Environmental lawyer's dream to make ecocide a crime
Environmental lawyer and activist Polly Higgins is campaigning for ecocide – damage caused to the environment – to be classed as a crime against peace under United Nations law, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes.
The London barrister, who presented a talk at James Cook University in Cairns last night on her proposal, said it would make corporations more accountable for their actions.
Up to 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico last year after a BP oil rig exploded. The White House described the disaster as the worst the US had faced.
Ms Higgins said under the proposed laws, damaging and destructive activity to the environment would be criminalised.
"By creating a law of ecocide, what we do is we impose a legal duty of care on not just corporations but also governments to assist those who are at risk of ecocide, or have adversely been impacted by it," she said.
Environmental protection agencies such as Queensland’s EPA, operated with laws that did not fit their purpose, she said.
Penalties only existed if the culprit was caught.
_________________ | _______________
An inspirational speaker. I had the privilege to hear her speak at JCU last night. I do believe it is only a matter of time that we give mother earth legal standing. The earth, Australia cannot continue to gouge out the earth's crust without creating an irreversible nightmare. The earth needs legal standing, the earth needs a voice.