Revista europea de historia de las ideas políticas y de las instituciones públicas

ISSN versión electrónica: 2174-0135
ISSN versión impresa: 2386-6926
Depósito Legal: MA 2135-2014

Presidente del C.R.: Antonio Ortega Carrillo de Albornoz
Director: Manuel J. Peláez
Editor: Juan Carlos Martínez Coll


Manuel J. PELÁEZ

Asbtract: The subject of this book is theoretical and practical issues, related to the principles of Bulgarian environmental law as a ground of this branch of law. The actuality and significance of theme for scientific research is determined by the big variety in views of the number of authors in separate countries on the legal nature of the principles of law as well as their functions in implementation of domestic legislation, European and International Law. The interdisciplinary character of the environmental problems of our nowadays also does influence to the specific characteristics of the principles of environmental law. The book seems to be a useful preliminary reading for more in-depth studies especially for scientists, students, post-graduate students, practicing lawyers as well as for ecologists.

Key words: Principles of Law, Bulgarian Environmental Law, European Environmental Law.

George Penchev is a professor in environmental law in the Faculty of law at the Plovdiv University, Bulgaria. His book is dedicated to the principles of Bulgarian environmental law as one fundamental theoretical problem which also have practical significance for functioning of the legal system of this country. The basic aim of the author consists in investigation of the legal essence of the principles of law and, on this base, the specific features of the principles of Bulgarian environmental law as a branch of law. Another aim of this scientific study is - for it - to develop further scientific discussion on the features and functions of the principles of law. The main methods used for scientific research are comparative and history-law.

Chapter I is related to the doctrinal concepts on the legal nature of the principles of law in the science of general theory of law as well as in the science of some branches of law, especially environmental law. The attention is paid to 3 theoretical legal problems: a) the principles of law in the legal doctrine of general theory of law and of some branches of law in the light of the schools of natural law and positive law; b) debatable scientific theses on the legal nature of the principles of law; c) principles of law in the doctrine of environmental law. Author shows 9 more debatable scientific theses on the legal essence of the principles of law in Bulgarian and foreign legal doctrine, as follows: a) are the principles of law special kind of legal norms or not; b) are the principles of law only written principles or there are also unwritten legal principles; c) are the principles of law a source of law or not; d) separate kinds of principles of law; e) numbers of explicitly formulated legal principles; f) durability of the principles of law; g) the level of legal regulation of the principles of law in the light of the secondary legal regulation; h) are the fundamental (constitutional) rights and duties of the citizens also a principles of law; i) is there a hierarchy, competition and collision between principles of law (p. 28 - 140). In relation to it, there are investigated the views various authors in some countries, such as Hans Kelsen (Austria), L. Kramer, R. Alexy, J. Habermas and J. Esser (Germany), H.L.A. Hart, F. Sands and E. Scotford (UK), A. Kiss, D. Shelton, R. Dworkin, J. Raz and L. Fuller (USA), M. Brinchuk, V. Mazaev, R. Livshitz and N. Malein (Russia), G. Del Vecchio and G. Alpa (Italy), etc. After the analyses of the doctrine and judicial practice on a national, European and International levels, G. Penchev gives following definition of the term ‘principles of law’: they are special kind of legal norms in which are included managing legal ideas, formulated in a more general (abstractive) way, explicitly in legal act or identified by the courts through interpretation of the provisions of the regulations, which have main importance for drafting, interpretation and implementation of the legislation (p. 139-140).

Chapter II is dedicated to the principles of environmental law of the European Union as well as of international environmental law in the light of international treaties with the participation of the Republic of Bulgaria. In the first paragraph of this chapter, it has been analyzed the principles, explicitly formulated in art. 191, § 2 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in art. 5 and 11 of the Treaty on European Union, as well as the principles in some directives in the field of environmental protection. The second and third paragraphs of the same chapter are related to the participation of Bulgaria to some international multilateral environmental agreements in which are formulated principles, such as Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (Geneva, 1979), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Helsinki, 1992), Convention for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Danube River (Sofia, 1994), Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Canberra, 1980), Convention on Biological Diversity ((Rio de Janeiro, 1992), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington, 1973), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (Paris, 1994), etc. The author gives some suggestions de lege ferenda to some provisions of the abovementioned treaties.

In Chapter III are analyzed principles of Bulgarian environmental law. Attention is given on their special features and kinds as well as on its relation to the state environmental policy. In the first paragraph of this chapter G. Penchev shows following specific features of the principles of environmental law, as follows: a) they are related to integrated object for legal protection, environment, which consists in two major components - nature with its own laws and phenomena not completely well known by mankind, and human-made environment; b) a need of systematic (complex) approach in legal regulation of the environmental protection; c) scientifically based decision-making process for environmental protection; d) they are main argument for the concept of the environmental law as a separate branch of law; e) they are major legal tool for the protection of the fundamental right of the Bulgarian citizens to a healthy and favourable environment under art. 55 of the Bulgarian Constitution of 1991; f) they are important subject for study in educational system; g) they are important legal tool for overcoming of ecological crises of contemporary society (p. 265-274).

In the second paragraph of the third chapter are analyzed the 11 principles with general meaning for the environmental protection in Bulgaria, which are explicitly mentioned in art. 3 of the Environmental Protection act, 2002. They are, as follows: sustainable development; preventing and reducing the risk for human health; priority of preventing of the pollution over the next consequences caused by it; public participation in environmental decision-making; information to public on the state of the environment; polluter pays; protection and development of the ecosystems and their biological diversity; restoration and improvement of the environment in the polluted and damaged environment; preventing of pollution and other harmful impacts in the clear regions; integration of the environmental policy to another kinds of policies; access to justice in environmental matters (p. 278-292).

The third paragraph of Chapter III is dedicated to the principles, explicitly regulated in the provisions of Bulgarian sectorial environmental legislation, and especially in Water Act of 1999, Game Protection Act of 2000, Soil Act of 2007, Forest Act of 2011 and Waste Management Act of 2012. The author gives many suggestions de lege ferenda to some provisions of the abovementioned acts.

Finally, some general conclusions from the examined regulation and recommendations for its improvement are made. G. Penchev underlines the moral importance of the principles of law and their contribution to development of the legislation (p. 315-316).


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[Recibido el 24 de abril de 2017].

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REVISTA EUROPEA DE HISTORIA DE LAS IDEAS POLÍTICAS Y DE LAS INSTITUCIONES PÚBLICAS es una revista académica, editada y mantenida por La revista dejó de depender de la Universidad de Málaga en noviembre de 2013 y de en noviembre de 2020, fecha en la que se conformó Para cualquier comunicación, envíe un mensaje a, o