Perspectives and Prospects
Edited by Elizabeth Fisher, Judith Jones and René von Schomberg
This book is a consequence of a convergence of thinking about precaution by each of the Editors, which occurred approximately a decade after the Rio Declaration launched the precautionary principle into global consciousness. Each of us was independently thinking about implementation and application of the principle and it was apparent that, in a variety of jurisdictions and contexts across the globe, there was an urgent need to examine this aspect of precaution. While debates continued to simmer on deﬁning the principle and what it all meant, as a consequence of legal developments in each of the jurisdictions, we were turning our attention to what administrators and regulators were actually doing in response to the emerging legal obligations to apply the principle. In the European Union, environmental and public health policy is now based on the precautionary principle. The principle is now included in the EU food law and will be progressively applied to a growing number of EU policies. We were particularly interested to explore what the prospective implications are for a future application of the precautionary principle to emerging areas in the scientiﬁc and technological ﬁelds, such as biodiversity, climate change, (novel) food and nanotechnology. In Australia, the previous decade has witnessed two signiﬁcant legal developments. In 1993, Justice Paul Stein of the Land and Environment Court had boldly read the precautionary principle into an existing statutory regime (Leatch v. National Parks and Wildlife Service (1993) 81 LGERA 270). This bold judicial move led to the...