Pauline Martini, Joe Holt and Maud Sarliève, Mass Deforestation as a Crime Against Humanity? International and Comparative Law (2023) Quarterly 72. 1013-1046 (October 2023)

This article examines whether mass deforestation could be prosecuted as a crime against humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute. It does so in respect of the situation in the Brazilian Legal Amazon in 2019–2021, where the unbridled exploitation and destruction of the rainforest had a disastrous impact at local, regional and global levels. The article covers three main aspects. First, it explores the existing limits of international criminal law for prosecuting mass deforestation as a crime against humanity, and the contours within which criminalization would be possible. Secondly, it discusses the challenges inherent in the anthropocentric nature of the chapeau requirement of Article 7 for the criminalization of mass deforestation under that provision. Thirdly, it analyses the extent to which mass deforestation could qualify as persecution and/or an ‘other inhumane act’ under Articles 7(1)(h) and (k) of the Rome Statute.