Commissioned by the Stop Ecocide Foundation, an expert drafting panel of 12 highly renowned international criminal and environmental lawyers from around the world has just concluded six months of deliberations. The result: a legal definition of “ecocide” as a potential 5th international crime, to sit alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression:
“ecocide” means unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.
The proposed definition will now be made available for states to consider. You can see the full definition on the newly established Ecocide Law website, a comprehensive resource hub relating to 'ecocide' law:
As the Stop Ecocide Foundation says:
Protecting the future of life on earth means stopping the mass damage and destruction of ecosystems taking place globally. We call this serious harm to nature ecocide. And right now, in most of the world, no-one is held responsible for it. It’s time to change the rules. It’s time to make ecocide an international crime.
And not a moment too soon.....
Philippe Sands QC, Professor, University College London: “It has been a privilege to contribute to this work, inspired by the efforts of Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin in giving the world ‘crimes against humanity' and ‘genocide’, back in 1945. Ecocide is about law in the service of our planet, a means of changing consciousness and of harnessing the idea and ideals of international justice for the greater good.”