Contesting Risk, Precaution and Legitimacy: A Case Study of Lafarge
Gordian, Savitri Vasanta
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This thesis examines debates about the precautionary principle in a tribunal and judicial review proceeding where environmental groups and individuals challenged a proposal to burn tires and other non-traditional fuel sources at a cement plant in Ontario, Canada. Chapter 1 explores scholarship on the precautionary principle and outlines the unique analytical contributions offered by administrative constitutionalism theory. Chapter 2 sets out the case study methodology employed by the author. Chapter 3 explains the legislative context. In chapters 4 through 9, each participant’s arguments are analyzed in relation to the two paradigms of administrative constitutionalism: Rational-Instrumentalist and Deliberative-Constitutive. This thesis establishes that administrative constitutionalism discourse dominates the construction and contestation of environmental risk; the author further argues that administrative constitutionalism’s discursive dominance has an exclusionary impact on the people, ideas and interests represented in environmental risk regulation.