- 15th September, 2016 was a big day for the environment caretakers as International Criminal Court (ICC) announced and decided to start investigating environmental crimes under the purview of International Law.
- The ICC has published a policy paper based on case selection and prioritization which states that the ICC prosecutor “will give particular consideration to prosecuting [Rome Statute of the ICC] crimes that are committed by means of, or that result in, inter alia, the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land“.
- The executives of the companies will have to be careful as they could now be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court for the activities which have very bad and serious environmental affects.
- They will now be required to consider very carefully those activities that can have serious affect on environment and results in human rights violation at large.
- Rome Statute of 1 July 2002 establishes International Criminal Court. The prosecution in ICC can take place only if the crime has been committed on or after 1 July 2002.
- Either the criminal activity has to have taken place in a country having ratified the Rome Statute or the criminal case must have been referred to ICC by UN Security Council.
- According to the terms of the Rome Statute, the jurisdiction of ICC extends over mainly three areas of Crimes. First is Genocide, Second is Crimes against Humanity and the third is War Crimes Associated with Armed Conflict. Therefore, ICC’s announcement does not extend its jurisdiction. Rather the environmental crimes’ investigation will take place under its existing jurisdiction.
News item compiled by Sachin P. & Chirag Jindal