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Protecting the Planet:
Transcript of Protecting the Planet:
(cited by Higgins et al, 2013, p.255) - "legal systems need to take an evolutionary leap forward by recognising legally enforceable rights for nature and other-than-human beings"
(cited by Higgins et al, 2013, p.255) argues "... a legal system exclusively for humans is not realistic" - the interdependence of eco-systems and the principle of intergenerational equality.
A LAW OF ECOCIDE
ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME, HARM AND (IN) JUSTICE
RIGHTS AND JUSTICE ON AN ENDANGERED PLANET
WHAT IS ECOCIDE?
(A 5TH CRIME AGAINST PEACE)
In 2010, Higgins proposed an amendment to the Rome Statute:
"Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory...
...whether by human agency or by other causes
...to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the
of that territory has been severely diminished."
Wartime vs Peacetime?
RESPONSES - WEAK COMPLIANCE TO RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
THE HISTORY OF ECOCIDE
A Law of Ecocide should recognise human-caused environmental damage as a crime of strict liability.
Ten Countries currently include some form of Ecocide within their criminal penal code, however these laws require intent.
This requirement of intention has become a loophole in sidestepping responsibility in many cases as most corporate ecocide occur without obvious intention.
By including Ecocide within International Law this will stop the flow of destruction.
CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE
Examples of environmental harm and crimes can be organised into two forms:
: result directly from human destruction and degradation of earths resources.
: symbiotic with or dependent upon such destruction, and efforts made to regulate or prevent it.
Vanderheiden- called for "
International networks, activist groups and human rights - orientated organisations have proposed principles and action in support of "
However, the current system does not work for a number of reasons - governmental responses are too weak, dependent on voluntary compliance and trivialises injurious actions.
Huisman - "soft laws" can create generally accepted social norms. A key issue is that the most harmful organisations are not compelled to take part in protecting human rights and the environment.
Stewart and Open Society Justice Initiative - Concept of "
Braithwaite & Higgins -
counters "...the current dominance of neo-liberal ideology for regulating international trade and investment runs directly counter to the imposition of normative restraints on economic activity."
Restraint is required due to the irreversible damage that humans have inflicted on the planet.
However, "...the current legal systems are designed to perpetuate human domination of nature" (
2011, cited by Higgins et al, 2013, p.255).
The concept of ecocide is older than many other approaches relating to the environment - it has been used as early as the 1970s by Professor Galston.
In addition the concept of
has been used to describe the need for an international law to preserve the right to a healthy environment.
In basic terms ecocide has constituted the "causing or permitting of harm to the natural environment on a massive scale" - A report on Human Rights and the Environment (s.248) propose environmental damage directly effects human rights.
SO, WHAT IS GREEN CRIMINOLOGY?
Crime Law Soc Change (2013) 59: 251 - 266
The video demonstrates the possibility of achieving a successful prosecution under a law of Ecocide.
Law of Ecocide
would impose a much needed duty of care upon nations to pre-emptively help during times of need.
Law of Ecocide
can end mass environmental destruction and it could also be the much needed catalyst to prompt the kind of systemic change which is truly needed if justice is to be upheld.
Law of Ecocide
is more than a peace agenda. It will also trigger the ‘Green Economy’ and create millions of jobs, which will be good for people, societies, governments and shareholders everywhere.
Agnew, R. (2013). The Ordinary Acts that Contribute to Ecocide: A Criminological Analysis. In N. South & A. Brisman (Eds.),
The Routledge international handbook of green criminology
. London: Routledge.
Benton, T. (2007). Ecology, community and justice: the meaning of green. In P. Beirne & N. South
Issues in green criminology
. Cullompton: Willan.
Berat, L. (1993). Defending the right to a healthy environment: towards a crime of geocide in
Boston University International Law Journal
, 11, 327–348.
Berry, T. (1999).
The great work: our way into the future
. New York: Bell Tower.
Braithwaite, J. (2002).
Restorative justice and responsive regulation
. New York: Oxford University Press
Cullinan, C. (2011).
Wild law: a manifesto for earth justice
(2nd ed.). Vermont: Chelsea Green.
Higgins, P. (2011).
[Electronic Resource]. Retrieved Decemeber 2, 2013. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwPGIzqZ4OEf.
Higgins, P. (2012).
Earth is our Business changing the rules of the game
. London: Shepheard- Walwyn Publishers LTD.
Higgins, P., Short, D., & Nigel, S. (2013). Protecting the plant: a proposal for a law of ecocide.
Crime Law Soc Change
59, 251 - 266.
Illegal Wildlife Trade.
(n.d.). Retrieved from the WWF website: http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/safeguarding_the_natural_world/wildlife/illegal_wildlife_trade/.
Made in China - cheap at a disgraceful cost.
(2013). Retrieved from the Habitat Advocate website: http://www.habitatadvocate.com.au/?tag=china-water-pollution.
News from Jenny Jones AM: Deaths linked to vehicle emissions rise in hald of London boroughs
. (2013). Retrieved from the Greater London Authority website: http://www.london.gov.uk/media/assembly-member-press-releases/green-party/2013/11/news-from-jenny-jones-am-deaths-linked-to-vehicle-emissions-rise.
Principles of climate Justice.
(n.d,). Retrieved from the Mary Ronbinson Foundation website: http://www.mrfcj.org/about/principles.html.
Short, D. (2010).
Cultural genocide and indigenous peoples: a sociological approach. The International
Journal of Human Right
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South, N. (2010). The ecocidal tendencies of late modernity: trans-national crime, social exclusion, victims and rights. In R. White (Ed.),
Global environmental harm: criminological perspectives
. Willan: Cullompton.
CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE
Polly Higgins argues Ecocide must be included as the 5th Crime Against the Peace:
2) Crimes against humanity
3) War Crimes
4) The Crime of Aggression