The ENVIRONMENTAL LAWFORCE DATABASE is freely available for scientific research and educational purposes. Use of these data – no matter how – has to be accompanied by a reference to this website and the name ENVIRONMENTAL LAWFORCE DATABASE must always be mentioned as data source.
With respect to the criminal sanctioning track the database includes offenses of environmental pollution law applied in the Flemish Region (Belgium). The data collection focused on the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Gent. This jurisdiction includes seven courts of first instance: Brugge, Dendermonde, Gent, Ieper, Kortrijk, Oudenaarde and Veurne. The judgments produced in the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 as well as the appeal judgments from 2003 up to 2007 are included in the dataset. Moreover, the dataset also includes information on the pre-court decisions, i.e. the treatment of cases by the public prosecutor’s offices. Specifically the dataset includes discretionary dismissals and settlement offers made by the public prosecutor’s offices in Gent and Kortrijk following cases that arrived in 2005 and discretionary dismissals and settlement offers made by the public prosecutor’s office in Ieper decided on in 2005.
With respect to the administrative sanctioning track the fining practice based on the Environmental Enforcement Act 1999 in the Brussels Capital Region was studied. The database includes the decisions to impose and not to impose fines made by the Brussels Institute of Environmental Management (BIM) in 2004, 2005 and 2006 as well as the appeal decisions by the Environmental College from 2004 till 2007. With respect to the administrative preliminary track the administrative dismissals in BIM-cases from 2004 till 2006 are included in the dataset.
The databank can be used in several ways:
- To investigate the texts (scanned pdf-file in Dutch) for particular decisions
- To generate datasets (*.csv) for statistical analysis (in English).
- To consult cards with important characteristics of the decisions (in English)
The database that is made available on this website is an important output from the research project Environmental Law Enforcement: a Comparison of Practice in the Criminal and the Administrative Tracks financed by the Institute for Encouraging Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT ) with a duration of four years (March 2007 - March 2011).
More information on the research project can be found on the project website www.environmental-lawforce.be.