Common but differentiated responsibilities
Environmental law principles, such as the polluter pays, the precautionary principle or the common but differentiated responsibilities, have had a very important function in the shaping and evolution of the young sector of environmental law which has developed over the last fifty years. Yet, their status, content, binding force and functions in law remain largely uncertain. Forming a key part of the Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, this book examines the facets of environmental principles in international, national and regional law, as applied in different parts of the world and by a variety of courts. It assembles more than fifty contributions from all continents which clarify that, as the environment itself has no voice and cannot express its concerns, there is an overriding importance of scholars' active discussion of environmental principles. The book demonstrates that the necessity to preserve this planet requires a continuous, democratic discussion of values, objectives and concepts which are expressed in the numerous and continuously evolving environmental principles.