EU Directive & the Crime of Ecocide at the ICC

Proposed amendments to the ICC Statute for the recognition of the crime of ecocide

End Ecocide on Earth (EEE) is a grass-roots initiative (citizen movement) aimed to recognize the crime of ecocide in international criminal law, as the fifth crime prosecutable before the International Criminal Court in the same manner as the crime against humanity, genocide crime, war crimes or crime of aggression.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), governed by the Rome Statute, was established to help end impunity of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The ICC Statute considers war crime to cause widespread, long lasting and severe damage to the natural environment, but there is no provision to protect the environment from such type of harms in peacetime.

EEE has been able to work on seventeen (17) proposed amendments to the Rome Statute, creating the International Criminal Court, to include the crime of ecocide to the list of the existing international crimes.

EEE proposed amendments to the ICC Statute for the recognition of the crime of ecocide in peacetime would allow effectiveness of a set of principles and emerging norms through the establishment of an international criminal legal framework likely to ensure the safety of the planet, by protecting the global commons and ecological systems necessary to maintain the living conditions on earth; upon which human populations rely, in compliance with the known planetary boundaries.

Ecocide is therefore defined as “an extensive damage or destruction which would have for consequence a significant and durable alteration of the global commons or Earth’s ecological systems “.

The definition of Ecocide poses new principles and new rights.

To recognize by law the role of the ecosystems and the duty of human to protect them induced a normative evolution towards a transgenerational right but also a right for the living beings. Indeed, it is clearly posed as principle that human beings are inalienable parts of nature and that their actions have consequences, not only in their environment but also on the perpetuation of Humankind. The incrimination of ecocide thus applies to the damages caused to living beings and extends to basic life components, in order to ensure the continuity of the life and Humankind itself. It gives to the present generations a duty to protect the environment for the future generations. This gives de facto rights to the generations to come.

Thus, the prohibition of the ecocide would ensure the human right to a healthy environment for Humankind, i.e. the present and future generations, and would establish the right of nature to be protected

 

Full text of the proposed amendments to the ICC (pdf)

 A european Citizens’ Initiative to give the Earth Rights

Subject Matter

We invite the European Commission to adopt legislation to prohibit, prevent and pre-empt Ecocide, the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems.

Objectives

  1. Criminalise Ecocide and ensure that natural and legal persons can be held responsible for committing Ecocide according to the principle of superior responsibility.

  2. Prohibit and prevent any Ecocide on European territories or maritime territories falling under EU legislation, as well as acts outside the EU committed by EU registered legal persons or EU nationals.

  3. Provide for a period of transition to facilitate a sustainable economy.

Provisions of the Treaties considered relevant by the organisers

EU Treaty Articles 83, 191, 194; Directives 2004/35/EC,2008/99/EC;Aarhus Convention;Copenhagen Accor

Further Documents

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