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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Precautionary Approach/Principle

Meinhard Schröder

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 June 2024

Responsibility of states — International environmental law — Precautionary principle — Sustainable development — Natural resources — Biodiversity

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The precautionary principle is part of a system of rules designed to guide the decision-making of States towards the goal of an environmentally sustainable development. It has become a guiding principle of modern international law and, increasingly, of national instruments and jurisprudence relating to protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources.2 Basically, the precautionary principle is the idea that environmentally sensitive activities should be avoided and precautionary measures taken, even in situations where there is potential...
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