The use of restorative justice for environmental crimes in the European Union’s legal framework
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Restorative justice is a way of responding to criminal offences by balancing the needs of the community, the victims, and the offenders. It aims to bring all these parties together to collectively resolve the consequences of crime, including the harm caused, with a view to future generations. In the European Union (EU), restorative processes have not yet been used to deal with environmental crimes, notwithstanding a growing interest in exploring their potential. Therefore, this paper seeks to demonstrate that restorative justice solutions which address environmental crimes yields benefits for the victim, offender, community, and environment. Further, that these solutions enhance the current threshold of environmental protection granted by EU Member States’ penal systems, in compliance with the EU’s overarching principle of sustainable development.
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