Hicksons Consultant, Derek Luxford, article featured in The Daily Cargo News

  • 23 Apr 2020
Hazardous waste prosecution involving batteries thrown out
The Australian courts are no strangers to prosecutions for offences by parties in international shipping and trade, but sometimes criminal prosecutions in this sector fail, writes Derek Luxford.

Prosecutions of environmental offenders under the little known Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal are rare internationally. Until 2017 there had been none in Australia for alleged breaches of the Convention given force in Australia by the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989. In July 2019 the New South Wales Local Court at Parramatta dismissed the prosecution against an Australian exporter of scrap lithium ion batteries from Australia to Belgium on the basis the prosecution had failed to lead any evidence that the batteries constituted “hazardous waste”. The judgment is The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions v Sims E-Recycling Pty Ltd, a judgment of Local Court Magistrate Keady. It was the first prosecution under the Act in Australia. The prosecution made clear that it was bringing the case to obtain a judicial ruling on the relevant offence provisions under the Act because there was no precedent.

View the full article here.

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