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Title: A review of the harmonisation of environmental criminal law in the European Union
Authors: Meli, Sarah Jane (2009)
Keywords: Environmental law -- European Union countries
Offenses against the environment -- Law and legislation -- European Union countries
Environmental protection -- European Union countries
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: In this research I look at the enforcement of environmental law within the European Union with particular focus on the latest development, that is, on Directive 2008/99 on the protection of the environment through criminal law. Environmental Law and its enforcement is quite a new area in the competence of the EU and thus it is still being developed. This study is divided into five chapters each dealing with different aspects of environmental criminal law and recent developments. In the introduction, I study at the background and history of environmental law in the EU. I delve into the various articles that give power to the EU to regulate environment offences and the various instruments which are related to Directive 2008/99. An important part of this chapter is dedicated to the issue which arose between Council and Commission on who has authority to legislate on such matters and the decision delivered by the European Court of Justice. This issue has its roots in the Framework Decision 2003/80/JHA. To really understand the importance of having harmonisation within the EU one has to understand how environmental offences are punished in the various Member States. This is tackled in Chapter 1. In this chapter I discuss the various studies done in the run up to Directive 2008/99 and their outcome. This highlights the divergences that exist between Member States. These differences show the importance of having a uniform body of environmental law especially where penalties are concerned in order to avoid forum shopping. This research focuses more on the criminal aspect of environmental crimes and criminal penalties. However, in Chapter 2 I examine other possibilities of punishment and the relationship that exists between administrative and criminal law/enforcement. In this chapter, I go through the advantages and disadvantages of having administrative procedures and penalties for environmental crimes and whether such administrative ways are efficient or not when compared with criminal ones. This chapter also goes briefly into issues such as what happens in technical breaches. In the ensuing chapter, that is, Chapter 3 I focus on the newly adopted Directive 2008/99 which provides for environment protection through criminal law. It is the first instrument which up till has been successful in harmonising criminal law in respect of environmental law. Although, before its adoption there has been other instruments such as the 1998 Convention and the Framework Decision they have failed to be put in place and enforced. Directive 2008/99 is to enter into force in all Member States in December, 2010. This chapter deals with the various articles of the directive, how effective they may be and any shortcomings of the directive. This chapter includes a comparative examination of In the concluding chapter, I reflect on the previous four chapters and see what ways in the future can be adopted in the future to enhance environment protection through criminal procedure and also by using other measures.
Description: M.JURIS.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 1958-2009
Dissertations - FacLawEC - 2009

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