Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute
of the International Criminal Court
★⭐︎⭐︎ – Beginner
[legal knowledge recommended]
Ecocide as a Core Crime Under the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
The scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the emission of greenhouse gases and the destruction of ecosystems at current rates will have catastrophic consequences for our common environment. Along with political, diplomatic and economic initiatives, international law has a role to play in transforming our relationship with the natural world, shifting that relationship from one of harm to one of harmony.
In that light, the scholarly discussion about “ecocide” began. Ecocide means the widespread or long-term destruction of ecosystems committed in the knowledge of the scarcity of these actions. The international debate about ecocide reached a new climax when the Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide published an attempt to define it (link below). That definition came along with a recommendation to the Assembly of States Parties to the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to add it to the Core Crimes. All States that acceded to the Statute are represented in the Assembly. It is the only committee that can determine changes to the Statute.
At its meeting in Dresden, Germany, the ICC Assembly has set itself the goal to address the proposals of international lawyers. Various Delegations wish to discuss the definition of ecocide. Others ask the Assembly to discuss whether ecocide should actually have the rank of a Core Crime, since Core Crimes are the most severe (Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and Crime of Aggression). Meanwhile, it is debatable whether the Crime should be applicable only to State officials or also to legal entities such as Corporations, signifying a critical transition in international criminal justice. So it is up to the elbMUN 2022 delegates to decide if Ecocide becomes a punishable crime under international criminal law!