Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg

Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg
Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg © Gernot Keller, 2007
Blinkered Justice articles also appear on CrimeTalk and Government In The Lab

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Ecocide sentencing event: tar sands

According to Eradicating Ecocide, ecocide is the damage, destruction and loss of ecosystems. At present, nobody is held accountable under international law for the destruction, wilful or not, of the Earth's ecosystems.

Concerned at this continuing degradation, Polly Higgins, a barrister and international environmental lawyer, advocates that the international justice system should hold individuals to account for the damage that they do. A minor amendment to the Rome Statute could see ecocide become the fifth crime against peace.

In September 2011, the UK Supreme Court in London staged a mock trial (embedded above) to assess the viability of ecocide. With eminent barristers, Michael Mansfield QC and Chris Parker QC acting for the Prosecution and Defence respectively, two fictional CEOs were charged with the destruction of wildlife and the surrounding habitat, following an oil spill which could have been averted. A jury found both defendants guilty of crimes against the Earth.

Sentencing of both defendants took place at the end of March. Click on the video below to find out how justice might apply in future cases of ecocide.

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