Plea Bargaining in Environmental Offenses

Plea Bargaining in Environmental Offenses

Maariv, Israeli daily newspaper
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror Adv. October 2009

Indictments on environmental violations are often served against the company and against a number of corporate officers.  Sometimes at the beginning or during the criminal trial, the defendants can reach an agreement with the prosecutors representing the Ministry of the Environment.  In most cases the board, all or some, deleted from the indictment and the corporation admits, convicted and pays a fine.

This practice is getting more and more limited in scope. The first reason lies in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is not ready to agree to almost automatically delete managers of the indictments. It has a great deterrent value to the conviction of a senior manager. The second reason lies in the corporations themselves. If the corporation could ever admit, pay a fine and thereby terminate the event, here, after the entry into force of the Class Actions Law, the corporation's guilty plea could result in immediate large amounts paid in a class action. Another problem is created in this context concerns the required separate representation for the company and for the officers  in these matters.

This article discusses these dilemmas.