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The Shaping of the Precautionary Principle by European Courts: From Scientific Uncertainty to Legal Certainty

Alberto Alemanno

HEC Paris; NYU School of Law

VALORI COSTITUZIONALI E NUOVE POLITICHE DEL DIRITTO, L. Cuocolo, L. Luparia, eds., Cahiers Europèens, Halley, 2007
Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1007404

The aim of this study is to illustrate the role played by EC Courts in shaping the controversial precautionary principle which allows the adoption of protective measures in situations of scientific uncertainty. Called upon reviewing the legality of national and Community measures inspired by a precautionary approach, both the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of First Instance (CFI) contributed to development of the precautionary principle. They did not simply lay the ground for the recognition of the principle in the EC legal order, by turning a mere state of mind into a general principle of Community law, but they also defined the conditions triggering its invocation. In short, the EC courts' case law has been crucial in determining when, how and by whom the precautionary principle may be relied upon in Community legal order.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Precautionary Principle, EU Law, European Court of Justice

JEL Classification: K33, K2

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Date posted: August 16, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Alemanno, Alberto, The Shaping of the Precautionary Principle by European Courts: From Scientific Uncertainty to Legal Certainty. ; Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1007404. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1007404

Contact Information

Alberto Alemanno (Contact Author)
HEC Paris ( email )
1 rue de la Libération
Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, 78351

NYU School of Law ( email )
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