Criminal redress in cases of environmental victimisation: a defence

Hall, Matthew (2017) Criminal redress in cases of environmental victimisation: a defence. International Review of Victimology, 23 (2). pp. 203-223. ISSN 0269-7580

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In recent years growing concern has been voiced in the environmental justice literature regarding the ability of criminal justice mechanisms to adequately address environmental harms, especially when such harms are perpetrated by large corporations. Commentators argue that criminal justice processes are often ill-suited to the particular features of environmental cases, where the chain of causation between wrongful actions/omissions and environmentally harmful consequence can be very complex and extend over the course of many years. As an alternative, many such commentators now favour the adoption of more administrative resolutions when corporate bodies breach their environmental obligations (which may or may not amount to ‘crimes’). Others favour the use of civil sanction regimes, which is now the preferred approach of the UK Environment Agency. In this paper I will argue that the debate on how best to respond to environmental harm has so far neglected to factor in the perspective of the victims of those harms and, in particular, their need for redress. I will argue that by incorporating such a perspective, as opposed to focusing largely on questions of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, the criminal justice route still has much to recommended it, especially in relation to the provision of meaningful redress and/or compensation to the victims of environmental harm. Consequently, this paper will provide a victimological defence of the criminal justice process, and of criminal penalties, in their application to cases of environmental harms.

Keywords:Environmental crime, Victims, Compensation, Green victimology, Redress
Subjects:M Law > M100 Law by area
M Law > M110 UK Legal Systems
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:23354
Deposited On:02 Dec 2016 09:49

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