Liana Georgieva Minkova, The Fifth International Crime: Reflections on the Definition of Ecocide, J. OF GENOCIDE RES. 1 (2021)

This article engages with the debate on the Independent Expert Panel’s ( IEP) definition of ecocide by exploring in more detail two specific aspects of that definition. First, Minkova notes that even though the focus of the IEP’s proposal would be substantially more environmental than anthropocentric, it has still attracted criticism for incorporating an anthropocentric element. Specifically, the second paragraph of the proposed Article 8ter allows for consideration of the “social and economic benefit anticipated” from a particular environmentally harmful activity in assessing whether that activity amounts to an ecocide. To Minkova, this cost–benefit test obstructs the symbolic value of criminalizing the crime of ecocide at the ICC in the first place, namely, to communicate the idea that the wellbeing of nature and that of humans are inherently interlinked. Second, Minkova discusses the confusion regarding the mental element required under article 8ter. The exact requirement is “knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood,” but the IEP has commented that they mean recklessness or dolus eventualis. However, Minkova argues that knowledge, recklessness, and dolus eventualis are all separate standards and the current definition and commentary obscures what mental element is actually required. She suggests substituting knowledge with an “awareness of substantial likelihood” for the sake of clarity