Environmental crimes: Law enforcement issues

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Criminal Law, Law Faculty, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia

2 Department of Criminal Law, Faculty of Law Moscow State Law University O.E. Kutafina, Moscow, Russia


An analysis of the statistics of registered environmental crimes indicates a clear disproportion between the real state of affairs in ecology and counteraction to such crimes. One of the reasons for this imbalance may be the difficulty in qualifying and proving the crimes in question. When applying the norms on environmental crimes, it should be borne in mind that the overwhelming majority of them are blanket. Along with the massiveness of environmental legislation, there are also actually criminal law issues that give rise to practical problems. These include determination of the form of guilt, the use of evaluative concepts, the need for qualifications in combination with other crimes, the establishment of a causal relationship. The most important are the following steps in the field of combating environmental crime: 1) when determining the form of guilt, along with the content of the act, the methods of its commission and other signs of the objective side, consider the sanction for their commission;
2) the spread of the practice of establishing specific rates for calculating the amount of damage instead of evaluative concepts to unify judicial practice and bring it to uniformity; 3) improvement of calculation methods and practice of compensation for damage resulting from environmental offenses; and 4) minimization of the practice of constructing truncated corpus delicti or concretizing the concept of "threat" in such structures.


Borrillo, D 2011, Ecological crimes and environmental criminal law: Reflections on the environmental criminal law in the European Union. Revista de Estudos Constitucionais, Hermenêutica e Teoria do Direito (RECHTD), 3: 1-14.
Borzenkov, GN, Komisarov, VS 2002, The course of criminal law. 4. M: Moscow, Zertsalo-M, 468 p. (In Russian).
Bratashova, NI 2011, The concept of environmental crime. Legal culture, 1: 222–225.
Brinchuk, MM 2001, The role of the state in ensuring environmental safety. Environmental safety, problems, search, solutions. M: 106-119.
Brisman, A & South, N 2019, Green criminology and environmental crimes and harms. Sociology Compass, 13: e12650.
Cochran, JC, Lynch, MJ, Toman, EL & Shields, RT 2018, Court sentencing patterns for environmental crimes: Is there a “green” gap in punishment? Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 34: 37-66.
Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, 1997, On the procedure for the development of radiation-hygienic passports of organizations and territories". Consultant Plus computer-assisted legal research system. No. 93, January 28, 1997.
de Abreu, BR, Siqueira, GW, Liebl, H & Nascimento, MHR 2019, Difficulties in the Control of Environmental Crimes in the Amazon. International Journal of Advanced Engineering Research and Science, 6(5).
Explanatory note to the draft decree of the President of the Russian Federation On the approval of the Strategy of environmental safety of the Russian Federation until 2025 [Electronic resource]. Available at: http://www.mnr.gov.ru/docs/strategii_ i_doktriny/142854/
Federal Law No. 7-FZ of January 10, 2002, On Environmental Protection" // Consultant Plus computer-assisted legal research system.
Golubev, SI 2017, Environmental crimes. Specialized Training Course. Moscow, Russia, 339 p.
Görgényi, I 2018, Protection of the environment through criminal law considering the european standards= Környezetvédelmi büntetőjog az európai elvárásokra figyelemmel. AGRÁR-ÉS KÖRNYEZETJOG, 13: 46-80.
Greife, MJ & Maume, MO 2020, Do companies pay the price for environmental crimes? Consequences of criminal penalties on corporate offenders. Crime, Law and Social Change, 73: 337-356.
Kaufman, MA 2000, some questions of the application of the norms of the general and special parts of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. State and Law, 6: 56-60.
Kniazev, AG, Churakov, DB, Chuchaev, AI 2009, Environmental crimes: Scientific and practical guide. Moscow, Russia, 464 p.
Kopylov, MN 2004, Legal liability for environmental crimes. Moscow, Russia, 220 p.
Krasnova, IO 2014, Environmental safety as a legal category. Lex russica, 5: 543-555.
Kruglikov, LL 1999, Criminal law of Russia. Special Part. Moscow, Russia, 816 p.
Kudriavtsev, VL 2012, Environmental crimes: general characteristics. Bulletin of the South Ural Professional Institute, 1: 105-116.
Lopashenko, NA 2009, Environmental crimes: criminal law analysis. M: 352 p.
Mdehheb, Z, Elkihe, B, Bouamama, M, Hammouti, B & Delaunois, F 2020, The environmental management system and its application impacts on the business economy in the eastern region of Morocco, Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences, 18: 13-20
Mirzadeh Koohshahi, N & Goodarzi, A 2021, Abilities of European Court of Human Rights to protect environment from nuclear accidents, Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences, 19: 85-93
Orellana, MA 2004, Criminal punishment for environmental damage: individual and state responsibility at a crossroad. Georgetown Environmental Law Review,17: 673-696.
Paraschiv, DS 2015, Particularities on the subjects of liability for the acts that harm the environment 1. Research and Science Today, 219-223.
Petrova, TV 2005, Technical regulation as part of the system of legal regulation of relations in the field of environmental protection. Ecological Law. Special issue, 1.
Pleshakov, AM 1993, Environmental crimes: concepts and system of concepts. State and law, 8: 81-88.
Rarog, AI 2003, Subjective qualification of crimes. Saint Petersburg, Russia, 279 p.
Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1321 of November 3, 2018, "On approval of rates for calculating the amount of damage caused to aquatic biological resources". Order of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources No. 948 dated December 8, 2011 “On Approval of the Methodology for Calculating the Amount of Harm Caused to Hunting Resources”. ConsultantPlus computer-assisted legal research system.
Resolution of the Plenum of Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, 2012, “On the application by courts of legislation on liability for violations in the field of environmental protection and nature management". ConsultantPlus computer-assisted legal research system. Moscow, Russia, No. 21 October 18, 2012 (In Russian).
Statistical data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Reporting form, Moscow, Russia, No. 491.
Stoliarov, VB 2001, Criminal law analysis of environmental crimes. Environmental Law, 1: 9-15.
White, R 2013, Crimes against nature: Environmental criminology and ecological justice. Routledge.
Zhavoronkova, NG, Shpakovskii, IuG 2012, State administration in environmental safety: organizational and legal aspect. Bulletin of the Russian State Trade and Economic University, 7-8: 204-209.