Added Title

Precautionary principle

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Juris Doctor

Subject Categories

Law | Medical Jurisprudence


College of Law



Thesis Advisor

Rebecca Khan

Defense Panel Chair

Marie Karen Jiz

Defense Panel Member

Josine Alexandra Gamboa
Banuar Reuben Falcon


The precautionary principle is a well-recognized general principle under international environmental law that serves as an instrument to avoid uncertain, unpredictable, and unquantifiable harmful threats to the environment. Despite the seemingly limited application of the precautionary principle, the researchers deem it necessary to apply it in public health cases. In that regard, this thesis primarily aims to: first, to determine the legal status of the precautionary principle in the Philippine legal system, and second, to determine whether the precautionary principle, under the generally accepted principles of international law, applies to public health policies in the country. After a thorough study of the historical legal context of the creation of the precautionary principle, an in-depth look into surveys of foreign and international laws and cases, and analysis of Philippine statutes and jurisprudence, the researchers conclude that: first, the precautionary principle has been incorporated in several conventions and treaties, and was adopted by many countries in their domestic and regional laws, which is a positive indication that the said principle has become a customary international law; and second, these conventions, treaties, foreign laws, and Philippine statutes, while the precautionary principle is defined in various forms, have common essential elements, namely, “uncertainty, the threat of environmental damage or human health risks, and serious or irreversible harm,” and these elements applies not just to environmental cases, but also in instances where there appears a threat to the human health. Finally, in concluding so, the researchers recommend a framework for the application of the precautionary principle in public health policies in the Philippines.

Keywords: international law, customary international law, precautionary principle, public health policies, preventive measures, human health risks, serious or irreversible harm

Abstract Format




Physical Description

114 leaves


Precautionary principle; Medical policy--Philippines

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