Thursday, September 22, 2016

Call for Papers: Transnational and International Environmental Crime: Synergies, Priorities and Challenges

The Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law and Justice at the University of Lincoln has issued a call for papers for a symposium on "Transnational and International Environmental Crime: Synergies, Priorities and Challenges." Here's the call:

Transnational and International Environmental Crime: Synergies, Priorities and Challenges


One-Day Symposium
Wednesday 15 February 2017
University of Lincoln, UK

The September 2016 Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation published by the Office of the ICC Prosecutor (OTP) indicating a willingness to investigate “Rome Statute crimes that are committed by means of, or that result in, inter alia, the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land” (para 41) is a timely reminder as to the devastating, global and human impact of environmental crime. Of course, the scope of ICC jurisdiction over such crime is limited and the thresholds required likely to be equally onerous. Nevertheless, it reflects a growing imperative; as the 2016 UNEP-Interpol Report, The Rise of Environmental Crime, noted: “Environmental crime is vastly expanding and increasingly endangering not only wildlife populations but entire ecosystems, sustainable livelihoods and revenue streams to governments” (p.7). Moreover, the UN Security Council has also recognised the complex links between poaching, wildlife trafficking and threats to international peace and security (see, for instance, UNSC Res 2134 (2014) (Central African Republic) and 2136 (2014) (Democratic Republic of Congo)).

This one-day symposium hosted by the Lincoln Centre for Environmental Law and Justice, University of Lincoln, UK will explore transnational environmental crime, the possibility for investigation and prosecution under the Rome Statute, and other legal and administrative responses to environmental harm. It will reflect the nuanced interplay between individual, corporate and sometimes State interests in environmental harm and the commission of “environmental crime” – a term itself which requires further clarification and is open to contestation. Not all environmental harm, for instance, is appropriately criminalised or viewed as requiring criminal sanctions. Land-grabbing, for instance, is a highly emotive subject, but the contours of its illegality and its contribution to other illegal acts (eg. crimes against humanity) is far from clear.

Papers are encouraged on the general themes, as well as on particular environmental crimes (eg illegal logging, illegal fishing wildlife poaching, illegal shipments of hazardous waste). The symposium will actively consider prosecutorial strategy, international strategies for cooperation, the role of the Rome Statute in environmental crime, and the nature and status of victims in environmental crimes. As the Policy Paper on Case Selection itself suggests, not all serious crimes under national law will be, or can be, selected for OTP investigation and prosecution but nonetheless it is desirable that such criminal systems operate in a complementary manner “to combat impunity” (para 7).

To submit your paper for the event, e-mail a title and a 300 word abstract to Centre Co-Director Prof. Matthew Hall at the University of Lincoln at (@profmatthewhall)