Sensitising Green Criminology to Procedural Environmental Justice: A Case Study of First Nation Consultation in the Canadian Oil Sands


Procedural environmental justice refers to fairness in processes of decision-making. It recognises that environmental victimisation, while an injustice in and of itself, is usually underpinned by unjust deliberation procedures. Although green criminology tends to focus on the former—distributional dimension of environmental justice—this article draws attention to its procedural counterpart. In doing so, it demonstrates how the notions of justice-as-recognition and justice-as-participation are jointly manifested within its conceptual boundaries. This is done by using the consultation process that occurs with indigenous peoples on proposed oil sands projects in Northern Alberta, Canada, as a case study. Drawing from ‘elite’ interviews, the article illustrates how indigenous voices have been marginalised and their Treaty rights misrecognised within this consultation process. As such, in seeking to understand the procedural determinants of distributional injustice, the article aims to encourage broader green criminological scholarship to do the same.

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Published: 2018-12-01
Pages:67 to 82
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Author Biography

Lecturer, School of Social and Political Sciences