Exploring the cultural dimensions of environmental victimisation

Hall, Matthew (2017) Exploring the cultural dimensions of environmental victimisation. Palgrave Communications . ISSN 2055-1045

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Abstract

It has become increasingly clear in recent years that our understanding of ‘victimisation’ is informed by a whole range of societal and political factors which extend well beyond whatever particular form of words appears in any given directive, code or legislative instrument concerning crime, crime victims or criminal justice systems. In this paper, I will seek for the first time to apply recent developments in our understanding of so-called 'cultural victimology' to the issue of environmental harm and its impact on human and non-human animals. McCGarry and Waklate (2015) characterise cultural victimology as broadly comprising of two key aspects. These are the wider sharing and reflection of individual and collective victimisation experiences on the one hand and, on the other, the mapping of those experiences through the criminal justice process. In this discussion I will examine how environmental victimisation is viewed by and presented to society at large and will argue that such representations often fail, as a form of testimony, to adequately convey the traumas involved. Nor is this achieved through the application of present models of criminal, civil or administrative justice regimes in many jurisdictions. This lack of cultural acknowledgement of the harms vested on environmental victims, it is argued, afford us a clearer understand of the continued reticence amongst lawmakers, politicians and legal practitioners to adequately address the impacts of such victimisation through effective justice or regulatory mechanisms. This is unfortunate given that the often collective nature of environmental victimisation makes this particularly suited to a more cultural analysis and understanding. It is argued that various forms of environmental mediation processes might hold the key to this cultural reticence to accept environmental harm as a 'real' and pressing problem as compared to other criminal and civil justice concerns.

Keywords:Green Criminology, Law, Victims of Crime
Subjects:M Law > M100 Law by area
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:26461
Deposited On:29 Jun 2017 08:22

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