Djalma Alvarez Brochado Neto, The search for the codification of ecocide in the internal and external legal systems: is there a unity of understanding of the crime?
Is there a confluence of understanding on what ecocide means for the different countries that have taken on the task of defining it? The current study examines the existing ecocide laws in the world, since 1990, and the most recent bills. The analysis takes into account: ecocentrist and anthropocentrist views in laws and bills; the wording of the norm; and the range given to the mens rea and the actus reus. We can make two main observations: first, international debates – especially the ILC draft Code – have a strong influence on national approaches, and second, many of the definitions are rather vague and incomplete. Today, there are a few laws and bills that address the crime more fully, better respecting the principles of criminal law. It is concluded that there is still no uniformity in the understanding of what ecocide is, but there is an increase in the definitions of the crime, evidencing the advance in the understanding of ecocide in recent years.