Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Valsamis Mitsilegas, Maria Bergström and Theodore Konstadinides
Chapter 13: The relationship between EU criminal law and environmental law
The chapter focuses on the relationship between EU criminal law and environmental law in the light of the link between EU and international environmental law. The analysis firstly deals with the constitutional controversy with regard to the use of the protection of the environment as a legitimising factor for the attribution to the Union of competence to define criminal offences and apply criminal sanctions. Secondly, the chapter examines the interactions between EU law and the international agreements containing criminal prohibitions for the protection of the environment (CITES, Basel Convention and MARPOL). It demonstrates that both the environmental crime and the ship-source pollution Directives constitute a step forward in the criminalization of certain activities harmful to the environment. Finally, the chapter investigates the possibility that a more extensive criminalization could lead to an over-criminalization in the field of the environment and concludes that this possibility exists in light of the Intertanko case.
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