Ecocide : addressing the large-scale impairment of the environment and human rights

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Curcio Lamas, Andrea
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The current rate of environmental damage taking place across the world is putting at risk life on our planet. The use of destructive weapons and dangerous extractive industries are leading to massive environmental destruction, as well as violations of human rights. The large-scale impairment of the environment and human rights has even received its own name: ecocide. As a possible way of offering more protection to the environment and human beings, the focal point of this thesis is to analyse to what extent is it necessary and feasible to establish ecocide as an international crime. While ecocide has not yet been legally recognised by the international community, what is being increasingly acknowledged is the indivisibility of human rights and environmental protection. Unfortunately, however, the current protection provided to human rights and the environment is too weak to prevent, stop and redress cases of ecocide. A feasible proposal to enhance such protection is the establishment of ecocide as an international crime under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Doing so would elevate the gravity of ecocide, acting as a powerful deterrent. The world should not wait to witness another massive environmental catastrophe to establish ecocide as an international crime.
Second semester University: Ca' Foscari University of Venice
environment, environmental degradation, human rights, human rights violations, international criminal law