As analysed above, Taiwan’s environmental criminal law enforcement faces some common problems. Since 2005, there has been a new cooperative enforcement model run by the Tainan Local Prosecutors’ Office voluntarily. Three prosecutors in the Tainan Local Prosecutor Office were interviewed and it was realised that this model may provide many solutions to the problems identified in this research.
Figure 5.2 A Successful Cooperative Enforcement Model in Tainan City, Taiwan
Tainan, an old cultural centre in the southern part of Taiwan, has increasing industrial pollution. Many rivers have been polluted by factories in Tainan in last three decades. In the beginning, the chief prosecutor of the Tainan Local Prosecutors’ Office voluntarily established this cooperative model in 2005. Tainan is his hometown and he is very concerned about its natural environment. He is a member of an environmental protection NGO, so he has voluntarily participated in many ‘green’ activities. This is definitely a key element of successful enforcement; that is, a strong will. He was interviewed and talked about the ideas behind why he created this model.
“I often want to move people. In particular, I try to move people with high power, such as politicians. I know it is difficult. They can do many things for environmental protection, but they are not going to do. I don’t know the reason. Maybe this is not the thing they are really interested in.” (P # 8)
“Perfect laws and systems still can be useless, unless people have the strong will to make some important changes to our natural environment.” (P # 8)
The centre of this cooperative model is the local prosecutors’ office, because prosecutors hol...
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...perative network, cooperating with civilian experts and citizens, providing longer in-service training courses, and recruiting more assistant prosecutors with diverse professional knowledge. More importantly, the government itself should have a stronger will to combat environmental crimes. Also, evidence collection, prosecuting the powerful and damage restoration are three specific challenges of environmental penal law enforcement.
To respond to these challenges, the Tainan Local Prosecutors’ Office has created a unique cooperative model. Some individual prosecutors’ offices have decided to employ this model in their own jurisdictions. However, this research suggests that the national government should establish this model in every jurisdiction at the same time. Otherwise, environmental crimes may happen in those places which do not apply this cooperative model.
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