Criminal redress in cases of environmental victimisation: a defence

Hall, Matthew (2016) Criminal redress in cases of environmental victimisation: a defence. Revue Criminologie, 49 (2). pp. 141-176. ISSN 0316-0041

Full content URL: https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/crimino/2016-v4...

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Abstract

This paper concerns people and communities affected by environmental degradation – perpetrated by human actions – which impacts negatively upon their health, economic property and social life. A focus by victimologists on environmental harms is one of the more recent outcomes of the broader development of so-called ‘green criminology’ over the last twenty years (Hall 2013). This new study of so-called environmental victimisation has prompted victimologists (like criminologists) to reconsider radical arguments that social harms often derive from powerful social elites. As such this discussion will recognise that many environmental harms perpetrated by state and corporate actors are not officially labelled as ‘crimes’ at all. This reflects the so-called ‘social harms’ approached advocated by critical criminologists who wish to problematize the power relations in society influencing which activities are labelled as ‘criminal’. This is especially pertinent in the case of environmental degradation, which in many cases serves the interest of corporate interests and indeed the state’s economic goals (Lynch et al., 2010)

This paper sets out to examine and compare different avenues of compensation and restitution available to victims of environmental harm. The paper will concentrate on assessing the relative merits of compensation/restitution schemes based on the criminal law on the one hand and on administrative compensation schemes on the other. The choice to largely set aside the option of civil law-based remedies has been taken in the light of recent literature in this area becoming very disparaging of so called ‘toxic torts’ (Goldberg and Zipersky, 2011) as a means of adequately compensating environmental victims. Indeed, we know that pursuing civil present considerable difficulties for environmental victims

Keywords:victimisation, environmental crime, green criminology, victimology, compensation, JCOpen
Subjects:M Law > M100 Law by area
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:16610
Deposited On:31 Mar 2017 09:09

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