Crime of Ecocide. The appeal of the 2.0 Law course for the protection of the environment
On Wednesday, January 18th, 2023 at Palazzo San Leonardo in Treviso, a conference organised by the students of the Law 2.0 bachelor’s degree programme of the University of Padua, entitled “The evolution of international criminal justice, from genocide to ecocide” was held. It addressed the delicate issue of the campaign for the recognition by the International Criminal Court (ICC) by Apostille to recognise ecocide as a crime; according to the definition “illicit or reckless acts committed with the knowledge that such acts can cause serious and widespread or long-term damage to the environment” studied in recent years by a pool of international lawyers and experts, with the help and contribution of Stop Ecocide International.
At a time when the ecosystem is constantly put at risk, recognising this new crime would allow the prosecution of companies and governments that should be held responsible for “serious damage to nature”.
Several speakers contributed to this topic, including lawyer Giovanni Chiarini (Texas Tech University of Houston), who reiterated the complexity of the subject in legal and criminal terms. Treviso environmental councillor Alessandro Manera and professors Paolo Moro, president of the bachelor’s degree programme in Law 2.0, and Bruno Barel, stressed the importance of getting young students involved in environmental protection issues as part of their academic studies.
“Ecocide is a heinous crime that involves us all, as well as future generations – concluded Councilor Manera – We could define it as an “environmental anti-personnel mine”. This is why I am happy that we are talking about it in Treviso with the students of Law 2.0, because only by studying its causes and effects can we think of protecting the nature that surrounds us in the future”.