Government criminal responsibility for environmental crimes in Iran: necessities and challenges

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Criminal law and Criminology, Faculty of law, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Pollutants Research, Environmental Sciences Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


A study of research evidence clearly reveals that the recognition of criminal responsibility for the state as the most prominent and most significant legal person is one of the concerns of the criminal justice system, and the lack of recognition of criminal liability for the state as one of the problems of legal systems. The mandates in the Note to section 20 (1)of the Islamic Penal Code )1392( did not identify criminal responsibility for the state, and no theorizing has been made regarding the grounds for criminalizing state actions in the field of environmental crimes. The aim of the authors is to identify and justify the necessity of criminalization of and assigning criminal liability to the Government in environmental crimes. 
Materials and methods:
In this research, analytical, descriptive and library sources are used to analyze the reasons for the necessity of identifying criminal responsibility for the state, state environmental crime, the existing challenges in the field of criminal responsibility of the state, and providing appropriate solutions have been taken. 
Results and discussion:
Identification of criminal liability for the Government in environmental crime is of great importance in all countries, especially in countries dependent on the oil and gas industry since the pollution occurring in these areas is often caused by the public sector. Therefore, identifying criminal liability for the state can be a positive step towards full environmental protection.
Given the fact that the Government is the most important legal person and that it pollutes the environment, this weakens the government as based on rationality and legal reasoning, including the Law on the Administration of Civil Services of 1386 where it is stipulated in section 8 of this law that the environment is protected from acts of sovereignty. Therefore, the principle of equal treatment and equality of all before the Constitution requires that the state also has criminal responsibility, of course with appropriate deterrents for the Government that would undermine the sovereignty and impediment of governance.


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