Why Earth Destruction is a Crime
This is a documentary about the late Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins and Spanish jurist Baltazar Garzon and their efforts to have the UN declare ecocide (damage to the Earth) a crime against humanity.
Higgins who died unexpectedly in April, gave up her corporate law practice in 2010 to mobilize support for an amendment to the UN Rome Statute defining crimes against humanity. This would make corporate executives (rather than corporation) personally responsible for environmental crimes committed by their companies. Higgins believed the interests of the Earth could only be protected by international law, as most countries have laws requiring corporations to put shareholders above any other interests.
Garzon, a former Spanish judge, first attracted international prominence in 2000 for having former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet arrested in London for crimes against humanity. The jurist presently serves on Julian Assange’s legal team. With his daughter Maria’s help, he has established a nonprofit foundation to assist communities sue international corporations whose mining and international activities have destroyed ecosystems they rely on for their basic needs.
In the early 70s, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme launched the first campaign to have the UN declare ecocide as a crime against humanity. He did so in reaction to America’s total decimation of Vietnam’s jungle habitat via Agent Orange and indiscriminate bombing, Although Palme was assassinated in 1986, his supporters’ resolution was nearly adopted in 1996. Unfortunately backdoor lobbying by the US, UK, France and the Netherlands blocked the UN General Assembly from adopting it.