion and...

  • Uncertainty and precaution in environmental management. Von Krauss, M. Krayer; Van Asselt, M. B. A.; Henze, M.; Ravetz, J.; Beck, M. B. // Water Science & Technology;2005, Vol. 52 Issue 6, p1 

    In this paper, two different visions of the relationship between science and policy are contrasted with one another: the "modern" vision and the "precautionary" vision. Conditions which must apply in order to invoke the Precautionary Principle are presented, as are some of the main challenges...

  • Late lessons from early warnings: towards precaution and realism in research and policy. Gee, D.; Von Krauss, M. P. Krayer // Water Science & Technology;2005, Vol. 52 Issue 6, p25 

    This paper focuses on the evidentiary aspects of the precautionary principle. Three points are highlighted: (i) the difference between association and causation; (ii) how the strength of scientific evidence can be considered; and (iii) the reasons why regulatory regimes tend to err in the...

  • Precautionary information-generation in science and the law. Cranor, C. // Water Science & Technology;2005, Vol. 52 Issue 6, p65 

    An information-generation system should be part of precautionary approaches to protecting the public's health and the environment. Such a system would include inventories or surveys of health and the environment, monitoring of them, as well as scoping out or scouting for threats or other harmful...

  • Community-Initiated Breast Cancer and Environment Studies and the Precautionary Principle. Brody, Julia Green; Tickner, Joel; Rudel, Ruthann A. // Environmental Health Perspectives;Aug2005, Vol. 113 Issue 8, p920 

    The precautionary principle implies the need for research paradigms that contribute to ‘strength of the evidence’ assessments of the plausibility of health effects when scientific uncertainty is likely to persist and prevention is the underlying goal. Previous discussions of science...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics