Volume No. 7 Issue No.: 4A Page No.: 1737-1752 April-June 2013

 

THE APPLICATION OF THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLES IN THE PROOF OF ENVIRONMENTAL OFFENCES UNDER THE NIGERIAN LAW: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

 

Ikoni U. D.

Department of Private and Public Law, Faculty of Law, Benue State University, P.M.B., Makurdi
(NIGERIA)

 

Received on : December 05, 2012

 

ABSTRACT

 

Since 1992, especially after the Rio declaration, the precautionary principles have become an established feature of environmental law and regulation regimes in many different jurisdictions of the world on the appropriate regulatory strategies in cases of scientific uncertainties. Although the literature on the principles is a large one, even though, environmental problems do not respect borders (the effects of global warming, ozone depletion and contamination of the high seas do not recognize territorial or jurisdictional boundaries). For this reason, lawyers handling environmental issues have to work with legal materials which span international, regional and domestic systems of law. This paper presents the precautionary principles and its application to proof of environmental offences in Nigeria. The paper shows that the development of environmental law reflects the practical application of underlying general principles of law which have evolved in tandem with rising concern over environmental degradation and it threats for the survival of humankind and a dynamic relationship between rules, principles and ethics as to the formulation of the law and enforcement. To this end, agencies involved in environmental management should know that it has a particular responsibility to ensure that its policies and activities should be consistent with modern principles and has to adjust its policies to meet these expectations. The conclusion arising from this is that while there is no doubt that the precautionary principles is an established principles of environmental law, there is an urgent need to think extensively and carefully to identify the circumstances in which the principles can be legitimately invoked and applied under the Nigerian law. Above all, clear government laws, policies and competent bureaucracies for environmental management are needed to be put in place urgently to allow for a robust application of the principles in the overall interest of environmental protection in Nigeria.

 

Keywords : Environmental law, Judiciary environmental protection, Nigeria

 

 

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