ICC jurisdiction can include environmental destruction cases

ICC jurisdiction can include environmental destruction cases

The Hague-based court has been criticized many times for its negligent attitude towards environmental issues. To cover it up, the International criminal court has announced to expand the sentence for environmental destruction and land-grabs. It has also declared to start prosecuting individuals and governments for such acts.

Although the jurisdiction has not been formally extended, ICC affirmed that actions indirectly resulting in environmental destruction, illegal land acquisition and abuse of natural resources will also be prioritized.

With the boom in private companies, a large portion of land is allocated to them every year, which has also resulted in increased land-grabbing cases. Various anti-corruption campaigns have strongly condemned these practices.

“The terrible impacts of land-grabbing and environmental destruction have been acknowledged at the highest level of criminal justice, and private sector actors could now be put on trial for their role in illegally seizing land, flattening rainforests or poisoning water sources”, mentioned Alice Harrison, Global Witness’s advisor.

Last year recorded a huge number of land-grabbing cases with loggers, agribusiness firms or mining companies, where every week murders were reported, he added.

ICC’s action can also open doors for execution on climate issues. The International lawyers stated that the move will further recognize the human rights abuse as a serious war crime. ICC is not expanding or changing any of its law, instead they are intending to pay attention to crimes that impact upon the environment, said Alex Whiting, lecturer at Harvard Law School.

The Rome statute covers all its 139 signatory countries i.e. it can take action against any individual originating from these countries. ICC’s action plan also includes the crimes of human trafficking, terrorist’s activities, and illegal arms exchange.


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