Penal law has long been of central interest to the political debate on environmental regulation. The objective of this dissertation is to examine the role of penal law as a means of controlling environmentally hazardous economic activities. The focus of the work is directed at the general preventive effects of the threat of penal sanctioning.

The role of penal law is studied by means of a questionnaire distributed to super¬visory agencies, police and prosecutors in 1999, and by means of interviews conducted in 2002 with representatives from both public and private sector organisations. An additional analysis has been carried out of material collected by means of a questionnaire distri¬buted by the Prosecutor-General to supervisory agencies and public prosecutors’ offices in 1998, and another distributed by the National Police Board to police authorities also in 1998.

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