The Case for an Innovation Principle: A Comparative Law and Economics Analysis

Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, Volume 15 September 2018 Issue 2

Posted: 17 Jun 2019

See all articles by Aurelien Portuese

Aurelien Portuese

St Mary's University London; George Mason University

Julien Pillot

Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion (GREDEG)

Date Written: September 7, 2018

Abstract

After the rise of the precautionary principle (or approach) in the late 1990s in a number of jurisdictions, the economic consequences of this newly created principle of law have unfolded. Such consequences were either acclaimed – for providing a minimisation of a number of externalities – or lambasted – for providing justificatory grounds for the prohibition of potentially propitious innovations due to the existence of scientific uncertainties.

Whereas innovation has increasingly become of salient importance in today’s economies, European economies face sluggish economic growth rates partly caused by a regulatory framework where risk-aversion is incentivized. The precautionary principle induces and favours risk-aversion at the expense of innovation.

This Article discusses the law and economic foundations and implications of the precautionary principle in the WTO, the European Union, France and the United Kingdom. Having introduced the importance of law in stifling innovation and discussed the current precautionary principle, this Article vouches for an innovation principle to come to the fore in order to counterbalance the innovation-costly precautionary principle. A number of recommendations are proposed at the end of the article.

Keywords: Precautionary principle; innovation principle; regulation; law & economics

JEL Classification: K21

Suggested Citation

Portuese, Aurélien and Pillot, Julien, The Case for an Innovation Principle: A Comparative Law and Economics Analysis (September 7, 2018). Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, Volume 15 September 2018 Issue 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3384275

Aurélien Portuese (Contact Author)

St Mary's University London ( email )

United Kingdom

George Mason University ( email )

United States

Julien Pillot

Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion (GREDEG) ( email )

250, rue Albert Einstein
Valbonne, 06560
France

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