6 Pump Court

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6 Pump Court
Contributions by 6 Pump Court Experts

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Conducting an investigation into environmental crime
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the issues lawyers need to think about when advising a client following a waste offence, water offence, environmental permit offence, pollution or other environmental breach. It covers the need to prevent further environmental damage following an environmental incident, the duty to report the incident to environmental regulators such as the Environment Agency (EA) or local authority, the collection of evidence during the investigation, interaction with the investigating regulator including responding to EA investigations or other regulator investigations, and what to consider when conducting an internal investigation into an environmental breach such as the production of internal investigation reports into environmental offences.

Environment Agency—powers to investigate environmental crime
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the powers which the Environment Agency (EA) has to investigate and prosecute environmental crime in England. It covers powers under the Environment Act 1995, s 108 (section 108 powers), the application of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984), powers of entry, interviews under caution, compulsory interviews, power to obtain samples and documents as well as considering the offence of obstructing an officer.

Environmental prosecution and enforcement policy
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains who is responsible for the enforcement and prosecution of environmental laws in England and Wales. It also identifies the principles which drive environmental enforcement and prosecution policy as well as explaining the different enforcement options available to these regulators.

Natural Resources Wales—powers to investigate environmental crime
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the powers of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to investigate and prosecute environmental crime in Wales. It covers the role and remit of NRW, powers under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 (section 108 powers), the application of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984), powers of entry, interviews under caution, compulsory interviews as well as the criminal offence of obstructing an officer.

Sentencing individuals for environmental offences
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the approach the courts take when sentencing individuals found guilty of environmental crime and specifically breaches of section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) (unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste) and regulations 12 and 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations (illegal discharges to air, water and land). It explains the requirements of the Sentencing Council’s sentencing guidelines for these offences, provides examples of sentences imposed for environmental breaches and outlines the approach to mitigation in environmental sentencing. It describes the 12 steps to sentencing an individual commencing with compensation, and covering also confiscation, determining the offence category, determining the appropriate starting point, ensuring that the combination of financial orders (compensation, confiscation if appropriate, and fine) removes any economic benefit derived from the offending, considering other factors that may warrant adjustment of the proposed fine and any other factors which indicate a reduction, such as assistance to the prosecution, making any reduction to reflect guilty pleas, considering ancillary orders, applying the totality principle, giving reasons and considering any time spent on bail. It also contains some illustrative sentences imposed on individuals using these environmental offences sentencing guidelines.

Sentencing organisations for environmental offences
Practice notes

This Practice Note explains the approach the courts take when sentencing organisations found guilty of environmental crime and specifically breaches of section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990) (unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste) and regulations 12 and 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations (illegal discharges to air, water and land). It explains the requirements of the Sentencing Council’s sentencing guidelines for these offences, the factors which the court will consider on sentencing environmental breaches and the starting point for fines imposed on large corporate offenders. Mitigation features and aggravating features in environmental sentencing are covered as well as the ancillary orders which can also be made on conviction for environmental crimes are also highlighted.

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