Chair: Avi Brisman

Measuring and Responding to Environmental Crimes and Harms

Building: G
Room: 21


Author: Hall Matthew, University of Lincoln

Title: Brexit and Environmental Crime in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities
This paper will analyse the potential impact of Brexit on environmental crime, focusing on future investigation, prosecution and sentencing within the UK and across the EU27. In so doing, the paper will examine the operation of EU Council Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law, which requires Member States to criminalise some breaches of existing EU environmental law. Previously, Member States had the discretion to individually determine the severity of any penalties or sanctions imposed for breaches of environmental laws, leading to variability between countries. The advent of the Directive signaled a Europe-wide acceptance for criminal law to deal with environmental transgressions. This paper will explore whether Brexit is likely to mean a return to greater variation in the approach to environmental regulation and whether this might encourage ‘forum shopping’ amongst organised criminal groups responsible for major environmental crimes. In so doing, the paper will also examine whether the Directive has met its harmonisation aims in relation to sentencing and prosecution practices between jurisdictions in the first place. As such, the paper will explore the degree to which Brexit might offer opportunities to pursue different means of addressing environmental crime in continued collaboration with mainland European partners and the prospects for future initiatives to share information on prosecution and judicial practice.
Keywords: Brexit; environmental crime; EU Council Directive 2008/99/EC; sentencing; waste crime
Author: Natali Lorenzo, University of Milano-Bicocca

Title: Visually exploring social perceptions of environmental harm in global urban contexts
Building on the visual criminological endeavour, this paper describes an ongoing pilot study exploring the potential usefulness of a visual and sensory methodology for investigating the social perception of environmental crime and harm. I focus first on the methodological and theoretical positioning that sees the encounter between green, cultural, visual and narrative criminologies. I do this by considering in detail two techniques to collect qualitative data: interviews-with-visual-materials (also known as photo-elicitation) and itinerant soliloquies—a peculiar form of mobile methodology. Finally, this paper reflects on the importance for criminologists interested in the human-environment relationship of deepening and strengthening an organic solidarity among the visual, sensorial and narrative dimensions of environmental crime and harm, as well as looking at their social, cultural and political relevance.
Keywords: green criminology; itinerant soliloquies; photo-elicitation; social perception; walking method
Author: Nurse Angus, Middlesex University

Title: Mediating The Human Impacts of Environmental Harms: The Case for Environmental Ombudsman
This paper examines the use of environmental ombudsmen as a tool to resolve environmental disputes and redress environmental harms. Environmental Ombudsmen have emerged recently as a way of resolving citizens’ environmental complaints through independent investigation and adjudication. Ombudsmen identify fault that has caused harm and recommend a remedy, although their precise jurisdiction to consider fault varies according to the enacting legislation. In some jurisdictions, ombudsmen enforce legal rights and state compliance with human rights norms or international law principles and obligations. Where the nature of the events makes it impossible to put the complainant back in the position that he/she would have been in had the fault not occurred, ombudsmen are often empowered to recommend financial compensation and other remedies. In environmental cases, this likely involves some action that mitigates the environmental damage or otherwise provides for positive environmental action, such as compensation for the affected community or covering costs of clean-up. This paper argues that Environmental Ombudsmen embody the ecological and species justice notions of providing justice for the environment as a victim. It also demonstrates practical implementation of the ‘polluter pays’ principle and the need for public authorities to consider environmental concerns in their decision-making and to be accountable for resulting environmental harm when they fail to do so.
Keywords: alternative dispute resolution (ADR); environmental crime; environmental harm; ecological justice; mediation; ombudsmen;
Author: Sollund Ragnhild, University of Oslo

Title: Wildlife crimes: The impact of gender
An increasing amount scholarship within green criminology has centered on crimes and harms against nonhuman animals. When regarding wildlife (free-born nonhuman animals), the main concern is usually anthropocentric, focusing on the impact on humans, rather than harm caused to the nonhuman animals themselves. Comparatively little attention has been directed towards the perpetrators of such crimes and to the fact that the great majority of offenders involved in the wildlife trade and the illegal killing of endangered nonhuman animals (especially predators) are male. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap, using empirical data from Norway that includes confiscation reports from customs of CITES-listed nonhuman animal species. First, this paper will assess how many of the perpetrators of these crimes are male and how many are female, as well as a typology of the crimes. Second, the findings will be discussed through the lens of ecofeminist theory and various justice-based perspectives employed in green criminology.
Keywords: CITES; ecofeminism; gender; green criminology; victimization; wildlife trade
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