Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

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Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

Post by wjfox »

Great article - an interesting read.


Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

Tue 22 Jun 2021 17.00 BST

Legal experts from across the globe have drawn up a “historic” definition of ecocide, intended to be adopted by the international criminal court to prosecute the most egregious offences against the environment.

The draft law, unveiled on Tuesday, defines ecocide 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 Stop Ecocide Foundation initiative comes amid concerns that not enough is being done to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.

If adopted by the ICC’s members, it would become just the fifth offence the court prosecutes – alongside war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression – and the first new international crime since the 1940s when Nazi leaders were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials.

Prof Philippe Sands QC, of University College London, who co-chaired the panel that spent the past six months hammering out the definition, said: “The four other crimes all focus exclusively on the wellbeing of human beings. This one of course does that but it introduces a new non-anthropocentric approach, namely putting the environment at the heart of international law, and so that is original and innovative."

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Re: Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

Post by Yuli Ban »

I would like to stress here and now that the "Crimes Against Nature" prediction on the FutureTimeline, one of the more far-reaching "deep future" predictions, is also one of the most likely to come to pass. I've felt this way for years, and news stories like this reinforce it. In fact, this prediction might even come true sooner than the timeline says: there's very little chance that there won't be prosecutions held against those who committed grievous damage to Earth's ecosystem and climate in the very near future. Maybe even within the next 10-20 years. Not enough to force massive changes just yet, but certainly enough to send a message.
And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future
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Re: Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

Post by caltrek »

The difference here is the introduction of the concept "ecocide". There have been laws regarding protection of the environment for decades. So, this represents a difference in language more than substance. At least from what I can see. Perhaps this new language will help facilitate a greater enforcement of the law. That has been a major problem. Just having the laws on the books doesn't mean that they get enforced. Time will tell as to whether this new language helps.

Edit: Of course, that is not to say that I think that the existing laws on the books are entirely adequate. Certainly, there is also room for improvement there as well.
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