Some Thoughts on the Role of the Criminal Law in Deterring Environmental Pollution

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb025720
Pages271-275
Published date01 January 1996
Date01 January 1996
AuthorMichael G. Faure
Journal of Financial Crime Vol. 3 No. 3 Environmental Crime
ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME
Some Thoughts on the Role of the Criminal Law in
Deterring Environmental Pollution
Michael G. Faure
In the theory on the usefulness of criminal sanc-
tions several reasons are advanced why environ-
mental pollution should be criminalised. One of
the arguments is that the severe sanctions offered
by the criminal law are also used to protect classic
interests such as property, health and honour.
These were the values that were protected by the
criminal law in most of the penal codes that were
enacted in the last century. The argument can
indeed be made that given the deteriorating state
of the environment in many industrialised coun-
tries,
a clean environment is nowadays at least as
important as the other just-mentioned values that
were previously protected by the criminal law.
Hence, if the criminal law is used to protect these
classic individual values it should also be used to
protect environmental interests. Indeed, most of
these individual values (such as health and prop-
erty) cannot even be enjoyed if the basic require-
ments concerning a clean environment have not
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