The Development of Enforcement of CITES in Norway: Discretionary Omissions and Theoricides


  • Ragnhild Sollund Universitat Rovira i Virgili


Paraules clau:

CITES, law enforcement, wildlife trafficking, species injustice


The world is losing species at an alarming rate; the population sizes of wild mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have dropped 68% since 1970. Much of this loss is caused by trade. This article discusses the development in the enforcement of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) in Norway through a longitudinal, qualitative approach. It is based on data collection done in several stages and traces how crimes of wildlife trade are addressed by law enforcement agencies. It finds that there is lax enforcement of CITES crimes in Norway, which connect to what can be called anthropocentric, discretionary harms of omission in law enforcement. Taking a species justice approach and based on a discussion of possible changes and development in enforcement in Norway, this article argues that this crime is still insufficiently prioritized by enforcement agencies. Weak points identified at the early stages of this research, such as deficient recording of CITES crimes and discretionary lack of priority of investigation, were still existent. The most serious weakness is the policy of euthanizing confiscated animals, which is a considerable breach of species justice.


Les dades de descàrrega encara no estan disponibles.


BEIRNE, Piers. Theriocide: Naming animal killing. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2014, 3.2: 49-66.

BEIRNE, Piers; SOUTH, Nigel (eds). Issues in green criminology. London/New York: Routledge, 2013.

BENTON, Ted. Rights and justice on a shared planet: More rights or new relations? Theoretical Criminology, (1998). 2(2), 149-175.

BRISMAN, Avi; SOUTH, Nigel. A green-cultural criminology: An exploratory outline. Crime, Media, Culture, 2013, 9.2: 115-135.

CITES Accessed on 21 April 2021

CITES Accessed on 21 April 2021

CITES Resolution Accessed on 21 April 2021

COLLARD, Rosemary-Claire. Animal traffic: Lively capital in the global exotic pet trade. Duke University Press, 2020.

TAYLOR, Nik; FITZGERALD, Amy. Understanding animal (ab) use: Green criminological contributions, missed opportunities and a way forward. Theoretical Criminology, 2018, 22.3: 402-425

GOYES, David; SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Contesting and contextualising CITES: Wildlife trafficking in Colombia and Brazil. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2016, 5.4: 87.

HALSEY, Mark; WHITE, Rob. Crime, ecophilosophy and environmental harm. Theoretical criminology, 1998, 2.3: 345-371.

HUTTON, Jon; DICKSON, Barnabas (eds). Endangered species, threatened convention: the past, present and future of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. London, UK: Earthscan, 2000.

KLEINIG, John (ed.). Handled with discretion: ethical issues in police decision making. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996.


LYNCH, Michael J.; GENCO, Leo. Animal abuse registries: expanded interest in animal protection mimics other criminal justice policies, but should green criminologists hop on the band-wagon?. Contemporary Justice Review, 2018, 21.4: 351-370.

LYNCH, Michael J.; STRETESKY, Paul B. Exploring green criminology: Toward a green criminological revolution. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2014.

MAHER, Jennifer; SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Law enforcement of the illegal wildlife trafficking: a comparative strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of the UK and Norway. Journal of Trafficking, Organized Crime and Security, 2016, 2.1: 82-99.

MARINE INSIGHT accessed on 21 April 2021

NIBERT, David. Animal rights/human rights: Entanglements of oppression and liberation. Lanham:Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002.

NURSE, Angus. Policing wildlife: perspectives on criminality in wildlife crime. In: Papers from the British Criminology Conference. The British Society of Criminology, 2011. p. 38-53.

NURSE, Angus. Policing wildlife. Perspectives on the enforcement of wildlife legislation. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 2015.

NURSE, Angus; WYATT, Tanya. Wildlife criminology. Bristol University Press, 2020.

PEPPERBERG, Irene M. The Alex studies: cognitive and communicative abilities of grey parrots. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2009.

PINK, Grant. Law enforcement responses to transnational environmental crime: Choices, challenges, and culture. Transnational Environmental Crime Project Working Paper. 4 July 2013. Meld. St. 19 (2019–2020) Miljøkriminalitet Accessed on 15 April 2021

REINER, Robert. The politics of the police. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

RIKSADVOKATEN. Rundskriv nr. 1/2020, 202000218.

RUNHOVDE, Siv Rebekka. Seizures of inconvenience? Policy, discretion and accidental discoveries in policing the illegal wildlife trade at the Norwegian border. Crime, Law and Social Change, 2015, 64.2-3: 177-192.

RUNHOVDE, Siv Rebekka. Taking the path of least resistance? Decision-making in police investigations of illegal wildlife trade. Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 2017,11. 1:87-102

SITU, Yingyi; EMMONS, David. Environmental crime: The criminal justice system’s role in protecting the environment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Racialisation in police stop and search practice–the Norwegian case. Critical criminology, 2006, 14.3: 265-292.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild Aslaug. Tatt for en annen: En feltstudie av relasjonen mellom etniske minoriteter og politiet. Oslo: Gyldendal akademisk, 2007.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Expressions of speciesism: The effects of keeping companion animals on animal abuse, animal trafficking and species decline. Crime, law and social change, 2011, 55.5: 437-451.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Speciesism as doxic practice versus valuing difference and plurality. In Ellefsen, R., Sollund, R and Larsen, G.,(eds) Eco-Global Crimes, contemporary problems and future challenges, 2012, p.91-114,

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Animal trafficking and trade: Abuse and species injustice. In: Walter, R., Westerhuis, D. and Wyatt, T. (eds). Emerging issues in green criminology. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild (ed.). Green harms and crimes: Critical criminology in a changing world. London: Palgrave, 2016.

SOLLUND, R. The crimes of wildlife trafficking. Issues of justice, legality and morality. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild. Nonspeciesist Criminology, Wildlife Trade, and Animal Victimization. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 2021.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild Aslaug, et al. Global harms. Ecological Crime and Speciesism. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2008.

SOLLUND, Ragnhild; MAHER, Jennifer (2015) Illegal wildlife trade. A case study on illegal wildlife trade in the United Kingdom, Norway, Colombia and Brazil. Report produced as part of EFFACE. Available at: Accessed on 21 April 2021

SOLLUND, Ragnhild; RUNHOVDE, Siv Rebekka. Responses to wildlife crime in post-colonial times. Who fares best? The British Journal of Criminology, 2020, 60.4: 1014-1033.

SOUTH, Nigel. Nature, difference and the rejection of harm: Expanding the agenda for green criminology. In SOLLUND, R (ed.). Global Harms. 2008, 187-200.

STOETT, Peter; OMROW, Delon Alain. Ecoviolence Against Fauna: The Illegal Wildlife Trade. In: Spheres of Transnational Ecoviolence. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, p. 41-71.

SVARTDAL, Frode. Longitudinell metode Store norske leksikon Accessed on 23 March 2021

TAYLOR, Nik; FITZGERALD, Amy. Understanding animal (ab) use: Green criminological contributions, missed opportunities and a way forward. Theoretical Criminology, 2018, 22.3: 402-425.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes. Accessed on 21 April 2021

VAN UHM, Daan. The Illegal Wildlife Trade, New York City: Springer. 2016.

WEITZENFELD, Adam; JOY, Melanie. An overview of anthropocentrism, humanism, and speciesism in critical animal theory. Counterpoints, 2014, 448: 3-27.

WHITE, Rob. Prosecution and sentencing in relation to environmental crime: Recent socio-legal developments. Crime, law and social change, 2010, 53.4: 365-381.

WHITE, Rob. Transnational environmental crime. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

WHITE, Rob. Environmental harm: An eco-justice perspective. Bristol: Policy Press, 2013.

WHITE, Rob; HECKENBERG, Diane. Green criminology: An introduction to the study of environmental harm. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

WWF (2020) Living Planet Report 2020 - Bending the curve of biodiversity loss. Almond, R.E.A., Grooten, M. and Petersen, T. (eds). WWF, Gland, Switzerland.

WYATT, Tanya. A comparative analysis of wildlife trafficking in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Journal of Trafficking, Organized Crime and Security, 2016, 2.1: 62-81.

WYATT, Tanya. Is CITES protecting wildlife? Assessing implementation and compliance. London and New York. Earthscan Routledge. 2021.

WYATT, Tanya; VAN UHM, Daan; NURSE, Angus. Differentiating criminal networks in the illegal wildlife trade: organized, corporate and disorganized crime. Trends in Organized Crime, 2020, 23: 1-17.




Com citar

Sollund, R. (2021). The Development of Enforcement of CITES in Norway: Discretionary Omissions and Theoricides. Revista Catalana De Dret Ambiental, 12(1).