Romina Pezzot & Jan-Phillip Graf, Ecocide – Legal Revolution or Symbolism?, VOELKERRECHTSBLOG (Feb. 3, 2022)

This blog post identifies four ways in which the definition of ecocide as an international crime is unique. First, ecocide is the first non-anthropocentric crime. Second, ecocide would apply during times of peace and armed conflict alike, thus becoming a counterweight to international criminal law’s (ICL) bias towards criminality during armed conflicts. Third, the drafting process for ecocide, organized by civil society actors, was fast and efficient compared to the drawn-out drafting processes of the International Law Association and the UN General Assembly. Fourth, ecocide provides revolutionary alignment between ICL and international environmental law. Pezzot and Graf see ecocide as both a legal revolution and a symbolic act. On one hand, ecocide has revolutionary potential in introducing an ecocentric element into ICL. On the other hand, it symbolizes our values as a global community and could be a first step to ensure respect, protection, and recognition of the environment.