Mary Stevens

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Spring 2002


The purpose of this paper is to introduce the precautionary principle in terms of its history, use, and application in several different international agreements. The precautionary principle is preventative in nature and stems from the idea that just because an activity cannot be proven unsafe does not mean that it does not have any negative effects. It has been heralded and criticized by scientists alike, and it has been applied in so many different ways that its definition depends on which international agreement one is reading.