What If Ecocide Was a Crime? Let's Find Out... (Video)


Image credit: patricevdw

Mat wrote about Polly Higgins' book on Ecocide, or the environmental equivalent of genocide, he was compelled by the argument that the abolition of slavery, or the industrial transformation during World War II, provide parallels for the kind of profound shift in our social, cultural and economic thinking that would make destruction of our natural world a crime. Now the concept of ecocide looks set to be debated in a real life mock trial, and in no lesser a venue than the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. But the initiative needs your help to make it happen.

Granted, many acts of ecocide—like the recent BP oil spill for example—are already covered by many existing laws, but the addition of a defined crime of ecocide to the world of international law—one that forced heads of state and CEOs to take responsibility for their actions—could have a profound effect, both on how we think about the natural world, and how businesses, governments and institutions assess risk management when it comes to environmentally damaging practices.

Now Polly Higgins is spearheading a new initiative for a mock trial at the UK Supreme Court that will highlight the issues involved if ecocide were indeed made a crime:

The case will be based on facts taken from an amalgam of real events. An imaginary Chief Executive will be on trial alongside a fictional Banker charged with aiding and abetting the alleged crime. A Judge will preside over the Court with practicing barristers acting for the Prosecution and the Defence. Expert witnesses, such as Vandana Shiva, one of the world's leading environmental activists, will provide evidence and a Jury will decide the outcome.

Head on over to Crowdfunder to help make the mock ecocide trial a reality.

More on Ecocide
BP Gulf Oil Spill Cheat Sheet
How Can We Really Eradicate Ecocide?
See Ecocide Writ Large: NASA Shows Giant Coal Mine from Space

Tags: Biodiversity | Conservation | United Kingdom