Literature Review of Sentencing of Environmental and Wildlife Crimes

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This review has been commissioned by the Scottish Sentencing Council to summarise existing academic, legal and statistical work on the sentencing of environmental and wildlife offences. It will inform, support and form a part of the Council’s preparatory work for developing sentencing guidelines for use by the Scottish criminal courts in the disposition of environmental and wildlife offences. The wildlife offences discussed are those providing against cruelty to wild animals, poaching, trade in endangered species, those providing for animal conservation and those providing for protection and conservation of habitats The review will not consider offences providing against cruelty or neglect of ‘protected animals’, essentially non-wild animals. The review of the practice of prosecution and sentencing in Scotland with regard to environmental and wildlife offences, respectively, is structured in a specific order. In the first place, the emergence of these types of offences are discussed in a historical perspective, with reference also to the European and global regulatory context in which they appear. Secondly, the legal definition and classification of the covered offences are then discussed, against the background of a criminological assessment of the associated socio-environmental harms. Finally, empirical data regarding the actual practice of prosecution and sentencing of these offences are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
Commissioning bodyScottish Sentencing Council
Number of pages52
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameResearch Publications
PublisherScottish Sentencing Council


  • environmental crimes
  • Scottish Sentencing Council
  • wildlife offences
  • cruelty to animals
  • poaching
  • wildlife trade
  • animal conservation
  • wildlife conservation
  • Scotland


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