in partnership with
For the first time ever in the environmental sector, law is deconstructed into data, setting the foundation for an unprecedented ability to conduct smart searches within the laws, compare key legal concepts among jurisdictions and assess the quality of legal systems to effectively manage societal challenges. All frameworks are embedded within data visualizations and GIS tools that allow the user to ‘see’ the law, escalating to another level of legal understanding.
For the specific topic of Environmental Crime, TOCLaw: Environment will be able to provide answers such as:
- In which countries is environmental crime considered a ‘serious offense’ (with a penalty of 4 years or more of a prison sentence by UNTOC standards);
- Does country X or country Y criminalize wildlife trafficking? What about illegal fishing?
- Where are the vulnerable points subject to criminal exploitation within a certain region?
- Which country along the ivory trafficking route has the weakest laws regarding environmental crime?
The system plans to expand to include more content types in the future including national authorities in charge of every topic, exemplary judiciary cases, and topic-specific e-learning materials. As shown in some screenshots, maps and visuals are a vital part of TOCLaw: Environment and Legal Atlas as a whole. All legal content is mapped, making it possible for users to find data by simply clicking from one country to another.
The maps can also be used to display related enforcement information; e.g., transit maps and free trade zone locations for Customs, or species population maps to assist with determining legal status based on potential source.
Visuals ensure that only the key information is presented and displayed, so the user can digest information from dense legal documents in additional ways leading to a strategic overview of the current legal context, to allow policy development and priority driven results.
This ECrime Framework is expected to be publicly launched at the fall of 2017. This partnership will initially develop the Environmental Crime topic for 165 national jurisdictions.
Legal Intelligence to Boost Practice
The real-time analysis of legal data facilitates more effective approaches to combatting environmental crime as governments and officials can be proactive instead of reactive.
Ideally, the community at large can work toward an effective global legal framework on environmental crime. One step in this goal is to include environmental crimes within national criminal legal frameworks. This tool will help partners identify regions and subject areas of improvement so that we can meet this goal.
It is in part because of weak laws and enforcement that transnational organized environmental crime is both highly prolific and highly profitable.
One important way we can combat this criminal enterprise effectively is through stronger laws and effective enforcement. Simultaneously, we also don’t have to wait for stronger laws to act. We can find and use already existing laws and provisions to prosecute environmental crimes. We must have a greater practical understanding on the laws to improve, enforce, and implement underutilized legislation to combat organized environmental crime – this tool answers those needs.
Practical Uses for a Variety of Stakeholders
How can TOCLaw: Environment benefit you? Some examples of the variety of possible uses:
- Training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges on the laws at their disposal to combat environmental crime
- Insights as to which laws and provisions already exist, but are underutilized, in environmental crime cases such as money laundering and corruption provisions, monetary rewards, etc.
- Legislation and its implementation of CITES, UNTOC, UNCAC, and other related treaties
- Insight into extraterritorial jurisdiction and extradition agreements.
- Quick reference for violations of far-reaching laws such as the Lacey Act.
- Comparing and contrasting neighboring countries interest on a specific environmental crime legislative provision.