Environmental crime and justice: March 2015

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Theme editorial: ‘Justice for All’

Apple globe mini Our environmental crime and justice theme has been edited by Professor Hazel Croall. In her editorial, she says:
“Although not generally seen as a traditional area of crime and criminal justice, the impact of environmental harms is enormous and they are increasingly viewed as important areas for criminal justice intervention.”

Environmental crime and justice

Environmental Justice: the challenge posed by environmental crime for criminal justice.

“In the 1990s and early 2000s, NGOs such as Friends of the Earth Scotland, managed to raise the profile and legal standing of the concept of environmental justice across the U.K. However, in subsequent years and in the context of an economic recession, governments everywhere have become wary of environmental protection measures in case these are seen as a burden on business and the economy.”
Professor Nigel South of the University of Essex has published widely on the topic of environmental crime and green criminology.

E.coli O157 and the law; a personal view

“E.coli O157 infections in humans are commoner in the UK than in any other European country, and they are a lot commoner in Scotland than in England: we have the highest incidence of infections in the world.”
Hugh Pennington is Professor Emeritus of Bacteriology, University of Aberdeen.

Reporting on Environmental Crime and Justice: an interview with Rob Edwards

Photo of Rob Edwards
Rob Edwards’s Sunday Herald columns and blog will be familiar to those interested in the environment. He is however, modest about what he, as a journalist, ‘knows’. Hazel Croall, theme editor and Mary Munro, managing editor of the SJM held a wide ranging conversation with him in early 2015.

The Farmer as Environmental Criminal: a Scottish perspective.

“Whilst it is relatively easy to keep out ordinary, predatory criminals from farms and rural locations and thus control crime it is less easy to prevent insider type environmental crimes. The idea of the farmer as an environmental criminal is a relatively recent concept . . . “
Robert Smith is Professor of Enterprise and Innovation, University of the West of Scotland, Dumfries.

Pollution, ‘crime’ and ill-health impacts: the problems of effective control and regulation.

Pollution mini
“Large polluters, shielded by both corporate lawyers and indeed meaningless forms of corporate social responsibility, awards and tick-box paper oversight, all too often escape accountability, despite culpability.”
Professor Andrew Watterston is director of the Centre for Public Health and Population Health Research professor of Health Effectiveness at the University of Stirling.

Mucking In: care farming and rehabilitation

“Care farming is an alternative type of social service that is starting to grow in Scotland. A care farm is one that is used to promote the mental and physical wellbeing of people through the working of the land.”
Caroline Matheson is development consultant with Care Farming Scotland.

World Wide Waste: how Scotland’s environmental regulator (SEPA) is tackling waste crime at home and abroad

“When there is money to be made criminals can be very inventive, and this means that organisations such as SEPA have to be inventive in how they tackle the problem.”
Gayle Howard is SEPA’s communications officer.

Gear conflict in the Scottish inshore fishery: is there a legal solution?

“It took just a week. On the lumpy grey water of a Scottish west coast sea loch, the skipper of a twin-rigged trawler towed weighted nets across the seabed for prawns for six days. As a result, two fishermen, fishing in same area for the same prawns, lost several thousand pounds worth of gear: creel pots, buoys and ropes snagged in the trawler’s net and towed away . . . “Picture of fishing gear
Nick Underdown is marine policy and engagement officer for Scottish Environment LINK.

The Illegal Killing of Birds of Prey in Scotland: an RSPB perspective.

“The RSPB Scotland Investigations Unit exists to provide expert assistance and support to police, the Scottish Government, the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service and other authorities in assisting the detection and prosecution of wildlife crime offenders.”
Ian Thomson is head of investigations, RSPB Scotland.

Time to get Aarhus in order: access to justice in environmental matters in Scotland

“Ten years on from the ratification of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, the UK remains in breach of provisions under its third, and perhaps most important, pillar requiring legal remedies.”
Mary Church is head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Current issues

‘Fair enough’: long-term prisoners talk about their sentence

“Long-term (over 4 years) imprisonment is, after life imprisonment, the most serious sentence that courts can impose in Scotland. Despite this, we know very little about how people who are imprisoned long-term think about their sentence.”
Marguerite Schinkel is a research fellow at the University of Glasgow.

The right to vote: Albie Sachs and Andrew Coyle discuss prisoner voting rights in South Africa and their denial in the UK.

Prisoners voting
In December 2014 Justice Albie Sachs, formerly of the South African Constitional Court and a key figure in the long struggle against apartheid, gave the Nelson Mandela – Oliver Tambo lecture at Strathclyde University. In questions following the lecture, Professor Andrew Coyle asked about prisoner voting rights in South Africa. This is a note of their exchange.

Included and connected: why the new Bill could make all the difference to children with parents at risk of custody

“‘Claire’ was beaming when Jim Murphy MP and Mary Fee MSP listened to her story at the launch of the Support for Children (Impact of Parental Imprisonment) (Scotland) Bill in early February.”
Sarah Roberts is Families Outside’s child and family support manager.

History of crime and justice in Scotland

Sexual offences against children in Victorian Glasgow: the ‘abominable superstition’ and the ‘cure’ of sexually transmitted disease.

Lock Hospital mini
“The term ‘child prostitution’ may not have been recognised by Victorian society, however, children were used for deviant, unusual and curative services, certainly in the brothels and bawdy-houses of London and other large industrial cities and ports.”
Anna Forrest is a former librarian of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Her first article for SJM was published in our November issue: The ‘Glasgow System’: class, gender, poverty, prostitution and the policing of venereal disease in 19thc Glasgow.


Challenges in governing the international trade in hazardous waste

Hazardous waste mini
“The deliberate transportation of hazardous waste to countries that do not have the necessary processing facilities is a major form of environmental crime.”
Lieselot Bisschop is assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, USA) and post-doctoral research affiliate of the Research Fund (FWO) at Ghent University (Belgium).

Returning Citizens: a quiet revolution in prisoner reintegration

“This article offers a brief overview of a desistance-oriented approach to supporting community reintegration in the state of Tasmania, Australia.”
Hannah Graham is a Research Fellow in Criminology at the University of Stirling, and a member of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR). She previously lectured in Criminology and Sociology at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Steve Graham is a Reintegration and Transition Consultant in the Department of Justice Tasmania Prison Service, Australia. He also produces the non-profit reintegration resources website www.reintegrateinfo.com. Jonathon Field is a Manager in the Sentence Management, Support and Reintegration unit in the Department of Justice Tasmania Prison Service, Australia.


Left Field? Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice 2007-14 interviewed by Nancy Loucks

Read the edited version or listen to the complete interview on Soundcloud.

Take 5


Should environmental justice and crimes relating to the environment, be a priorities for Scotland’s criminal justice system?’

Responses from MSPs Patrick Harvie, Sarah Boyack, Margaret Mitchell, Alison McInnes and Richard Lochhead to our question.


A week in the life of a domestic abuse advocacy worker

Kate Graham works for ASSIST, the specialist independent service focused on reducing the risk to and improving the safety of victims of domestic abuse. She is based in Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Book reviews

Jo Buckle of Glasgow Caledonian University reviews Brisman A and South N (2014) Green Cultural Criminology: Constructions of Environmental Harm, Consumerism, and Resistance to Ecocide. Routledge; 162pp. 9790415630740 (pbk) and South N and Brisman A (eds) (2014) Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology. Routledge; 448pp. 9781138846692 (pbk).

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