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The Statement of Prosecution Policy for the Environmental Protection Department

The Statement of Prosecution Policy for the Environmental Protection Department

The Statement of Prosecution Policy for the Environmental Protection DepartmentThe decision to prosecute for an environmental offence is an important one. It is important not only to the alleged offender, but also to anyone potentially affected by such an act, and ultimately the paramount if we are to protect and maintain the quality of our living environment. A decision to prosecute should only be taken after the evidence and all the surrounding factors, including those that may be favourable to the offender, have been thoroughly and carefully evaluated. The departmental prosecutors of the Central Prosecution Unit of the Environmental Protection Department are responsible for making this decision.

A prosecutor must show good judgement, have complete integrity, demonstrate a strong sense of fair play and ultimately be able to decide what is right and what is wrong. The prosecutors of the Environmental Protection Department are trained to conduct their prosecutorial duties with the necessary skill and determination. In performing their role they also have the support and assistance of the professional counsel and staff of the Department of Justice. It is nevertheless important that our departmental prosecutors can operate within a clearly defined and understandable departmental prosecution policy.

It has never been the case that those suspected of environmental offences will automatically face prosecution. In coming to a decision, the prosecutor must examine all the factors and the circumstances of the case, including the sufficiency of the evidence and whether a prosecution is in the interest of the public. No two cases are ever exactly the same and so the prosecutor must exercise an important discretion, on behalf of the community, as to whether a prosecution should be instituted and decide, once the process has begun, how a prosecution will be conducted.

EPD exercises sound judgement in the enforcement of environmental laws, and publishes conviction records on monthly basis.
EPD exercises sound judgement in the  enforcement of environmental laws
, and publishes conviction records on monthly basis.

The purpose of The Statement of Prosecution Policy for the Environmental Protection Department is not only to ensure there is fair and consistent decision making amongst the departmental prosecutors responsible for environmental prosecutions, but also to make the whole process more understandable and open to the public.

R.J.S. LAW, JP
Director of Environmental Protection
September 2003

 

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Friday, 24 July, 2015