Jacqueline Peel is an Associate Professor of Law at the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne, Australia. She has dual degrees in science and law. Her research interests focus on environmental law and international environmental law, including law/science interactions and risk assessment in the environmental field. She is the author of numerous publications on these topics, including The Precautionary Principle in Practice: Environmental Decision-Making and Scientific Uncertainty (Federation Press, 2005).
Interpretation and Application of the Precautionary Principle: Australia's Contribution
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2009
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Review of European Community & International Environmental Law
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 11–25, April 2009
How to Cite
Peel, J. (2009), Interpretation and Application of the Precautionary Principle: Australia's Contribution. Review of European Community & International Environmental Law, 18: 11–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9388.2009.00620.x
- Issue online: 19 MAY 2009
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2009
Australia has been a leading jurisdiction in the adoption of the precautionary principle, with widespread policy and legislative incorporation. This has paved the way for the development of a substantial jurisprudence on the interpretation and application of the principle. The international derivation of the version of the precautionary principle adopted in Australia, together with the wide range of areas in which the principle has been applied, for example biodiversity protection, environmental impact assessment, climate change, public health, etc., means that judicial consideration of the principle in Australia has the potential to form a body of common law with national and international application. Accordingly, this article reviews the adoption, interpretation and application of the precautionary principle in Australian environmental law, with a view to drawing out the general lessons this experience offers for interpretation of the principle in other, international settings.