Addressing Severe Environmental Damage Through (International) Criminal Law: Grappling with Recent Initiatives and Their Prospects

Binnenplaats Johanna Hudiggebouw

This workshop brings together experts for the purpose of discussing recent initiatives to address severe environmental damage through (international) criminal law.

In June 2021, an “Independent Expert Panel” (convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation) presented a definition of the crime of “ecocide”, contextually launching a campaign to amend the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the purpose of incorporating such crime.

In December 2021, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law including an updated list of environmental crime offences as well as harmonised sanction types and levels. A new Directive (EU) 2024/1203 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 April 2024 on the protection of the environment through criminal law was thus adopted on the basis of such proposal.

Finally, on 16 February 2024, the Prosecutor of the ICC, Karim Khan, launched a public consultation to advance accountability for environmental crimes which will culminate in a comprehensive Policy paper on environmental crimes taking ‘a systematic approach to dealing with crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction committed by means of, or that result in, environmental damage’.

These three initiatives share a common denominator, that is the purpose to (re-)design legal instruments and develop legal tools so to more effectively address severe environmental damage through (international) criminal law.

On 18 June 2024, members of Utrecht University’s “Conceptualizing Ecocide” research team will be joined by distinguished guest speakers and experts at the Law School home – the Johanna Hudig Building – to discuss the strengths and limitations of the above-mentioned initiatives, including their prospects of success.

Conceptualizing Ecocide

This event is organised in the context of Conceptualizing Ecocide, one of the signature projects that are part of the strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability.

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Johanna Hudiggebouw (Kromme Nieuwegracht 47) 1.27

Register here.