EU gets tough on ‘green crimes’

The European Commission has unveiled plans to turn environmental offences over to criminal courts across the European Union.

Under the plans, people could face jail not only for dumping toxic and nuclear waste but also for illegally trading in endangered plants or species.

It marks an extension of the EU’s powers, following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice in 2005.

Criminal law is a competence jealously guarded by the 27 member states.

The proposals must first be approved by member states and the European Parliament to become law.

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