Independent Expert Panel for the Legal Definition of Ecocide

Chaired by Philippe Sands QC and Dior Fall Sow, this expert drafting panel was launched in November 2020 at the 75th anniversary of the first use of the terms “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” in Nuremberg’s courtroom 600. The panel’s brief was to draft a definition of “Ecocide” which could sit alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes and the Crime of Aggression in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

With drafting taking place over the first half of 2021, the panel was convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation on the request of interested parliamentarians from the governing parties in Sweden.  Expert advice was solicited and a public consultation took place in early 2021 attracting hundreds of responses from legal, political, economic, youth, faith and indigenous perspectives from around the world.  All of this material fed into the panel’s deliberations over six months.

The panel comprised a mixture of renowned international criminal lawyers, environmental lawyers and legal scholars drawn from around the world, with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. The group reported in June 2021 with a core definition text in English and accompanying commentary.

The panel would like to thank Florence Iveson and Julio Prieto for their invaluable assistance.