Reforming Wildlife Law: The Law Commission Proposals for Wildlife Law and Wildlife Sanctions
This article critically examines a an ongoing review commenced in 2012 by the United Kingdom’s Law Commission into new wildlife laws for England and Wales by considering four interlinked elements of the process. First, it outlines the underlying subject matter and regulatory aims of wildlife law. It then describes the scope of the Law Commission’s Wildlife Law Project, identifying some of the key problem areas it sought to address and referencing its consultation process conducted in the later part of 2012. Next the article summarises the Law Commission’s view for a new wildlife law regime. The fourth element explores the current and potential roles of criminalising and non-criminalising sanctions. With a continued focus on the underlying subject matter and regulatory aims, discussion centres on the greater use of non-criminalising civil sanctions in wildlife law. The paper supports the Law Commission’s argument that the creation of a civil sanctions regime is not tantamount to decriminalisation in its true sense but simply widens the available regulatory enforcement options.
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