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UCL Centre for Law and Environment


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European Commission Proposals on Enviromental Inspections and Surveillance

By Richard B Macrory, on 28 October 2013

In September 2013, Professor Macrory was one of the few academic specialists to be invited by the European Commission to take part in their first conference to discuss the Commission’s developing ideas for new legislation on inspections and surveillance. The meeting was held in DG Environment, Brussels. Most of the other participants were representatives of governments or enforcement authorities, including the police, in Member States.

In June 2012 The Environment Council called for improving inspections regimes as a necessary element of effective enforcement, provided this did not impose unnecessary administrative burden.  The Commission launched a consultation document  on the subject in February of this year.

The Commission’s proposals include greater exploitation of the potential of remote sensing (satellite imagery etc.) as an enforcement tool, an area where the centre, especially through the work of Ray Purdy, is a lead centre of excellence. The underlying principles concerning regulatory sanctions, developed by Professor Macrory, are likely to play in increasingly significant role in the proposals as they develop.

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