Kai Ambos, Protecting the Environment through International Criminal Law?, EJIL:TALK! (June 29, 2021)

In this blog, Ambos provides several criticisms of the Independent Expert Panel definition of ecocide. Ambos argues that the proposal lacks sufficient reasoning, as well as lacks guidance to address the problems that arise with their definition. Ambos states that the drafters failed to provide empirical data to support their hope that a potential crime of ecocide could lead to a change in people’s consciousness. He states that the proposal is not “consistent in its self-proclaimed ecocentric approach, since it allows for a cost-benefit analysis in case of lawful environmental damage.” Furthermore, Ambos argues that the practical application of the ecocide crime will lead to interpretive challenges that the drafters have not addressed. Lastly, Ambos argues that it is more practical “to further develop in case law those elements in the existing international core crimes which have an environmental ingredient.”