Critical Criminology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 523–537 | Cite as

Dissent, Litigation, and Investigation: Hitting the Powerful Where It Hurts

  • Olivia SalamaEmail author
  • Rob White


Environmentally harmful activity undertaken by powerful corporations receive approvals from multiple levels of government, therefore leaving the wellbeing of the environment to those individuals and organisations committed to fighting against such corporate-driven, government-backed projects. This article discusses three avenues for challenging corporate interests, drawing upon issues and events in Australia. Dissent, as illustrated by the Gunns20 case, can provide ordinary individuals with a means to democratically debate existing practices, proposals, and even the law itself. Litigation, as seen in the Carmichael mining case, can be a valuable tool in postponing environmentally disastrous activities by challenging the government’s legitimacy in approving projects that would result in environmental harm. Investigation can expose the manipulation of information presented to the public by both governments and corporations. These three areas of engagement constitute important components for effective environmental activism.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

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