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By Karen E Makuch, Dr. Ricardo Pereira

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33 In Introduction, Sustainable Development Strategy and Action Plan for Civil Engineering, July 2007, ICE, ACE, CECA, CIRIA and the Construction Products Association. org/sustainability/ (accessed 18 March 2011). 34 Including the German General Industrial Code (1845), the British Waterworks Clauses Act (1845), the French Dangerous Industrial and Commercial Activities Act (1917) and the Spanish Water Act (1878). See Vercher (1990). 35 For example, in France a crime of poaching was introduced to the Law of 15 April 1829 on ‘River Fishing’.

2009). However, precautionary measures must be based on more than a mere hypothesis or purely theoretical assessments. 10 7 Decisions on implementing parts of EU legislation are often taken by the European Commission officials assisted by national experts, who give their opinion on proposed measures. They meet in hundreds of specialised committees under a procedure referred to as ‘comitology’. There are around 300 committees dealing with all kinds of legislation. Examples of decisions taken by this procedure include the authorisation of chemical products or the imposition of production quotas for milk and other agricultural sectors.

The ‘principles’ are at the core of international environmental law and have evolved in particular since their insertion in the Rio Declaration. ‘Principles’ differ from ‘rules’ in that while the latter aim to create legal rights and obligations, the former do not in themselves create obligations or rights but set the tone and general guidance on how rules and policies are to evolve. 58 In turn, Agenda 21 is an action plan and blueprint for global partnership for sustainable development, aiming at integrating environmental and developmental concerns and to set out the details for implementation of the Rio Principles.

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