Jessica Durney, Note, Crafting a Standard: Environmental Crimes as Crimes Against Humanity Under the International Criminal Court, 24(2) Hastings Envtl L. J. 413–430 (2018)

In this note, Durney presents a framework for prosecuting environmental harms as crimes against humanity at the ICC. Notwithstanding the court’s anthropocentric prosecutorial system, she argues for an interpretation of the Rome Statute that contemplates the use of environmental harm as a tool to violate human rights: “the Rome Statute creates the possibility to prosecute environmental destruction as a means of extermination or forcible deportation under crimes against humanity.” Durney applies her analysis to the “extermination” of the Rohingya in Myanmar and “deportation or forcible transfer” of civilians in Cambodia to demonstrate how the ICC could prosecute individuals for crimes against humanity.  She also points to emerging trends in regional human rights tribunals—the African, European and Inter-American courts—of incorporating the environment to human rights to show the potential for the ICC’s jurisdiction to extend to environmental harms.

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