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General Issue

The Ingredients of Success for Effective Restorative Justice Conferencing in an Environmental Offending Context (Advance)

Author

Hadeel Al-Alosi and Mark Hamilton

Environmental crimes can affect the air we breathe, water we drink, and the land we live on, making it essential to enforce environmental protection laws. Restorative justice conferencing provides a promising way to repair the harm occasioned, offering many benefits over traditional prosecution in court. However, it does have drawbacks and may not be suitable in all cases, raising the question of when it is appropriate to use when dealing with environmental offending. This article sheds light on the benefits and shortfalls of restorative justice in dealing with such offences, as well as proffering indicia that should be considered when assessing offender suitability to engage in conferencing – namely, offender responsibility, as evidenced through contrition and remorse. Such indicia can provide much-needed guidance to the courts, environmental agencies, and lawyers, which will be beneficial for the community and environment as a whole.

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