Sébastien Jodoin & Yolanda Saito, Crimes Against Future Generations: Harnessing the Potential of Individual Criminal Accountability for Global Sustainability, 7(2) McGill Int’l J. Sustainable Dev. L. & Pol’Y 115–55 (2017)

Drawing upon green criminology, Jodoin and Saito argue that severe environmental damage and serious violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights should be recognized as crimes under international law.  They propose the novel concept of “crimes against future generations,” defined as “acts and conduct that have severe consequences on the long-term health, safety and means of survival of any identifiable group or collectivity of humans.” Such crimes would trigger individual criminal liability as violations of existing international legal obligations affecting sustainable development. The authors believe that the most feasible means of creating crimes against future generations is adopting a stand-alone convention, under which states have a duty to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators and cooperate with other states in doing so.