Why should criminal law be used to enforce environmental violations? Aren’t administrative sanctions, particularly administrative fines, more efficient to use? This book examines the question why – from an economic perspective – society should enforce certain violations through criminal law, while others through private or administrative law. The findings of this analysis show that the enforcement through criminal law should be used only in limited circumstances, i.e. when (1) harm is large and/or immaterial and/or diffuse and/or remote; (2) stigma is desired; (3) the probability of detection is low; and (4) the criminal enforcement costs are sufficiently low. Under these circumstances, criminal enforcement seems to be the efficient instrument to use. This framework was applied to the enforcement of environmental violations in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and the Flemish Region in Belgium. The empirical assessment of these four jurisdictions showed that there is definitely a role for administrative sanctions, which could be a cost-effective instrument to deal with environmental violations.
The relevant factors in assessing whether administrative fines are welfare enhancing are the distribution of abatement costs among firms, the marginal enforcement costs and the probability of detection and sanctioning. The analysis shows that in order to benefit from having two separate systems of laws, namely the criminal and the administrative, procedural differences should be maintained, since they have an economic justification.
About the author
Katarina Svatikova was a PhD researcher at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, taking part in the European Doctorate of Law and Economics (EDLE). She joined RILE (Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics) after finishing her MSc degree in Economics and Law (cum laude) from the Utrecht University. She also holds a MA degree in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University (Budapest), and a BA degree in Social Science (University College Utrecht). She currently works as a consultant in the energy & environmental field. This book corresponds to her doctoral thesis.
Chapter 1. Introduction (p. 1)
Chapter 2. Criminal Legal Theory: Why Criminal Law? (p. 13)
Chapter 3. Criminological Perspectives on Criminalization (p. 43)
Chapter 4. Economic Criteria for Criminalization (p. 55)
Chapter 5. Criminal or Administrative Law to Protect the Environment? Evidence from Western Europe (p. 87)
Chapter 6. Complementary Use of Administrative and Criminal Fines in Enforcing Environmental Regulations (p. 121)
Chapter 7. Conclusions (p. 147)
References (p. 159)
Parts of this book have been made open access. We make chapters open access because they are particularly topical, or provide a useful introduction to the subject. They may be available for a limited time or indefinitely. Some books are entirely and permanently open access.
The series European Studies in Law and Economics is devoted to further the understanding of Law and Economics in Europe. The volumes published in this series present an interdisciplinary perspective on the effects of laws on people’s behaviour and on the economic system. The ample topics address a wide audience, including policy makers, legislators, economists, lawyers and judges. The series is peer-reviewed.
The series is an initiative of the PhD programme ‘European Doctorate in Law and Economics’ (EDLE). The EDLE is the academic response to the increasing importance of the economic analysis of law in Europe. The programme is offered by the Universities of Bologna, Hamburg and Rotterdam in association with the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai (India). PhD students receive the unique opportunity to study law and economics in three different countries. The programme prepares economists and lawyers of high promise for an academic career in a research field of growing importance or for responsible positions in government, research organisations and international consulting firms.
The European Commission sponsors the EDLE as an excellence programme under the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scheme. For further information please visit: www.edle-phd.eu.
The editorial board of the series consists of Prof. Dr. Michael G. Faure (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Prof. Dr. Luigi A. Franzoni (University of Bologna) and Prof. Dr. Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg).
With a subscription to the series you enjoy a 15% discount on each volume!