France: The precautionary principle applies to antennas

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From: Sylvie
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:33 AM
Subject: France The precautionary principle applies to antennas


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The precautionary principle applies to antennas

On July 23, 2010

by Celia Fontaine

Risks & Health, Politics & Society, Public Health, Electromagnetic waves

The State Council, in a ruling dated July 19, ruled that the precautionary principle is applicable to phone masts.

This is an interesting decision in the eyes of Arnaud Gosse, lawyer of the environment because it allows the precautionary principle to apply even without specific legislation or regulation.

Involved in this case, the installation of a telephone relay tower in June 2006 in the town of Amboise (Indre-et-Loire), challenged by an association of local residents due to potential health risks. On appeal, the State Council considers that the precautionary principle applies even without text to planning law, and therefore permission to install a tower that had been challenged. "Certainly, in this case, the State Council held that evidence of a violation of the precautionary principle is not reported but is still quite a thunderclap? "Arnaud is kid on his blog on July 21.

This decision ends the case "Bouygues Telecom [1], in which the Council of State considered, on behalf of the independence of the laws that the precautionary principle was not applicable to a declaration of work. Indeed, at the time, the charter of the environment and its famous Article 5 [2] defining the precautionary principle was not yet in force. The precautionary principle was applicable only to the planning documents of legal value and not to individual decisions (permit, statement of work ...).

In its ruling of July 19, the High Court said "it is not clear from the evidence that, in the state of scientific knowledge about the risks entailed for the public's exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by antennas of mobile phone base, the mayor of the town of Amboise has tainted his decision a manifest error of assessment under the provisions of Article 5 of the Environmental Charter." This means, says Arnaud Gosse, in this case the proof of the principle of precaution was not reported.

Déharbe For David, a lawyer specializing in public law and environmental law, "The principle of independence of the laws Planning and Environment has suffered a further decline. He said that decision announces exceeded constitutional principle of independence of the laws when the environment is at issue. If he also concedes that we now consider that the precautionary principle is directly enforceable without legislation or regulatory "it remains our view a textual nature of constitutional principle, no confusion, we are not witnessing a general principle of law in the sense understood by the Administrative Court.

Attention should be paid to the decision that "the applicant associations, but also - by implication - the operators and the public will have to contribute and encourage the production of scientific knowledge on the subject," according to Arnaud Gosse.

The use of the precautionary principle also continue to raise many problems of interpretation. The ratio of Gest and MEPs Alain Philippe Tourtelier submitted July 16, 2010, assesses the scope of this principle. It establishes a clear distinction between "care" and "prevention". It reiterates its determination to defend a principle, "as affirmed in the Charter of the Environment, should be interpreted as a principle of action, fully compatible with the idea of progress and duty to research."

Cemagref, in a press release dated July 16, welcomes the report and testified for his part that this principle "has stimulated more research and advanced knowledge of risks. He has contributed extensively to find preventive solutions to identified damage to ecosystems and populations with the use of the environmental policies of governments.


Bürgerwelle News



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