Programa de Pós-Graduação em Direito Político e Econômico, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo/SP, Brazil
The present study develops the theme of ecocide, a recent approach to conducts that aim at natural environments, wiping out ecosystems, wildlife, changing climate and impacting indigenous peoples’ lives in natural lands. For that, we initiate the discussions with the crime of genocide, widely consolidated within the Rome Statute, the funding legal document of the International Criminal Court, approaching its historical roots, as well as its conceptual and factual developments. Later, we debate the recent emergence of the concept of ecocide, detailed by scholars and international legal forums as a method of genocide, that is, when the destruction of ecosystems is capable of causing the annihilation of social groups. The main question this essay tries to answer is whether international criminal protection of the environment, through the crime of ecocide within the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction, is the most urgent and important development in international criminal law. All in all, this work advocates for the consideration of ecocide as a crime against humanity by itself, as well as for the recognition of the environment as a subject of law, an emerging and urgent need for the future of International Criminal Law.
KEY-WORDS: Ecocide; Genocide; Environment; Crime; Court