DLA Piper presents report on illegal wildlife trade commissioned by the Royal Foundation

As part of its global pro bono programme, DLA Piper has produced a report entitled ‘Empty threat: does the law combat illegal wild trade?’. The report was commissioned by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry on behalf of the United for Wildlife partnership.

The report has been presented at the International Wildlife Trafficking Symposium, hosted by the Zoological Society of London, by DLA Piper partners Michael Lebovitz and Alex Monk.

The illegal trade in wildlife has continued to proliferate to the point where it ranks behind only illegal trafficking in drugs, guns and human beings in the value of the illegal trade. The DLA PIper report explores legislative and judicial challenges relating to wildlife trade in 10 key countries: Cameroon, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.

Each country report gives an overview of principal legislation on trade in wildlife, criminal penalties and ancillary legislation such as anti-corruption legislation that can be used to prosecute; assesses the local judicial process and capacity to enforce; and concludes with recommendations.

A team of 55 lawyers from 15 DLA Piper offices around the world gave in excess of 1,350 hours to the project. The team was led by partner Lebovitz, UK pro bono manager Heidi Newbigging and Alice Puritz, all from DLA Piper’s London office.