Security of the Person, Peace of Mind: A Precautionary Approach to Environmental Uncertainty
22 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 26, 2012
Where regulators fail to implement the precautionary principle, the result is that scientific uncertainty can become an impediment to effective environmental legislation, and communities may be subjected to hazardous pollution. In contrast to the precautionary principle, which is a relative newcomer to international law, security of the person has been firmly entrenched in human rights law at least since the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is a strong argument that security of the person includes both physical and psychological integrity, either one of which may be undermined by environmental degradation. In the realm of environment, security of the person must be understood through the lenses of both precaution and environmental human rights. The precautionary principle in particular may provide governments and courts with significant guidance as to the appropriate treatment of scientific uncertainty in claims involving environmental security of the person.
Keywords: environmental law, human rights, constitutional law
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