Citlali Rovirosa-Madrazo, Eurocentrism and Anthropocentrism in International Law? Obstacles for the criminalisation of Ecocide at the ICC. (2023)
There are inescapable problems within the West’s approach to state sovereignty and, hence, international law whose inherent Eurocentric and anthropocentric elements must be addressed as we enter a new phase in the Ecocide Law (EL) debate. Deconstructing the epistemological foundations of western thought and jurisprudence, and their distinctively anthropocentric and Eurocentric approach to nature and indigenous peoples, is one of the aims of this paper. I will examine how some of the former came to be, and I will explore their repercussions for indigenous peoples and the impact on nature more generally. I will then go on to make the case that robust protection of indigenous peoples – particularly their rights to self-
determination, collective land ownership and territories– is crucial for the effective criminalisation of Ecocide and to further advance Earth jurisprudence. This paper considers some of the anthropological differences between the Western and indigenous jurisprudence/cosmovision and goes on to argue that the existing international body of law pertaining to indigenous peoples and rights is no longer sufficient to tackle today’s bioclimate challenges. Each instrument devised within the auspices of the UN in recent decades/years geared towards the safeguarding of the rights of the indigenous nations will become meaningless if an international legal framework to criminalise Ecocide is not established.
Advancing national constitutional reforms towards protecting the rights to self-determination of the indigenous peoples is essential for the international criminalization of Ecocide, and vice versa , the latter is sine quan nem for
the former to be enforced.