Jelena Aparac, A Missed Opportunity for Accountability? Corporate Responsibility and the Draft Definition of Ecocide, VOELKERRECHTSBLOG (June 9, 2021)
This blog discusses the efforts and challenges surrounding the crime of ecocide. Aparac particularly notes that she disagrees with the Independent Expert Panel decision in not including corporate actors in the definition of the crime of ecocide because of the role that multinational corporations play in the destruction of the environment and climate change. She notes that corporate actors are not necessarily excluded from the definition of ecocide as they could be responsible as individuals for the acts committed by their company. She notes challenges for the criminal prosecution of corporate actors and the need to include corporate responsibility explicitly in the Rome Statute. She also claims that “the existing possibility for corporate reparations before the ICC would apply to the ecocide crime.” She notes that rules 94(2) and 95(1) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence refer to “persons” without specifying the natural or legal character, which she believes “which could potentially lead to the corporations being requested to pay reparation in cases where their directors have been convicted for ecocide.” However, she recognizes that this is merely an hypothetical assumption. Lastly, Aparac argues that by addressing solely the crime of ecocide without the corporate responsibility issue, the drafters of the ecocide proposal are only offering a partial response to the environment issues.