EU legal committee unanimous vote to recognize ecocide level crimes

Today the EU has come a significant step closer to recognising ecocide in the revised Directive for the protection of the environment through criminal law.  

Four previous consultative committees had already voted in favour of including ecocide. Now, the last and most important of the committees in the context of this Directive, the legal affairs (JURI) committee, unanimously voted to include the most serious environmental crimes – widely known as “ecocide” – in its proposed text for the Directive which will be presented in the EU Parliament on 17th April.

The proposed text uses language extremely close to the consensus international definition of ecocide (June 2021) proposed by the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) convened by the Stop Ecocide Foundation. A specific definition for the “gravest crimes” is included, taking into account the conditions for harm used in the IEP draft: “severe and either widespread or long-term or irreversible” (with the corresponding definitions of those terms* also closely following those used in the IEP draft).  The proposal mandates Member states to ensure that those gravest crimes are sanctioned accordingly in their legal systems.

Information courtesy of Stop Ecocide International.

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