Mechanisms for Achieving Environmental Justice in Darfur

In: Connected Accountabilities: Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship
Author:
Seisei Tatebe-Goddu
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Environmental damage inflicted during armed conflict has lasting repercussions on a state’s economy, food security, and social cohesion. For these reasons and to ensure that the conflict does not continue or resume, addressing environmental crimes is an important part of pursuing justice in the post-conflict context. Environmental crimes perpetrated in Darfur are used as a case study to highlight the limitations of appealing to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In Darfur, environmental crimes include the deliberate destruction of arable land, contamination of potable water, and the effects of a significant displaced and refugee population. This paper analyses the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over environmental crimes, which is limited to Rome Statute Article 8(b)(2)(iv). A survey of the literature shows that the legal framework of the ICC is impeded by the absence of language that properly equips the ICC to consider the full impact of environmental damage. It examines ground that must be broken in order for the ICC to prosecute international environmental crimes or intra-state environmental crimes such as the ones committed in Darfur. The paper assesses whether the ICC is able to satisfactorily evaluate and judge environmental crimes. Alternatives are examined, ranging from the revision of current language and norms to the creation of a separate legal entity to deal with environmental crimes.

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