To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures. Within this element lies an implicit reversal of the onus of proof: under the precautionary principle it is the responsibility of an activity-proponent to establish that the proposed activity will not or is very unlikely to result in significant harm. If there are indeed precedents for diluting the precautionary principle, why has not the Bench cited even one of them — whether in Commonwealth or Indian jurisprudence? The Boards function under the control of the Governments concerned. No mention is made of assignment of liability for environmental harm. One of the most important expressions of the Precautionary Principle internationally is in the Rio Declaration from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as Agenda 21. The year of 1992 was very important in this regard.
The precautionary principle is one of these principles. It is essentially an expansion of the original paper released by the Institute of Environmental Studies on the precautionary principle. Some versions refer to uncertain, serious or irreversible risks for example, the Rio Declaration but some versions omit these trigger criteria. The parties who were signatory to the Convention acknowledged the precautionary measures which have already been taken at the international and the national levels to protect the ozone layer. For them, the struggle between protection of environment and safeguard of human health gave rise to the concept.
This case is oft cited in the academic literature and is universally admired as a landmark judgment illustrative of the creativity, intellectual openness and mettle of Indian Courts. One study identified 14 different formulations of the principle in treaties and nontreaty declarations. When the impacts of a particular activity — such as emission of hazardous substances — are not completely clear, the general presumption is to let the activities go ahead until the uncertainty is resolved completely. However, it was internationally acknowledged in the early 1980s, when environmental degradation became a matter of concern for the international community. The San Francisco ordinance requires officers, boards, commissions and departments to implement the precautionary principle, which has five elements: anticipatory action, right to know, alternative assessment, full cost accounting and participatory decision process. Consequently, the opposition of some states does not interfere with the development of a customary rule. The law was passed in 1974 and covered all potential sources of air pollution, noise, vibrations and similar processes.
These laws are based on the assumption that humans and ecosystem can absorb a certain amount of contamination without being harmed. In Narmada Bachao Andolan v. The appeal filed by the company against the decision of the Pollution Control Board was accepted by the appellate authority. And, it also had actually helped in imposing damages on the polluter but still the problem with this principle is that it hasn't been implemented peoperly. If the law or rule is broken by an individual or institution, this has to be punished through the legal process.
Often available scientific evidence provides us cause for concern but does not give conclusive information. The Supreme Court identified three elements to this principle. In Judiciary, we cannot definitively say whether the Judges have received appropriate research assistance from competent people, and whether there is scope for improvement, because of the secrecy surrounding the institution of Law Clerks, and the very practice of writing Judgments. The Court rejected the traditional concept that ecology and development are opposed to each other. University of Illinois Law Review.
The Precautionary Principle shifts the burden of proof on the shoulders of the person who is arguing that the activity he is carrying out is not harmful. In 1992, the principle became part of National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development in Australia. However, the policymakers as well as the scientists must accept that uncertainty is an inevitable part of environmental policymaking. This principle needs a strict interpretation from our judiciary with immediate effect and we just can't afford any sort of delay in its proper implementation in developing country, like India. The Court requires strict application of all these principles for the protection of the environment. University of Illinois Law Review.
The National Environmental Policy Act requires that any project receiving federal funding and which may pose serious harm to the environment undergo an environmental impact study, demonstrating that there are no safer alternatives. The precautionary principle is widely used in the domestic environmental law of Germany, Belgium and the Nordic countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Island. In the Vellore Citizens' Welfare Forum case the Supreme Court held the precautionary and the polluter pays principles are part of the domestic environmental law, as well — arguably — as customary international law. Once the legislation is made at the global, national or state level, it has to be implemented. This Convention is not yet in force. In the case of technological innovation, containment of impact tends to be more difficult if that technology can self-replicate. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall be not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
A comparison of the institution of Law Clerks in the U. This principle is in contrast to the wait-and-watch approach which is generally followed in environmental issues. At Rio de Janeiro, the world acknowledged the precautionary principle at the level of international law when it adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the early stage of civilization, humans had a holistic attitude towards nature which was regarded with sacred veneration. Journal of International Biotechnology Law. Used in the latter sense, however, it is not clear whether references to taking precautionary action or precautionary measures differ more than rhetorically from the customary obligation to prevent harm in Principle 2 of the Rio Declaration.