THE PUSH TO MAKE ‘ECOCIDE’ AN INTERNATIONAL CRIME TAKES A BIG STEP FORWARD

June 23 – Demands to criminalize acts of environmental destruction and equate them with ‘wars of crime’ has been gaining momentum across the world. A panel of a dozen legal experts brought together by the Stop Ecocide Foundation (SEF) has now decided on a legal definition of the word “ecocide”.

The draft law, unveiled on Tuesday defines Ecocide, first coined in 1970, as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) can adopt this definition to prosecute the most heinous offences against the environment. The SEF’s initiative establishes ‘ecocide’ in the same context as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

This is the first time that the definition has been convened globally and in response to political demand to actually look for a solution to this problem, Jojo Mehta, co founder of the Stop Ecocide campaign, told CNBC. It could come into force in four to five years, she added. CNBC / Read more

June 23 – The Netherlands-based Stop Ecocide Foundation, along with a coalition of environmentalists, lawyers and human rights advocates, has been pushing since 2017 to make ecocide a crime prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. The court currently prosecutes just four offenses: genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes

If the campaign to criminalize ecocide succeeds, the international court would be able to hold accountable those most responsible for major ecological harms, including business and government leaders.

If this definition is adopted as the fifth crime before the international court, it would signal that mass environmental destruction is one of the most morally reprehensible
crimes in the world, advocates said.

“None of the existing international criminal laws protect the environment as an end in itself, and that’s what the crime of ecocide does,” Philippe Sands, professor of international law at University College London and co-chair of the panel that drafted the definition, said at an online news conference Tuesday. NBC News / Read more

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