Experts in legal law have agreed to a definition for the crime of “ecocide”, which they hope will be adopted.International Criminal Court(ICC)
According to the draft law, the offense is defined as “unlawful and wanton acts that are committed in the knowledge of the substantial likelihood of severe and long-term environmental damage.”
TheIndependent Expert Panel for Legal Definition of EcocideChaired by barrister, authorProfessor Philippe Sands, QCTogether with a former prosecutor and UN juristDior Fall SowThe meeting was held in late 2020, 75 year after the first use of the terms “genocide” and “crimes against mankind”.Nuremberg. This project was initiated by parliamentarians from the ruling parties of Sweden.
States will now have the opportunity to review the proposed definition.
Jojo MehtaChair of theStop Ecocide FoundationThe panel was commissioned by the government. The panel of experts was formed in response to growing political interest in real solutions to the ecological and climate crisis. The time is right, the world is realizing the dangers we face if we continue on our current path.
She said that the drafting work was collaborative, high-level and informed by many experts. There was also a public consultation with hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds, including youth, faith, and legal perspectives.
The resulting definition is a well-crafted blend of what must be done to protect ecosystems and what can be accepted by states. It is concise, it is based on solid legal precedents, and it will work well with existing laws. It will be taken seriously by governments and provides a practical legal tool that addresses a pressing world need.
Professor Sands stated that it was a privilege to have contributed to this work, which was inspired by Rafael Lemkin’s efforts to give the world ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ back in 1945.
“Ecocide” is about law at the service of the planet. It’s a way to change consciousness and harness the idea and ideals international justice for the greater good.