Crimes Against the Environment in Theory and Practice
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The purpose of the article is to familiarise the readers with the issues related to the theoretical grounds involving penal responsibility for violating the provisions of the Penal Code concerning environmental protection, and to show the statistics connected with this type of crimes. The article is of dogmatic-empirical nature. The dogmatic part includes provisions of the 1997 Penal Code and the acts not covered by the code. The empirical part is based on the statistical data provided by the Ministry of Justice and the National Police Headquarters. The data shows a discrepancy between the statistics and the real situation, as well as the importance of the so-called dark figure of crimes against the natural environment. It should be note, that the environmental protection system in Poland is very imperfect and contains numerous gaps that are taken advantage of by perpetrators who cause numerous violations and hazards to the natural environment. The public awareness in the area of animate and inanimate nature remains on an extremely low level. It is necessary to conduct broad educational activities involving citizens regularly, with the aim to improve the ecological security. Since the end of the 20th century, the term “ecological ethics” has been used to identify one of the instruments of ecological security. Such approach appears to be right in all aspects because ethical behavior towards oneself, others, and the surrounding nature makes it possible to prevent dangers.
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