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essential element of EU policy on risk prevention

In the preceding chapter, we left open the question of the principles and
concepts that underlie international environmental law and define its contours. This chapter can therefore be seen as the continuation of Chapter 2, as it
further develops the characterisation of international environmental law outlined there. In addition, the analysis of the principles and concepts of international environmental law is an important step in the study of its substantive
aspects, which will be discussed in the second part of this book.
To understand the importance of the principles and concepts of
international environmental law, as well as the difference between these
two categories, it is helpful to first introduce some analytical distinctions
(3.2). These distinctions will allow us to present the fundamental principles
and concepts that conform the structure of international environmental law
in the light of the two main values advanced by this body of law, namely
prevention (3.3) and balance (3.4). The last section will link these principles
and concepts to the environmental regimes examined in the second part of
this book (3.5).
3.2 Some analytical distinctions
The elements that form the subject matter of this chapter have already
been discussed in some detail by legal commentators, although they are
often presented in different ways depending on the criteria employed by
each author. To facilitate a useful comparison with these other views,
distinctions that are sometimes implicit in these analyses should first be
made explicit, so as to lay the ground for an introductory discussion of
the material.