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The Precautionary Principle – Key Element of Sustainable Development


  • Charlotte Ene



Sustainable development represents a very complex legal concept, being described as an “umbrella principle, drawing together a series of legal and policy principles” (Ellis, 2008), such as precautionary principle, intergenerational equity and intragenerational equity, polluter pays principle etc. (Marong, 2003). This approach to the concept stresses their procedural dimension consisting in guidance on decision-making processes, “impl[ying a legitimate expectation … that States and other actors should conduct their affairs in a manner consistent with the pursuit of economic development, social development and environmental protection as equal objectives.” (Marong, 2003) Hence, sustainable development as an integrative policy is based on the precautionary principle most of all when “there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, and lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.” The common denominator of sustainable development and precautionary principle is their goal consists in preventing the degradation of the environment, the irreversible damages, as we will examine in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlotte Ene, 2014. "The Precautionary Principle – Key Element of Sustainable Development," Knowledge Horizons - Economics, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 6(2), pages 150-153, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:khe:journl:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:150-153

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rozalia KICSI & Simona BUTA, 2012. "Multinational Corporations In The Architecture Of Global Economy," The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration, vol. 12(2(16)), pages 140-147, December.
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    More about this item


    International law; precautionary principle; sustainable development; intergenerational equity;

    JEL classification:

    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law


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