Using restorative justice in cases of environmental harm

Environmental crimes could be considered to be "victimless" but is this really the case? The harm caused often affects many people and the communities in which they live and work. Given that the harm caused by environmental "crimes" is often irreparable and, because there is often no identifiable victim, the justice system traditionally relies on punitive measures to hold those causing harm to account, however, it could be argued that this is not the most effective way of repairing the harm caused. RJC member, Lawrence Kershen, has recently written an article on use of restorative justice in cases of environmental harm which is intended for a booklet being published by the European Forum for Restorative Justice on Restorative Environmental Justice.

Lawrence asks, “Implementing restorative justice in situations where environmental harm has been caused will continue to be a subject of critical and increasing importance. I would be very grateful to hear about any examples that you may know of, whether small or large scale."

Have you used restorative approaches in cases involving environmental harm? We would like to hear about your experiences and views, comment below or contact Lawrence directly at