Carole M. Billiet, “Sierra Leone – Beijing met gedroogde zeepaardjes: vijftien maanden cel (noot bij Nederlandstalige Rechtbank van eerste aanleg Brussel, 8 juni 2017)” [Sierra Leone – Beijing with dried sea-horses: fifteen months jail (note under Dutch-speaking Court of First instance Brussels, 8 June 2017]], Tijdschrift voor Milieurecht 2017, 546-555
This annotation comments on a recent judgement of the Court of first instance of Brussels that offers a rare example of a successful criminal prosecution of violations of the CITES-Convention and CITES-Regulation. Firstly, it sketches the law that applies and the actual policy challenges regarding wildlife crime as observed globally and acknowledged by the EU. Next, it analyses the sanctioning requirements imposed by the Convention on the one hand and the Regulation and ECJ on the other hand. It proceeds to detail the difficulties to meet those sanctioning requirements arising from the actual Belgian division of competences between the Federal State and the Regions. Finally, it comments the sanctioning in the case at hand. All three defendants were punished by fifteen months prison sentences, combined with forfeiture of the sized dried sea-horses and the seized proceeds of the illegal trafficking.
Full publication (Dutch) here.