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NCJ Number: 154241 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Altercations with Government Agencies: Prosecution Policy in Environmental Offenses
Author(s): W M Kleiman; E A I M van den Berg; E J A van der Linden
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 75
Sponsoring Agency: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Sale Source: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
Research and Documentation Centre
Box 20301
2500 Eh the Hague,
Type: Survey
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This empirical study analyzed the Dutch Public Prosecutor's policy of prosecuting environmental offenses committed by agencies of the government.
Abstract: The study was based on interviews with environmental prosecutors at 19 district courts and an examination of 56 prosecution records of environmental offenses committed by government agencies. The results indicated that prosecutors encounter two problems in cases involving the government. First, government agencies should be partners in law enforcement; however, the prosecution of government agencies (which in this study mostly involved communities) severely disrupts this partnership. Second, prosecutors find it difficult to determine whether a government agency has acted in "fulfillment of government responsibilities," in which case prosecution is not possible. Compared to general cases, cases against government agencies were more likely to be dismissed, less likely to be settled out of court, and less likely to involve a notice of summons accusation. Sanctions were noticeably milder than those imposed on private parties. Although this practice violates the principle of equality, it upholds the implicit principle of discretionary powers. The study recommends that the Public Prosecutor should draft more useful guidelines for prosecuting government agencies. 22 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Environmental offenses; Foreign government officials; Local government; Prosecutorial discretion
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