Djur, natur och miljöstraffrättens antropocentriska struktur - En moralfilosofisk utvärdering av miljöstraffrätten och dess framtid

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen; Lunds universitet/Juridiska fakulteten

Sammanfattning: The environmental and climate crisis deteriorates every year. Human activities keep increasing the average temperature of our planet and as a consequence, global environmental systems have been put out of balance. Simultaneously and intertwined with the climate crisis, human behavior is also causing a mass extinction of species with a terrifying speed. This thesis investigates how Swedish environmental criminal law deals with the crisis on an ethical level. Using theories of environmental ethics, the ethical foundation of environmental criminal law is studied, with a focus on what it admits regarding intrinsic value, i.e. what is valuable in itself. This thesis argues that the currently predominate view of anthropocentrism, the idea that only humans are valuable by themselves, is a cause of our climate and environmental crisis. Since a central premise for this thesis is that criminal law in general has a moral function, this thesis draws connections between behavior, ethics and criminal law. Therefore, this thesis analyses how environmental criminal law could change in order to rest on a non-anthropo¬centric foundation. As its first main part, the thesis investigates environmental ethics and its theories regarding the ethical relationship between humankind and nature. Through the categorising of different theories of environmental ethics as either anthropocentric, mid-green or dark green, the field of environmental ethics becomes a manageable tool for analysing the values of environmental criminal law. After categorising the theories of environmental ethics, environmental criminal law itself is studied, in an attempt to discover the values it rests upon. Initial comments are made regarding the values of criminal law as a whole, followed by a deeper investigation of the environmental ethical considerations of environmental law. This thesis argues that both are influenced by a clear anthropocentric focus. Environmental criminal law is also analysed by looking at both criminali-sation and punishment. Starting with criminalisation, this thesis finds that the construction of crimes within the field of environmental criminal law corresponds to both an anthropocentric and a non-anthropocentric per-spective. Considering, however, what is not criminalised it becomes evident that the criminalisations can only be accepted from an anthropocentric per-spective, especially considering meat production and consumption by humans. Continuing with the punishments, it is clear that the field of environ¬mental criminal law suffers from an underdeveloped ethical reasoning and foundation. Its relatively mild punishments also witness of an underlying anthropocentrism. Hence, it is concluded that environmental criminal law is clearly based upon an anthropocentrism, but also has non-anthropo¬centric features. Therefore, this thesis then studies how the moral function of criminal law is affected by its features of ethical theories according to which some common practices in society should be considered unethical. The final part of the thesis looks to the future. Considering the moral function of criminal law, this thesis discusses how environmental criminal law could be constructed on the basis of non-anthropocentrism, looking at the theoretical foundation set out by the thesis. On such a basis environ-mental criminal law would need to protect the lives of other more conscious animals. It would also, more so than it does today, need to regard different individual organisms as part of the greater natural context. When the common practices of society no longer are contrary to the values of non-anthropo¬centrism it is also essential to remove the exception from criminali-sation of harmful behaviors on the basis that they have been allowed by public agencies.

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