The 1996 Protocol to the London Dumping Convention declares the precautionary principle, and bans all dumping unless the waste is listed in the Annex. In many aspects, it has been affected by the North Sea Ministerial Conferences and the OSPAR Convention. It is known that Korea prepares to sign up to the 1996 Protocol. It means the change of notion and principle of the prevention of the marine pollution and/or the protection of the marine environment. I analyzed the North Sea Ministerial Conferences, the OSPAR Convention and the 1996 Protocol, studying how the precautionary principle is institutionalized in them. The precautionary principle refuses the assimilative approach, which depends on the assimilative capacity of the marine environment and permits any activities unless their hazard is established by scientific evidence. It is based on the preservationism that environmental damages and risks should be avoided at sources as far as possible. It is characterized as the strict style of the conventional obligation to prevent marine pollution, based on the preventive principle. In improving our legal systems, we should note that the precautionary principle is becoming a guiding principle in the international environmental law including the field of marine environment.
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