The growing significance of the principle of sustainable development as a legal norm

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    Abstract

    This chapter seeks to determine the current legal status of the principle of sustainable development in international law. There has been considerable debate about the legal nature of the principle of sustainable development as well as its meaning. Is it really a legal principle? Increased reference to sustainable development – sometimes as a principle but more often as an objective or a concept – has indeed led to its stronger normative power and its stronger legal status. The integration of environmental concerns into decision-making processes has been broadly accepted and it can authoritatively be seen as a firm legal duty. Although many commentators probably think that this process has not gone fast enough, it is the view of the author of this chapter that an extrapolation of the use of the principle of sustainable development will see a further increase of its impact upon judicial reasoning and upon how legal texts will be drafted in the near future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Fundamental Concepts of Environmental Law
    EditorsDouglas Fisher
    Place of PublicationCheltenham
    PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
    Pages276-305
    Number of pages30
    ISBN (Electronic)9781784714659
    ISBN (Print)9781784714642
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016

    Keywords

    • environmental law
    • legal principles
    • sustainable development
    • precautionary principle

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