Presentation on theme: "Prosecuting a suspected case of illegal traffic Workshop for Central and Eastern Europe countries on the prosecution of illegal traffic of hazardous and."— Presentation transcript:
Prosecuting a suspected case of illegal traffic Workshop for Central and Eastern Europe countries on the prosecution of illegal traffic of hazardous and other wastes under the Basel Convention Juliette Kohler UNEP Secretariat of the Basel Convention 26 and 27 June 2012
Contents 1.Why prosecute? 2.Defining elements of the crime 3.Whom to prosecute and for what? 4.Obtaining evidence 5.Cooperation and assistance 6.Penalties and sentencing 7.Staying informed about illegal traffic
Why prosecute? Why do people carry out illegal shipments? –To save money or to make profits at the expense of human health and the environment –By ignorance of applicable laws and regulations
Why prosecute? Why enforce laws pertaining to illegal traffic of waste? –Negative consequences on our health and our environment –Deter and punish violations of environmental law –Strengthen the credibility of environmental requirements and the rule of law –Ensure fairness to those complying with the law (equal level playing field)
Administrative sanctions Usually applicable where there are deficiencies in the application of the specific movement and notification process De minimis offence (eg. low quantity of waste involved) Expeditious procedure Possible consequences: –notices requiring actions to be taken (or ceased) –fines or sanctions (eg. loss of license) Why prosecute?
Civil measures To address reparation of the damage caused (restoration and/or compensation) The flexibility of civil measures may help to promote improved compliance without involving the legal requirements of prosecution Civil undertakings and outcomes may be more proportionate, cost-effective and can be dispensed more rapidly Why prosecute?
Criminal prosecution –Jurisdiction? –Trigger: ex officio or following a complaint? –Opportunity of prosecuting? (if applicable) Weigh the extent of the damage against that of the culpable conduct Which jurisdiction has the best chances of leading to a conviction? Consider the reasonable chances of success of a prosecution, eg. –complexity of the case –what are the possible, and most appropriate, remedies –have other offences under domestic legislation been committed? –the availability of resources to conduct investigations and gather evidence Why prosecute?
Constitutive elements of the crime Whether a substance or good is a waste Whether the waste is hazardous or other Whether a transboundary movement has occurred Whether any of the elements in (a) to (e) in Article 9, paragraph 1 is deemed to have taken place Defining elements of the crime
Proving the existence of a waste that is hazardous or other Often difficult to prove as the definition relies partly on subjective elements (the intention to dispose) Wastes are often mixtures of various substances, whose contaminating or hazardous components may only be revealed by further laboratory testing Legal frameworks sometimes do not provide sufficient clarity Defining elements of the crime
Whether a transboundary movement has occurred: what is the State of export, are their transit States? Defining elements of the crime
Illegal traffic? If one of the elements listed in Article 9, paragraph 1 is satisfied, the transboundary movement is deemed to be illegal traffic a)Without notification b)Without consent c)With consent obtained through falsification, misrepresentation or fraud d)Doesnt conform with the documents e)Results in deliberate disposal Defining elements of the crime
1. 1. Who can potentially be prosecuted: individuals or legal entities? Generator, exporter, importer, intermediaries (freight forwarder, broker, shipping facilitator, coordinator etc), shipper/transporter, disposer, public authorities 2. For what offenses? Offenses in addition to the illegal traffic: e.g. theft, assault, falsification of records, forgery, manslaughter 3. With what level of culpability? Principal offender committing the crime Accessory to the crime (offender aiding or abetting to commit the crime of illegal traffic) Offender conspiring or attempting to commit or participating in the commission of the crime Whom to prosecute and for what?
Cooperation between investigating authorities, enforcement agencies and prosecutors within and between different jurisdictions Case management Article 9, paragraph 5: …Parties shall co-operate with a view to achieving the objects of this article. Obtaining evidence
See Basel Convention Training Manual on Illegal Traffic for Customs and Enforcement Agencies for guidance on the collection of evidence Obtaining evidence
Different approaches exist in relation to investigation and enforcement –European Union: overarching regulation to implement the Basel Convention –England and Wales: Environment Agencys own prosecution service –The Netherlands: environmental crimes as economic crimes; all criminal investigations overseen by Prosecution service –Norway: National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime Cooperation and assistance
International cooperation: obtaining evidence from abroad 1.Mutual legal assistance Mutual obligations arising from bilateral or multilateral agreements 2.Informal cooperation (mutual administrative assistance) Between law enforcement agencies (underpinned by a memorandum of understanding) To exchange information taken from public access databases in the country concerned Cooperation and assistance
Sentences are a matter for the relevant court or tribunal Maximum penalties are typically found in the relevant national legislation Mitigating and aggravating circumstances may be taken into account Sentencing guidelines are available in some jurisdictions Consistency in sentencing is important Penalties and sentencing
a)Basel Convention website b)ECOLEX c)Institutions involved in enforcement d)National associations of lawyers e)Specialized training from governmental and non-governmental organizations f)Judges Programme (UNEP) g)Prosecutor and judge networks Staying informed about illegal traffic
For more information: See the Instruction manual for the legal profession on the prosecution of illegal traffic (UNEP/CHW.10/12/Add.1)