Vol. 6, Issue 5 (2020)
Making the Punishment fit the crime in environmental pollution control and governance: A case for Nigeria
Author(s): Emmanuel U Onyeabor, Anthony C Nnaji
Abstract: In order to vindicate relevant interests in environmental governance the legislature enacted a variety of environmental crimes. These crimes have failed to base punishment according to the seriousness of a harm to the environment as they have provisions for seemingly blanket sanctions. Since environmental harm do vary in seriousness, the authorised punishments ought to reflect this reality. This paper argued that a graduated system of punishment based on the seriousness of harm to the environment should be reflected in environmental criminal law. It further argued that a graduated system of punishment should be more effective in environmental governance than a blanket sanction and that the punishment should fit the crime. This guides against overcharging or undercharging defendants in specific cases.