Ricardo Pereira, After the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s 2016 Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation: Towards an International Crime of Ecocide? 31 CRIM. L. F. 179 (2020)

In this article, Pereira evaluates the limitations of conceptualising ecocide based on existing crimes under the Rome Statute. Specifically, Pereira examines key developments since the adoption of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) policy paper on case selection and prioritization in 2016. This policy paper, by explicitly referencing crimes committed “by means of, or that result in: the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land,” provided a promising basis for testing the Court’s jurisdiction in prosecuting such crimes. However, from the way the OTP has dealt with national Communications and the ICC’s case law, Pereira concludes, “unfortunately so far it is difficult to make a strong case for extending the court’s jurisdiction over ecocide.” In addition, the court’s lack of jurisdiction over corporate crimes is anticipated to further limit the effective prosecution of ecocide. Given that corporations are responsible for the majority of environmental offences, Pereira submits that “the accountability of corporations should be recognized under the ICC Statute.”