The Potential of Restorative Justice Conferencing to Deal with Environmental Crimes

Mr Mark Hamilton1, Dr Hadeel Al-Alosi2

1University Of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia,

2Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia

Our presentation looks at an alternative and innovative approach to deal with environmental crimes. In particular, we focus on the potential and pitfalls of using restorative justice to deal with such offending.  As will be seen in our enlightening 20-minute presentation, restorative justice conferencing provides a promising way to repair the harm occasioned and offers many benefits that cannot be gained by traditional prosecution in court. However, restorative justice does have its drawbacks and may not be suitable in all cases. This raises the question of when restorative justice conferencing is appropriate to deal with environmental offending. Our presentation is based on the article featured in the media titled “Australia should give victims a voice in tackling environmental crimes”, and the forthcoming journal article titled “The Ingredients of Success for Effective Restorative Justice Conferencing in an Environmental Offending Context”. As environmental crimes can affect the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on, the topic is relevant to a wide array of audiences, including those interested in Green Criminology.


Mr Mark Hamilton is currently undertaking his PhD in Law at the University of New South Wales under the joint supervision of Professor Cameron Holley (Faculty of Law) and Dr Jane Bolitho (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), exploring the applicability of restorative justice conferencing in a pollution offending context. He was formerly a solicitor in an environmental and planning law practice in Sydney, and a former tipstaff to a Land and Environment Court of New South Wales judge. Email:

Dr Hadeel Al-Alosi is a lawyer and lecturer who has a profound interest in issues in criminal law and alternative approaches to justice. As well as restorative justice responses to crime, her research interests includes family violence and child abuse. Hadeel has recently written a disturbingly thought provoking book on criminal laws relating to child abuse material and fantasy material, titled “The Criminalisation of Fantasy Material: Law and Sexually Explicit Representations of Fictional Children”. Email:


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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