EU Directive 2008/99/EC
Directive 2008/99/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on the protection of the environment through criminal law


Directive 2008/99 on the protection of the environment through criminal law requires EU Member States to criminalize a variety of acts, some of which are defined by reference to EC or national legislation listed annexes longer than the main body of the Directive. Many of these, in turn, are based on international conventions or obligations. Incitement, aiding and abetting must also be criminalized. Although the Directive does not require the same of attempts, the definitions of offences can often be met when a negligent, otherwise innocuous act such as the transport of waste or the operation of a plant in which dangerous substances are stored, is likely to cause damage. As the Directive predates the Lisbon changes to criminal competence and is based on the ostensibly non-criminal Article 175(1) EC, no penalties are specified beyond the requirement of "effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties". For similar reasons, although the provision on the liability of legal persons is based on the standard set in Framework Decision 2005/667/JHA (representation/authority/control of a person acting for the benefit of the legal person), the specific penalties provision is truncated to contain only a reference to "effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties". 


Samuli Miettinen, Criminal Law and Policy in the European Union (Routledge: 2013, New York) p. 166. 


EU Parliament and EU Council
Date / journal vol no.
Signed: 19 November 2008 Entered into Force: 26 December 2008