Natascha Kersting, On Symbolism and Beyond, VOELKERRECHTSBLOG (July 8, 2021)

In this blog, Kersting evaluates whether the definition of ecocide is “truly ecocentric? More importantly, does the emphasis on symbolism come at the expense of clarity and enforceability? Is the definition fit for purpose – for legal purpose, beyond symbolic purpose?”. Kersting highlights the symbolism surrounding the crime of ecocide-from its name to the day that the panel was launched. Moreover, she argues that the ecocide definition is rather anthropocentric than ecocentric. Lastly, Kersting criticizes the lack of legal certainty of the proposed definition of the crime of ecocide due to the lack of a description of the actus reus. She argues that judges and prosecutors should not be the ones in the charge of defining criminal acts. As such, Kersting finds that the ecocide efforts have resulted in a “highly symbolic, but impractical definition.”