General Principles of European Environmental Law

9 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2008 Last revised: 14 May 2012

Date Written: October 13, 2008


This article outlines the general principles of European environmental law so that common law jurists can understand their potentials and limits as a means to protect the environment. Though general principles of law are important as a source or at least as a persuasive guide to law in civilian systems, these principles of law do not exist in the domestic law of common law states such as the U.S. except vestigially in the general principles used in equity proceedings (equitable maxims).

Keywords: General principles, Polluter Pays Principle, Principle of Sustainability, Principle of Precaution, Source Principle, EU, EC, Treaty of Amsterdam, Rome Treaty, EC Treaty, EEC, European Community, European Union, Europe, International

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Engle, Eric, General Principles of European Environmental Law (October 13, 2008). Pennsylvania State Environmental Law Rev. Vol. 17, pp. 215-224, 2009, Available at SSRN:

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