Edited by Stephen Tully
Chapter 47: European Community: Proposed Directive on the Protection of the Environment through Criminal Law, 2001 and 2002
Commentary: For the purpose of criminalising acts causing or likely to cause environmental damage, the Council of Europe in 1998 concluded the European Convention on the Protection of the Environment through Criminal Law (ETS No 172 (1998), not yet in force). No Member State signed it. In 2000, Denmark extracted its main elements and proposed a Council Framework Decision based upon the so-called third pillar of the EU Treaty (intergovernmental cooperation): Council Framework Decision 2003/80/JHA and OJEC L29/55 (2003). In 2001, the Commission proposed a Directive based upon the first pillar (EC law): EC Proposal for a Directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law COM(2001)139 and COM(2002)544FINAL as amended. In addition to the provisions extracted below, Article 5 contemplates governments reporting on implementation every three years. The Annex identifies EC provisions concerning environmental protection. In 2003, the Commission commenced proceedings (still ongoing) against the Council before the European Court of Justice alleging that it had breached the division of powers under the EU Treaty: Case C176/03 OJEC C135/21 (2003). See also, ‘Criminal Penalties in EU Member States’ Environmental Law’, Study 1 (2002) and Study 2 (2003); europa.eu.int/comm/ environment/crime. Article 1 – Purpose The purpose of this Directive is to ensure a more effective application of Community law on the protection of the environment by establishing throughout the Community a minimum set of criminal offences. Article 2 – Definitions For the purpose of this Directive (a) ‘legal person’ means any legal entity having such status under...
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