From Ecocide to Eco-Sensitivity: ‘Greening’ Reparations at the International Criminal Court

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Abstract

This paper considers the possibilities and challenges facing international criminal law as a method of meaningfully responding to environmental destruction. Noting the interconnections between environmental destruction and the causes, conduct and impacts of mass violence, scholars have explored multiple ways in which international criminal law might be better equipped to respond to such harms. These have ranged from using existing provisions to introducing a new crime against the environment. This paper examines the evolution of these approaches and considers the capacity of international criminal law to respond to environmental destruction. In light of the challenges associated with introducing a new crime, it focuses on the possibilities associated with ‘greening’ the Rome Statute. Building on this approach, the paper considers whether the reparation framework adopted by the International Criminal Court offers an opportunity to meaningfully respond to environmental destruction and related human rights violations. It argues that there are three main ways in which this might be done: (i) by introducing the concept of ‘eco-sensitivity’ to reparations designed to respond to other anthropocentric harms; (ii) by awarding reparations that explicitly recognise the harm caused by environmental destruction when possible; and (iii) by exploring the possibilities of an environmental approach towards ‘transformative reparations’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Human Rights
Early online date02 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 02 Jul 2020

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