Environmental crime prosecutions in Ireland, 2004–2014

Michael J. Lynch*, Paul B. Stretesky, Michael A. Long

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increased interest in environmental crime and green criminology, few studies address the use of criminal penalties in response to environmental crimes. A handful of published examples employ data from the United States or the Flanders court system, and little is known about how other nations punish environmental violations. Addressing this issue, the current study examined the use of criminal environmental penalties in Ireland from 2004 to 2014. Few criminal environmental cases (N = 147) and few environmental offenders (N = 154) were represented in these data over time. Consistent with the expectations of green/environmental crime researchers, mean penalties for environmental violations, which in Ireland only include fines and investigative cost recovery penalties, were rather small. Unlike in the US or Flanders, the majority of offenders were corporate offenders as opposed to individuals. Contextual factors related to Ireland’s economy, history and use of criminal sanctions should be used to interpret these factors, and prevent generalising from these data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-293
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
Issue number4
Early online date13 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


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