After the Trial, the Sentence...
In a most unusual step, sentencing of CEOs Robert Bannerman and John Tench has been adjourned for a Restorative Justice Hearing following their convictions for Ecocide in the UK Supreme Court that took place 30 September 2011. The Hearing for the Sentence will take place at the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR) at the University of Essex on the 31st of March 2012.
Under the Ecocide Act, new provisions have been applied where Restorative Justice is an option for the parties. Both CEO’s have agreed to attend, which will bring them face to face with individuals who speak on behalf of the inhabitants of the territory they have been convicted of extensively damaging. The Hearing will take place after representations byProsecuting Barrister Michael Mansfield QC and Defence Barrister QC counsel to the Judge (TBC). The parties then have the option to adjourn to a room for a Restorative Justice mediation, which will be filmed and screened live as they wrestle with the issues that arise.
The event is open to the public and interested organisations; there will be breakout sessions, debates and speakers during the day to discuss the issues that arise during the Restorative Justice process. IDCR partner organization Greater London and East Anglia Mediation (GLEAMED) will oversee the mediation.
The sentencing event is being jointly organised by The Hamilton Group, which devised and managed the Ecocide Trial at the Supreme Court, and the Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution at the University of Essex.
On September 30th 2011, the UK Supreme Court in London served as the venue for a mockEcocide Trial. Simon Hamilton, Chairman of The Hamilton Group, organisers of the event, says:
“The trial allowed a forensic examination of the implications of this proposed law to see how it would work in practice. Ecocide should be on the Agenda at the Earth Summit in Rio in June 2012. The mock Trial proved that the crime of Ecocide is valid. The ethical and moral case for the banning of ecocides must now be at the forefront of decision-makers in Government and business throughout the World. There is international interest in the passage of such a law and The Hamilton Group will continue to ensure that the implications are as widely debated and understood as possible.”
It is argued that the proposed new Law against Ecocide is fundamental in addressing humanitarian and environmental issues on a global scale. Implementation of the Law has the potential to change inter-governmental policy and action on climate change, by providing the necessary legal framework to help stop the over-exploitation of natural resources and to pre-empt the impending energy crunch.
A key actor for both events is Polly Higgins, a barrister and international environmental lawyer who has proposed Ecocide as the law to protect the Earth’s Right to Life to the United Nations. Her book, Eradicating Ecocide, Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet, sets out the law of Ecocide and she is campaigning for Ecocide to be made the 5th Crime Against Peace. (see www.eradicatingecocide.com andwww.pollyhiggins.com).
The Earth’s Right To Life is currently being considered by the UN under a Universal Declaration of Earth Rights. Just as the Human Right to Life is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the crime of Genocide, so the Earth’s Right to Life will be enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Earth Rights and the crime of Ecocide.
The definition of Ecocide submitted by Polly Higgins to the United Nations is:
"the extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished."
The Ecocide Trial can be seen on YouTube in a short and long format. The short trailer is available by clicking HERE. The whole trial can be seen by clicking HERE. Photos of the Ecocide Trial taken by Abie Shwarz are available HERE.
The Ecocide Sentence will be filmed and livestreamed. More details will added to this page as the event planning develops.
"Once upon a time people did grievous harm to the environment without fully understanding the consequences of their actions. That defence is no longer available, and that sure knowledge we now have entails equally sure moral obligations. In this context, the idea of establishing the crime of Ecocide is both timely and compelling." Sir Jonathon Porritt – Founder, Forum for the Future
“The social obligation of business is to sustainably maximize long-term profits for shareholders. Nothing more. Nothing less.” Professor Stephen Bainbridge, Professor of Law UCLA
‘The purpose of the corporation must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se.’ Michael E. Porter & Mark K. Kramer,Harvard Business Review, January-February 2011
‘There is a rising form of public accountability through new technologies and a global demand for business to respect human rights, labour rights, and the environment.’ Professor Todd Landman, Director, Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution.
Institute for Democracy & Conflict Resolution (IDCR)
University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom
The Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution works on forging and maintaining sustainable democratic institutions. It works to prevent and resolve conflicts through academic analysis, training, outreach and knowledge transfer across a wide range of issue areas. Its mission is to provide high quality and practical knowledge for all actors and stakeholders working to develop peaceful solutions for governing the world.
Todd Landmanfirstname.lastname@example.org/+44 (0)1206 872129
IDCRemail@example.com/+44 (0)1206 873595
The Hamilton Group
The Hamilton Group is a not-for-profit organisation encouraging businesses, organisations and communities to bring responsibility for the Earth to the forefront of their decision-making.
Simon Hamiltonfirstname.lastname@example.org/+44 (0)7931 382275
Fiona Hayesemail@example.com/+44 (0)7931 382275