Ecocide and environmental crimes draw public attention at the ICC

It was perhaps the most-talked about topic in the corridors and surrounding cafés at the International Criminal Court Assembly of State Parties, in The Hague this week. How to address climate change-related violations of human rights, massive deforestation, land grabbing and man-induced global warming? Can they amount to crimes against humanity? Can the ICC be an instrument to protect the planet and all forms of life? Listen to our enthusiastic and lively and clever partners of Asymmetrical Haircuts reporting on the public event organized by Justice Info last Tuesday in Den Haag.

Ecocide and environmental crimes draw public attention at the ICC©Pablo VERA / AFP
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Every once in while at the International Criminal Court’s annual meeting – the ASP – you can see when ideas and concepts really get some traction. This year it was ecocide – which was everywhere – with at least three separate events.

Janet, Stephanie and Hannah went to the event, “Environmental Justice: Ecocide, the ICC and multilevel litigation for a global crisis”, hosted by our partners on this episode Justice Info and escaped the ASP convention centre for dinner and discussion at the aptly named Utopia cafe.

Ecocide falls under the umbrella term ‘environmental justice’, which also includes international environmental law, international humanitarian law, national jurisdictions, and now international criminal law and the ICC. In this short episode Janet and Stephanie discuss few of many attempts to get justice for environmental issues such as climate change. If we have to conclude something, it’s that there’s a myriad of creative ways to get justice and create awareness for this global climate crisis, and that we are most certainly going to report more on this in the future.

In the meantime, JusticeInfo have some great articles on ecocide, on environmental destruction as a war crime or crime against humanity, on how it affects indigenous communities and how – potentially – the prominence of environmental justice is helping to shift some international law concepts into including ‘mother earth’ as a legal person. Check out their work on environmental justice reporting here.

Please do share your thoughts on who might be suitable for an in-depth interview by the haircuts, into ecocide and international environmental law. Enjoy the Justice Update!

Justice Info hosts a debate in The Hague about environmental justice, ecocide and ICC
On December 3, 2019, Justice Info organised a debate in The Hague on the occasion of the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court. It was about "Environmental justice: Ecocide, the ICC and multilevel litigation for a global crisis". © Nicolas Boissez

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This podcast has been published as part of a partnership between and Asymmetrical Haircuts, a podcast on international justice produced from The Hague by journalists Janet Anderson and Stephanie van den Berg, who retain full control and independence over the contents of the podcast.