‘Ecocide’: Crime put up for adoption by International Criminal Court.
A panel of 12 independent legal experts from all over the world unveiled a working definition of “ecocide” on Tuesday and are hoping for it to be accepted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Stop Ecocide Foundation, an NGO, whose focus is facilitating the adoption of ecocide by the ICC in order to “protect future life on Earth” amazed the panel. The panel recommends adding “(e) the crime of Ecocide” to Article 5(1) of the Rome Statute with the following definition:
“For the purpose of this Statute, “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 proposal also recommends to include within the preamble, “that the environment is daily threatened by severe destruction and deterioration, gravely endangering natural and human systems worldwide.”
The ICC authority to cover crimes of international interest and relevance to include serious environmental harm would be extended by the amendments based on the panel’s work. It has been stated that this was needed to restrain large polluters.
With this, the panel hopes that ICC would be able to hold large polluters accountable for their share of environmental pollution. The authors believe that the national laws and international agreements that contribute to the protection of our ecosystem are inadequate.
“Ecocide” would be the first new crime to be adopted into international criminal law since 1945.