CRIM30005 Crimes Of The Powerful : Solution Essays



To understand the crimes and harms associated with the environment requires analysing the relationship between environmental harm, the law and law enforcement. Briefly explain three different ways environmental crime or harm can be related to the law and law enforcement. From each relationship, briefly state the implications it holds for using law and law enforcement in controlling the harm.


“Damage to the environment is an inevitable part of running a business”. Provide three reasons why this statement is either helpful or unhelpful in understanding the crimes and harms of business as they relate to environmental damage. Briefly identify examples from the subject to illustrate your reasoning in each case.


Many crimes and harms of the powerful extend beyond national boundaries. Drawing on the readings and lectures in the subject Crimes of the Powerful critically analyse the role international activism by non-state and non- commercial actors can play in helping to reducing these crimes and harms. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of relying on such actors and then, using one example covered in the subject (e.g. tax evasion, complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, small business crime), map out the key elements of what you consider having the greatest potential in terms of a strategy of control that can use such activism effectively.


Finding ways to deal with the crimes and harms of the powerful is often couched in generic language – namely whether to punish perpetrators or educate and persuade them to see the error of their ways. However, knowledge of the specific harm enhances the capacity for control alongside an understanding of generic techniques to optimise the effectiveness of responses that aim to minimise such harm. Critically analyse these statements. In your answer you should compare two different examples from the subject (e.g. tax evasion, complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct) to illustrate your points.




Environmental crime or harm is related to the law and law enforcement in a variety of ways. A key relationship between the law and law enforcement and environmental crime is that it is considered a product of capitalism. Under such a relationship, there exists capital accumulation, class accumulation, and the commodification. The implication of the relationship on law enforcement is that it will result in the creation of laws which favor the economy over the environment (Tombs, 2017 p.3). The other relationship existing between the law enforcement and environmental harm is on the consideration that the environmental harm is taken into account as an organized crime and this is according to the brokerage perception. Some of the organized crimes against the environment include toxic waste dumping, poaching of the endangered species which is considered as wildlife trafficking.

According to Short (2015 p.86), the effect of such a relationship on law enforcement will be a creation of laws which aims at reducing such criminal activities.  The other example of an organized crime is the illegal logging which entails cutting down trees without permission resulting in environmental degradation. The environmental crime is also related to the law and law enforcement such that the environmental harm is considered a crime against nature and this is based on the ecosystem perception of the relationship. The implication of the above mentioned relationship on law and law enforcement is that there will be the establishment of laws which limits the ecology centrally and not peripherally (Haines, 2014 p.30).


The non-commercial and non-state actors play various roles towards the reduction of some of the most powerful crimes and harms beyond the national boundaries. The key examples of the non-commercial and non-state actors in the international trade include government. Some of the fundamental roles entail, the creation of rules and laws which is used in the regulation of the trading activities in the international market (Picciotto and Mayne, 2016 p.100). Such a move is referred to as formalization. The other key role of the international activism is based on the development of free trade agreement among various countries to allow for commercial activities in the international arena. When there is free trade such that there is free movement of goods, services, and even labor, there will be a reduction in the rates of crime and harm and this is because crimes such as monopoly by one particular state will be controlled. There will more than one particular state supplying a particular product in the market.


The non-commercial and non-actors also plays a key role in reducing crimes and harms in the international trade by putting more emphasis on the specific harms. They, therefore, ensure that there are desirable jobs in the market by enhancing the conditions of working in a particular job compared to the previous job working conditions in the place. Also, under the circumstance in which there still exist harsh conditions for different jobs, certain improvements are made by international activism (White, 2017 p.30). Additionally, the international activism often organizes both local and international protests against the crimes and harms with the aim of ensuring that their voices on the particular concern are heard so that the matter can be tackled by the individuals concerned. When such protests are organized, the crimes and harms are typically reduced and that only happens when appropriate actions are taken against those who are engaged in the crimes and harms in the international trade. The non-commercial and non-actors in the international trade also encourages individualism approach. Such an approach aims at ensuring that everyone involved in the trade is at a position of pursuing their goals which could be to make profit. The individualism will typically result in a stronger society as a whole and this will aid in the reduction of crimes and harms.

According to Hafner-Burton, Victor and LeVeck (2016 p.175), another role of the international activism in the reduction of the crimes and harms entails organizing of the local and international campaigns whose aim are to find ways through which the crime can be eliminated. The campaigns allow for interactions of various individuals and this, therefore, helps in the creation of the identity of some of the crimes and harms including the people involved in promoting such malicious acts in the international trade. The various responses to the crimes and harms in the international trade by the international activism are also vital and this is because it will first deny the funding of the various persons who could be involved in crimes and harms. Another through which the non-actors and non-commercial state reduce crimes and harms entail the promotion of tripartism where every particular individual is encouraged to act in a manner which displays that he or she is a social partner. Such a corporation often results in the creation of economic policy whose aim is to curb a variety of crimes and harms existing in the international market for different products and services.

The key strength of the actors is based on how they agitate for certain laws to be made so as to regulate trading activities in the international arena with the aim of reducing crimes and harms. Another strength is on the protests aimed at lowering crimes and harms. The crimes are often organized and this typically results in certain improvements being made in the fight against criminal acts in the international trade (Soprano, 2018 p.4). The weaknesses of actors are that some of them may be opposed to certain rules and laws which could be made and this, therefore, implies that at times they are disunited. It is therefore often difficult to reduce crimes and harms under the condition of disunity.

One of the fundamental elements which have a great potential as a strategy in the control of the crimes and harms by the actors is on the competition law. The above mentioned law is aimed at reducing various actions by the small business which are considered illegal and hence the international market is made open for the small business to enter. The creation of criminal law is considered a great potential strategy which can be used by the actors in reducing crimes and harms (Elliott, 2016 p.87). The other element which forms one of the potential strategy is the environmental law. The environmental law could be used by the actors to preserve and provide protection to the environment with the aim of conserving the land and also control of pollution. The concept above has often been used to reduce certain crimes and harms to the environment such as illegal logging.



Elliott, L., 2016. The securitisation of transnational environmental crime and the militarisation of conservation. Handbook of Transnational Environmental Crime, pp.68-87.

Hafner-Burton, E.M., Victor, D.G. and LeVeck, B.L., 2016. How activists perceive the utility of international law. The Journal of Politics, 78(1), pp.167-180.

Haines, F., 2014. Corporate fraud as misplaced confidence? Exploring ambiguity in the accuracy of accounts and the materiality of money. Theoretical Criminology, 18(1), pp.20-37.

Picciotto, S. and Mayne, R. eds., 2016. Regulating international business: beyond liberalization. Springer.

Short, S., 2015. Wealth through Stealth: Evening the Odds, or Flirting with Disaster?. In Fairy Tale and Film (pp. 71-91). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Soprano, R., 2018. WTO Trade Remedies in International Law: Their Role and Place in a Fragmented International Legal System. Routledge.

Tombs, S., 2017. Corporate crime. The Wiley?Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory, pp.1-3.

White, R., 2017. Transnational environmental crime. Routledge.

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