Call for papers: ‘Ecocide as an international crime? Perspectives from domestic and international law’

Published 11 August 2021

@Shutterstock - Deforestation, the plastic soup in the oceans, industrial fishing, oil spills and mineral extraction: mass environmental destruction, often called 'ecocide' could become an international crime similar to genocide, war crimes and acts of aggression under a proposed new legal definition.

The International Crimes Database, powered by the Asser Institute, invites submissions of short articles for publication in the online paper series ‘ICD Briefs’ on the theme: ‘Ecocide as an International Crime? Perspectives from Domestic and International Law’.

Ecocide as an international crime?
The recent proposal by the Stop Ecocide Foundation to include ecocide as an international crime in the Rome Statute - alongside crimes against humanity, war crimes, acts of aggression and genocide - has sparked a lively debate amongst legal scholars, practitioners and civil society.

While the idea to conceive ecocide as an international crime is not a recent phenomenon, the proposal has given the discussion surrounding ecocide a renewed energy by providing a solid groundwork for how the crime can be formulated, which includes questions such as:

How can ecocide be differentiated from ordinary environmental offences? Should the crime be subject to direct intent, or would negligence suffice? Instead of amending the Rome Statute to include a fifth international crime, is the better option to develop ecocide within the ambit of crimes against humanity? And to what extent can legal and political developments concerning ecocide in domestic jurisdictions be extrapolated onto the international setting?

Considering these indeterminacies, we welcome submissions that deal with the conception of the crime of ecocide from a diverse range of domestic and international legal perspectives. Find the full call here

About the International Crimes Database
The ICD is an online database hosted and maintained by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut in The Hague. The database provides access to a range of information on international crimes for lawyers and judges, and for students, academics, practitioners, policymakers, families and communities affected by crimes.

The ICD offers a comprehensive database of international crimes adjudicated by national as well as international and internationalised courts. In addition to case law on international crimes, the website provides free background information, audio – and video lectures and news updates about international crimes and the development of international criminal law.

ICD Briefs
The series ICD Briefs provides in-depth information and insights through short articles on international crimes and international criminal jurisprudence. The series offers scholars and practitioners the opportunity to publish their work for an international network of ICD users. The ICD Briefs are included in the Peace Palace Library and are often being referred to in literature.