In this section the applicability of the CRA process is tested on three real-life cases of transnational law reforms that have opened up a major potential for making a profit. The aim here is to make an attempt to explore, first, what kinds of crime risk categories are associated with the reforms, and, second, whether indeed anticipation and early awareness: (i) have helped in avoiding or minimizing crime risks in the first case, (ii) might have helped in avoiding or minimizing crime risks in the second case, and (iii) might help in avoiding or minimizing crime risks in the last case.
6.1 Basel convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal
The text of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was negotiated by the states parties at the end of the 1980s and finalized at the beginning of the 1990s. The convention entered into force on 5 May 1992 (cf. United Nations Environment Programme1989).
¤ The objectives of the convention are to protect, by strict control, human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from the generation and management of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and to enhance the control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes, thus creating incentives for their environmentally sound management and for the reduction of the volume of such transboundary movement. The simple idea is that the less hazardous waste and other waste are produced, and the less they are transported with potentially risky consequences, the better the environment for all forms of life upon Earth.
¤ The reform as such was instituted in order to minimize the adverse impacts of a human activity - that of hazardous waste production - by means of regulating the transboundary movements of, in the first place, hazardous waste, and, in particular, illegal traffic in hazardous wastes (see United Nations Environment Programme 1993, part I, para. 6). This is supposed to be achieved by not permitting the export of hazardous wastes and other wastes if the state of import does not consent in writing to the specific import, in the case where that state has not prohibited the import of such wastes. The states parties shall designate or establish one or more competent authorities and one focal point to facilitate the implementation of the Convention (United Nations Environment Programme 1989, art. 5, para. 1). A state party shall further not permit any export to or import from a non-party state (op. cit., art. 4. para. 5 ). The risk for the production and presentation of false documents in this context is noted (op. cit., art. 9, para. 1 (c & d)). Other adverse impacts, i.e. other potential crime risks, apparently were not considered. Money laundering and purposeful infiltration of legal businesses are not perhaps relevant this time in this respect8. Nonetheless, the potential for corruption as a separate crime risk category should perhaps also have been notified in the convention.
¤ In general, baseline data (to say nothing of statistics) on breaches against the stipulations of the Convention are not very systematic, although national focal points of the states which have ratified the Convention are supposed to report all incidents to the Secretariat. However, no comprehensive statistics in this category are available9, only anecdotal documentation on some of the cases reported to the Secretariat of the Convention. Thus, for example in the document by the Secretariat on illegal traffic, presented to the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, convened in October 1997, three incidents were reported in detail. In addition, it is stated that "on a few other occasions, the Secretatiat, through various sources including the Governments of Contracting Parties, has been informed of cases of illegal traffic. In all of these cases, the Secretariat immediately contacted all States concerned, asking for clarification and offering assistance" (United Nations Environment Programme 1997, pp. 1-3). The problem of illegal conduct seems to exist, but, apparently, it is not a serious one.
This view is confirmed by a study produced for the research workshop organized at the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, in 1995 (United Nations 1995b). Experts from eleven member states were requested to describe, inter alia, recent cases of transboundary pollution involving traffic in hazardous waste (UNICRI). Optimally, each national expert ought to have described three examples: (i) one case where the legal instruments available in the country were fully utilized or effective implementation took place, (ii) one case where the system failed, and (iii) one case being identified as environmentally harmful and likely to be dealt with by new strategies for better environmental protection. As a matter of fact, six national experts were able to report cases, on the whole, but not a single expert was able to report a case from all of the categories listed10. On the other hand, data on the frequency of incidents are not the most important knowledge in this field. It is equally vital to know for example that "the disposal of harmful waste in African countries became a common phenomenon in the eighties (...) because of the low level of environmental protection laws, and the abject powerty of these nations, the developed countries have, within the last decade, embarked upon 'toxic waste trade' or 'illegal dumping of toxic wastes' in poor debt-strapped developing countries" (op. cit., p. 171).
The question of false documents is mentioned passim in a few of the cases described, but no systematic information is provided on this aspect. No information whatsoever is provided on corruption as a preliminary step in trafficking in hazardous waste.
¤ The international community, quite apparently, has taken a very serious view of the threat caused by trafficking in hazardous waste, as demonstrated by the efforts to develop and implement the Basel Convention. Also the traffic in false documents has been considered in earnest as a side issue. On the other hand, in this context perhaps more anticipatory weight should be attached to corruption as a separate potential crime risk category, since it is quite conceivable that trafficking in hazardous waste has been facilitated by bribing favourably inclined national officials. This must be seen as a real threat in all those regions of the world where corruption has become endemic, and can be considered an inherent element of the cultural structure.