Frantsiforov Yu.V. Environmental Crimes: Criminal Law and Procedural Aspects

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2017.2.2

Yuriy V. Frantsiforov, Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Professor, Department of Criminal Procedure, Saratov State Law Academy, Volskaya St., 1, 410056 Saratov, Russian Federation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Introduction: the public danger of ecological crimes is caused by the destruction of the natural environment, damage to the human health and activities, as ecological offences are crimes against the human being and the ecological system which reduce the lives of people and the death of other carbon life forms on earth. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation in January - December 2016 there were registered 23,7 thousand environmental crimes. However, the statistics of environmental crimes reflects a small part of actually committed criminal offences against the public relations connected with the protection of the natural environment. The real imbalance of the situation in the environmental field and the state of the fight against environmental crimes is increasing annually, which is a consequence of the high degree of latency of these crimes, the weak state ecological control and protection of natural resources and the gaps in the environmental legislation.
In this regard, the objectives of this study are: the definition of the legal framework of ecological security of the Russian Federation, the criminal law analysis of environmental crimes, the development of recommendations of theoretical and practical nature for improving the criminal and criminal procedure legislation and the law enforcement associated with investigating environmental crimes.
Methods: the methodological basis of the study is a set of scientific methods; from among the general scientific methods there are applied the dialectical, logical, systemic, and structural-functional methods; from among the specific scientific methods there are applied the comparative law and technical methods, etc.
Results: in the work the author determines that environmental crimes in the criminal legislation are arranged in the order of those social values that are the hallmark of a democratic state: in the first row are the rights and freedoms of the individual, and then the interests of the society and state, because the natural environment is recognized as the biological basis of the health and life of the person, and that’s why environmental violations are crimes against the person committed in the form of impact on the environment. The article presents the analysis of peculiarities of investigating certain crimes involving the destruction of the natural environment, the damage to the health and activities of the human.
Conclusions: as a result of the study there are given the recommendations aimed at the effective investigation of environmental crimes, feasible only under condition of an integrated approach that involves not only investigating, but also using the knowledge of experts and specialists (e.g. to identify the species of plants and organisms, or the areas of environmental pollution by the products of human technogenic activities), and carrying out operational search actions.

Key words: environmental crime, environmental protection, environmental safety, investigation of environmental crimes, investigative work, protection of the victim’s rights.

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