Administrative Dependence of Environmental Criminal LawMeral Balcı
The aim of this paper is to examine administrative dependence, which is one of the important issues of environmental criminal law. Although there are extensive studies on the subject in German Environmental Criminal Law, there are few studies examining the subject in Turkish law. In this paper, first of all, the necessity of criminal law intervention in the protection of the environment will be discussed. This point is important because it is necessary to establish that the tendency toward the protection of the environment only within the scope of administrative law is not appropriate. The paper comprises the examination of administrative dependence within the framework of the general principles of criminal law; thus, administrative environmental law will not be assessed. The effect of administrative dependence, which comes to the fore because environmental criminal law is related to both administrative law and criminal law, constitutes the main framework of the paper. In this context, the gradation of administrative dependence in terms of the regulation of environmental offenses will be included. To provide the integrity of the subject, the forms of administrative dependence will be examined and the problems arising within the scope therein will be discussed.
Çevre Ceza Hukukunun İdari BağlılığıMeral Balcı
Çalışmanın amacı çevre ceza hukukunun önemli meselelerinden birini oluşturan idari bağlılık kurumunu irdelemektir. Konu hakkında Alman Çevre Ceza Hukuku’nda çok kapsamlı çalışmalar yer almakla birlikte, Türk hukukunda konuyu inceleyen az sayıda çalışma bulunmaktadır. Çevre suçlarının yapısal özelliği gereği, idari bağlılık önem taşımaktadır. Çalışmada öncelikle çevrenin korunmasında ceza hukuku müdahalesinin gerekliliğine yer verilecektir. Bu husus önemlidir, zira çevrenin salt idare hukuku kapsamında korunmasına ilişkin eğilimin yerinde olmadığının tespiti gereklidir. Çalışma, idari bağlılığın ceza hukukunun genel esasları çerçevesinde incelenmesini kapsadığı için, idari çevre hukukuna yer verilmeyecektir. Çevre ceza hukukunun hem idare hukuku ile hem de ceza hukuku ile ilişkili olması nedeniyle ön plana çıkan idari bağlılık kurumunun çevre suçlarındaki etkisi çalışmanın ana eksenini oluşturmaktadır. Bu bağlamda çevre suçlarının düzenleniş şekilleri itibariyle idari bağlılığın derecelendirilmesine yer verilecektir. Çevre suçlarında katı idari bağlılık soyut tehlike suçu ile kısmi bağlılık ise somut tehlike suçu ile ilişkilendirilecek olup, idari bağlılığın etkisinin kaldırılması gereken durum olarak, insan sağlığı bakımından ciddi çevre kirliliği ele alınacaktır. Konuya ilişkin bütünlüğün sağlanması için ayrıca idari bağlılığın görünüm şekilleri incelenecek ve idari bağlılık kapsamında ortaya çıkan sorunlar ele alınacaktır. Özellikle kanunîlik ilkesinin sonucu olarak belirlilik ilkesi kapsamında idari bağlılığın değerlendirilmesi önem arz etmektedir
As a result of the endangerment of the environment due to accelerated technological and economic developments, the environment has come to the fore in the law system. There are many regulations on the environment and its protection both in international law and Turkish law. However, considering the protection of the environment within the scope of criminal law has been increasingly seen in the recent past.
Environmental law―violations for which were previously sanctioned under administrative regulations―has expanded into criminal law over time and has taken a place in the doctrine and practice as environmental criminal law. The inadequacy of alternative solutions in the struggle against environmental law violations has resulted in most legal systems turning toward criminal law. The protection of the environment within the scope of criminal law, which started to gain more importance in the 1970s–1980s, also affects the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237.
Criminal law intervention in violations against the environment is the subject of different discussions. One of these is the function of administrative regulations in the punishment of violations of environmental protection. Environmental values are not directly protected through criminal law, as not all acts of violating environmental values result in criminal responsibility. The subject matter makes sense within the scope of the administrative dependence of environmental criminal law. This duality, the administrative and criminal aspects of environmental law, constitutes the main framework of this paper.
In the field of environmental protection, where administrative law and criminal law are closely related, the effectiveness of both branches of law should be taken into account. Particularly considering the claims that the function of criminal law in environmental protection should be reduced or even abolished, environmental offenses should be examined within the scope of the protected legal value, the relationship of environmental violations with human life and health, and the ultima ratio (last resort) principle of criminal law. Criminal law mostly functions in support of the administrative management of the environment. Administrative law specifies the obligations that individuals and companies must comply with in the context of environmental law, and criminal law accepts that violators of the provisions of administrative law on environmental protection will be punished with certain sanctions. Although the legal protection of the environment has been largely-and for a long time-shaped by administrative regulations, the importance of criminal law should not be ignored.
Moreover, the structural feature of environmental offenses that distinguishes them from traditional offenses is that they are mainly considered within the scope of endangerment offenses. In endangerment offenses, it is not necessary that harm is caused as a result of the act. Committing the typical act in abstract endangerment offenses is sufficient to constitute the offense. In concrete endangerment offenses, it is necessary to have a dangerousness that is suitable for causing harm. The difficulty of proving environmental offenses has become one of the major factors in the increase in the number of endangerment offenses committed.
The degree of administrative dependence also varies by the way environmental offenses are regulated. The distinction of environmental offenses into abstract–concrete endangerment offenses is decisive in terms of the scope of administrative dependence. The fact that environmental offenses are subject to the rules of administrative law is important both qualitatively and functionally. The qualitative meaning is based on the degree of administrative dependence in environmental offenses. Functionally, the judge has to take into account the administrative law requirements during the trial phase. Thus, this paper will deal with not only the theoretical dimension but also the practical dimension, provided that it is limited. The forms in which administrative dependence appears are also important in environmental offenses. The administrative dependence of environmental laws appears in different forms. In this context, conceptual dependence, dependence on administrative law, and dependence on administrative action come to the fore. Particularly, dependence on administrative action is important because it is related to issues that cause problems in environmental criminal law. This subject is examined together with the principle of certainty.