March 08, 2011

Scientific Knowledge and Regulation

Scientific Knowledge When Regulating Environmental Matters

American Bar Association
Standing Committee on Environmental Law
Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
Section of Litigation


RESOLVED , that federal, state, tribal, territorial and local governments should take account of all appropriate scientific knowledge when regulating environmental matters or initiating appropriate precautionary measures; and

FURTHER RESOLVED , that in environmental litigation and other forms of dispute resolution, efficiency and justice are aided by the availability and utilization of the latest and most reliable scientific knowledge; and

FURTHER RESOLVED , that in matters of international commerce and environmental regulation, treaties and other agreements should be based upon all appropriate scientific knowledge and, if it exists, consensus among scientists;  and

FURTHER RESOLVED , that where scientific consensus on important environmental matters does not exist, efforts should be made to encourage research on such matters and make the resulting information available within the scientific community and to the public at large; and

FINALLY RESOLVED , that the Executive Branch and Congress should,through administrative and legislative means, as appropriate, provide for a suitable scientific body to undertake the on-going assessment of the state of scientific environmental knowledge, the on-going identification of environmental issues for which research is necessary, the oversight of such research, and the dissemination of environmental scientific findings and information to federal, state, tribal and local governments, the scientific community, and the public at large.

Adopted by the ABA House of Delegates, August 7, 1995.

For a copy of the complete report, contact Carrie Coleman at .