Comment on the Future Environmental Crimes Policy at the International Criminal Court


On 16 March 2024, the International Nuremberg Principles Academy responded, in partnership with the Institute for Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) and the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme of the University of Oxford (SLP), to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) call for public consultations on the development of a policy to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes under the Rome Statute.

The project, led by Maud Sarliève (ICwS and Oxford SLP), was coordinated by Project Officer Dr Pauline Martini, who also co-authored the Comment together with Project Officer Dr Pablo Gavira Díaz. The Comment highlights the critical connection between human and environmental health, and identifies three causes for concern in this respect, namely destruction of ecosystems, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, as well as pollution and contamination.

The Comment argues that severe violations of the right to a healthy environment and associated rights, including the right to food, water, shelter, property, as well as cultural and spiritual life, may warrant an ICC intervention. It pinpoints the specific crimes on the basis of which the ICC could exercise jurisdiction in light of concrete scenarios of environmental degradation. Following the same case-based approach, the Comment also discusses the most relevant modes of liability to hold alleged perpetrators of environmental crimes liable under the Rome Statute. It moreover addresses best methods and practices for investigating and prosecuting such crimes, and tackles how the principle of complementarity could be implemented in cases involving environmental crimes. (pm)

Download the Comment below.


Comment on OTP Environmental Crimes Policy