Linus Mührel

Ökozid als fünftes Kernverbrechen im Rom-Statut – Meilenstein oder Gefahr für das Völkerstrafrecht?

Rubrik: Beiträge und Berichte
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Jahrgang 60 () / Heft 3, S. 322-352 (31)
Publiziert 23.11.2022

40,30 € inkl. gesetzl. MwSt.
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The article deals with the call for the inclusion of ecocide as a fifth core crime in the Rome Statute, which has gained increasing support in recent years. After a brief introduction to the historical development of the call for an ecocide offence, the article discusses the proposal by Stop Ecocide published in 2021. The article takes up the criticism of the proposal that has been voiced mainly on international law blogs. Inter alia, the proposal's vagueness is problematic. The article addresses other ecocide proposals insofar as they provide an alternative offence structure to the Stop Ecocide proposal. However, all proposals reach the limits of criminal law as a means to achieve societal change. In a next step, the article discusses whether the Rome Statute is the right place for an ecocide offence. It shows that the reasons for the rejection of a 1991 draft of an environmental offence by the International Law Commission are largely applicable to an ecocide offence. In particular, an ecocide offence is not compatible with the Rome Statute's goals as set out in its preamble. Moreover, it is questionable whether the objectives of the proponents of an ecocide offence can be realised by its inclusion in the Rome Statute. Rather, the inclusion of an ecocide offence in the Rome Statute bears the risk that the current goals will be lost from focus and that the International Criminal Court will be overburdened with too high expectations. Finally, the article discusses two alternatives to the inclusion of an ecocide offence in the Rome Statute. While the prosecution of environmental damage under the already existing offences of the Rome Statute involves various complexities, in the view of the author, the adoption of an ecocide convention is promising. Much more important, however, is the implementation and extension of national law to act on behalf of the public against environmental harm.

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