European court validates environmental crime initiative

In a surprise judgment, the European Court of Justice has rejected claims by member states that there was no legal basis for a proposed Directive on criminal environmental offences. The decision in Commission and Parliament v Council of the European Union (C-176/03 13 September 2005) seems to reflect the Court's concern at continued failures to implement Community environmental Directives. It will encourage both the Commission and the European Parliament to continue pressing for a Directive on the subject.

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