In recent years there has been dramatic development in the attitude to the environmental field. Environmental protection has become a hot issue and is commonly associated with global warming and climate change. However, the environmental issue involves a wide range of laws, such as clean air, effluents, hazardous materials, waste and more.
As part of the attempt to protect the environment, there is increasing enforcement in these issues, both by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and by local authorities, manifesting in the filing of many indictments against various companies and entities for environmental protection offenses.
Our office specializes in the environmental protection field and provides its services over a wide range of environmental issues. Our office represents clients inter alia in the various courts – criminal, administrative and civil, in lawsuits, hearings, indictments and administrative petitions dealing with environmental protection, including offenses in the waste, effluents, pest control, air pollution, nuisances, lands, sea and polluting factory environmental offenses fields.
The best advice that our office can give to its clients, primarily companies that have bearing on environmental protection and potential for committing offenses, is implementing an internal
enforcement plan on environmental protection, i.e. a training, information and prevention plan covering environmental issues and on how to prevent an offense before it begins.
If you have already been indicted, the way in which you conduct the criminal case is of enormous importance. This makes it very important to consult an attorney even if you think that the case is
hopeless and you feel helpless.
As we have mentioned, Israel has a strict approach against defendants accused of environmental offenses. Most environmental offenses are strict liability offenses, i.e. mens rea and intent is not
necessary for committing the offense. Criminal liability is imposed in certain cases on corporations and officers too.
Despite the strict attitude towards environmental offense defendants, it should be remembered that there is a somewhat different approach, which is still strict but advocates financial penalties more than criminal sanctions, particularly when the environmental offense is not too severe.