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AuthorsDe Prez, Paula
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDrivers of enforcement style can be defined as those dimensions of a regulator's social and political environment which play a significant part in influencing its approach to enforcement. Dr Keith Hawkins was responsible for the seminal work in this field, 'Environment & Enforcement", a piece of research based on a four year field study of water pollution regulation by the Water Authorities in the 1980s. Hawkins' Water Authorities were superseded by the National Rivers Authority, and more recently the Environment Agency ('the Agency'), the regulator which forms the subject matter of this work. This regulator is charged with the statutory duty to; 'prevent or minimise or remedy or mitigate the effects of pollution of the environment. '2 As this duty implies, the Agency's regulatory jurisdiction now extends beyond the sphere of water pollution to the regulation of waste, and also to the regulation of air pollution matters which statute has categorised as serious or 'prescribed.' 3 The aim of this thesis is to apply Hawkins' model of regulatory enforcement to the Agency - the result of which will be both an examination of the prosecutorial practice of the Agency and the forces which shape this practice, and a critical evaluation of the extent to which the Hawkin's analysis of enforcement should be modified to accommodate the features of modern environmental regulation. Chapter one of this work explores the continuum of enforcement style (from informal to formalised court-centred modes of enforcement) and the notion of 'drivers of enforcement'. The aim of chapter two then is to gauge the Agency's position on the continuum of enforcement style, as either a largely conciliative enforcer or as a sanction-oriented enforcer. The remaining chapters are devoted to the critical examination of the impact of various drivers of enforcement. Chapter 3 assesses the extent to which enforcement style is shaped by the type of violation subject to regulation rather than by 'who does the enforcement.' Chapter 4 turns to the impact of public pressure and public perception of risk on Agency enforcement. This is followed in chapter 5 by an analysis of the extent to which the moral status of offending can influence Agency enforcement. Chapters 6 and 7 are devoted to predicting the impact of enforcement guidance on the Agency's enforcement practice. While chapter 6 deals with the direct implications of this guidance on Agency practice, chapter 7 explores the further anticipated ramifications of this guidance in terms of an increased likelihood of judicial review of Agency action. Finally, chapters 8 and 9 address the extent to which the style of enforcement adopted by a regulator is bound up with anticipated enforcement outcomes. Chapter 8 explores the ramifications of the court's current sentencing practices on enforcement style, while chapter 9 addresses the modern phenomenon of sanctions imposed by society rather than the courts, and the extent to which they have the capacity to offset any lack of potency in traditional legal sanctions.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/