Mock trial to pave way for ecocide law

A potential new law to protect the Earth from degradation will be tested at the UK Supreme Court during a mock ecocide trial on 30 September 2011

The barrister and international environmental lawyer Polly Higgins, has proposed that ecocide – the environmental equivalent of genocide – be made the 5th international crime against peace.

Just as the human right to life is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the crime of genocide, Polly is campaigning to have the Earth’s right to life enshrined in a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights – currently being considered by the UN – and the crime of ecocide.

The mock trial is being co-ordinated by the Hamilton Group, a not-for-profit organisation encouraging businesses and communities to bring responsibility for the Earth to the forefront of their decision-making.

Spokesperson Simon Hamilton said: “It is essential that we do a forensic examination of the implications of this proposed law to see how it would work in practice.”

Michael Mansfield QC, the prosecuting barrister, and Nigel Lickley QC, the defence barrister, together with supporting legal teams, will lead the case for and against a fictional Mr X, CEO of a major corporation.

The un-scripted trial, complete with a jury, will relate to a potential crime of ecocide such as: deforestation of the Amazon, fracking for shale gas in Nigeria, or unconventional tar sands oil extraction in Canada.