Danish criminal environmental sanctions assessed

Independent study criticises "Kafkaesque" procedures and over-use of small default fines

The workings of Denmark's procedures for criminal sanctions for breaches of environmental laws have been criticised in a study carried out for the Danish EPA. Based on a review of 250 criminal cases in 2003-4, the study concludes that default fines are used too much and probably in unsuitable ways. Procedures are "almost Kafkaesque" in their complexity and are still based on a system dating from 1842, it notes. Prosecutors are rarely ambitious in seeking larger fines, the study notes. See study.

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